Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why vampires?

Did I mention that my first published book will feature vampires? Well, there's actually quite a few interesting creatures in the book, but vampires will play a rather large role in the first two books and one of the main characters is a vampire.

But why vampires? It's a question I've gotten quite a few times. I have done a great deal of writing during the past decade or so, but these past few years I find myself consistently returning to vampires. I guess it all comes around to my approach to writing, or maybe I should say storytelling.

When I tell a story, I like to ask the ugly, uncomfortable questions. I like to make my characters stare into the dark abyss of their psyche and see if they flinch. I wonder what it will take to make a good person break and do that horrible thing he swore he would never do. Is it a gun to the head? Or is it a slow, long torturous road that wears her down as she quickly rationalizes each time she steps across the line in the sand?

But the fun part for me isn't just getting a character to do some horrible act, going against his initial morals and rules. It's seeing if you can get that character to look at him/herself in the mirror again after making the irrevocable decision. Sometime true strength isn't making the decision, but learning to face the consequences after the deed is done.

This can be some pretty dark stuff, and vampires tend to lend themselves to this type of dark soul-searching. It's not only that they are the stereotypical dark figure, but by using vampires, the reader (and the author) is able to take that one step back from reality and the topic becomes just a little easier to stomach.

Well, all that and because my vampires are just so much fun!


Beth said...

What was the mental state of vampires in the mid-1980s as the AIDS scare broke? Given their reliance on blood and everything. Now that would be dark and topical.

Perhaps add another degree of vulnerability to stakes-to-the-hearts, sunlight, holy water, and whatever else kills those guys. I know all I know from BtVS and 'The Lost Boys.'

I think I too am sleep deprived.


Jenna Black said...

You seem to be a woman after my own heart. I looove that kind of dark subject matter (as anyone who reads my next book with the Killer vampire hero will discover). I will eagerly await your book. LOL