"An ambiguously coded figure, a source of both erotic anxiety and corrupt desire, the literary vampire is one of the most powerful archetypes bequeathed to us from the imagination of the nineteenth century." ~ page 2 introduction to Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture
Intellectual Vampire Quote
"If the vampire is an other, he or she was always a figure in whom one could find one's self...the despicable as well as the defiant, the shameful as well as the unashamed, the loathing of oddness as well as pride in it." ~ Richard Dyer
Detroit’s a city lush with storytelling possibilities. The landscape provides so many real-world places with history behind them that made Detroit an irresistible setting for EMBERS and SPARKS. Given the heroine’s ties to fire as an arson investigator and the owner of a fire salamander familiar, Detroit was a natural choice as a location. It’s got a history of fires going back to the one that leveled the city in 1805, right up to Devil’s Night arsons in the twentieth century.
Devil's Night was traditionally the night before Halloween, October 30. In the 1930s, it began as general mischief, but escalated to arson and serious crime by the 1970s. From the 1970s through the 1990s, hundreds of arsons and vandalisms were reported each year on the days surrounding Devil's Night.
The crimes prompted the organization of Angel's Night in 1995. In 1995, more than 30,000 volunteers patrolled the city. Devil's Night crime began to decline from then to the present day.
In 2009, groups such as Blight Busters and New York's Guardian Angels gathered volunteers to patrol Detroit's neighborhoods, concerned that the economic downturn that has struck the city will fuel more crime. The real estate crisis has left thousands of homes abandoned, which may be fuel for further arsons for opportunistic or insurance fraud purposes.
I'm hopeful that history will remain just that - history - and that there will be a quiet night this year. Fire makes wonderful fodder for fiction, in terms of fire salamanders and dragons...but no one wants to see it come to life.
Laura Bickle is an urban fantasy writer, tech nerd, and feral cat rancher. She’s the author of Embers and Sparks for Pocket-Juno Books in 2010.