Vampires: Good Guys or Bad Guys?
by Kat Duarte
Happy Holidays, everyone. It’s great to be here as a guest at Fangtastic Books where there are so many like-minded readers and authors. I’ve been looking forward to getting your feedback on one of my favorite topics: vampires.
I’ve often wondered what it is about vampires that makes them so appealing to our imaginations. Danger, elegance, eternal life. Vampires represent such a mixed bag of hopes and fears. I’m sure that whether we view them more as a threat or as tragic, romantic figures depends on our exposure to literature, films, and television.
For example, my first impression of vampires was comprised of the curious yin yang of Bela Lugosi’s Count Dracula in the old 1931 film (seen on “Creature Features” at a very young age) and Al Lewis’s portrayal of Grandpa on The Munsters. That contrast really left me wondering what to think about vampires! As an adult, the strongest influences that shaped my perspective were Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Rice’s Louis and Lestat have stayed in my imagination as much as Whedon’s Angel and Spike. (I’ve got to say that Lestat and Spike tickle my fancy the most, though.)
In my writing, I still go back and forth on my views about vamps. In Rise of the Wolf, my first book for Eternal Press, the werewolves are the good guys and the vampires are the bad guys, but of course that didn’t stop me from writing the vampire as sexy and desirable. Take the scene where my heroine Hilary first sees the vampire who’s on her trail.
Excerpt from Rise of the Wolf:
...she nonetheless noted his wavy black shoulder length hair and the ample pecs playing peek-a-boo beneath his unbuttoned white silk shirt that glowed and glistened—both the shirt and his pecs—in the bright moonlight. He also sported some mighty tight black trousers and an impeccably tailored black coat that reached past his well-muscled thighs to end mid-calf. The quality of his clothes shouted serious money although his fashion sense was just as seriously stuck somewhere in the 1800s...
...She couldn’t seem to stop staring at him. After all, he had such dark, deep glowing red eyes. What? Wait a minute.
But why should you wait? Your skin in the moonlight looks as soft and radiant as pearl. Do you not yearn to be caressed?
She would have sworn his lips didn’t move. His voice was so gentle, warm, sensuous, intimate as though he were inside her thoughts, her soul.
Then somehow, without moving, he had covered the space between them and stood next to her, pressed against her, leaning over her. His soft hair tickled her cheek. His breath whispered across her lips as he parted them with a flick of his hot tongue. The kiss was light, soft, then firmer and deeper, the deft movement filling her with the promise of such delights to come that her knees actually began to give way. He caught her, one of his arms bracing her at the deepest curve of her back, the other wrapped so that he cradled her neck in the palm of his hand....
...His chest muscles were sculpted white marble in the moonlight, like some statue from the ancient world, but he was warm to her eager touch. His muscles rippled as she snaked her nails under white silk and up his back. She grasped his shoulders, desperate to make them fit together as one.
I’m currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled “April’s Moon” where, once again the Vamps and Lycanths will duke it out. Vampires are still the bad guys, but I couldn’t stop myself from writing the full gamut of vamps from a super-evil vampire clan leader to a newly-made vampire who is definitely not cut out for the full-evil lifestyle.
So, my question to all of you Fangtastic fans out there is this:
What type of vampire do you prefer, dark and dangerous? sensitive and romantic? Or some unique combination from your own dreams?
Email a short description of your version of the perfect vamp to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight December 8, 2010.
One lucky entrant will win a matted copy of the limited print “The Autumn Danse” from photographer Lilly Prinn, shown below. (Note: watermark of title and name are for copyright protection only and do not appear on print.)
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BLURB for Rise of the Wolf:
City girl Hilary Samuels had no idea that Murphy’s Law was about to kick into high gear on the first night of the Hunters Moon. One flat tire on a country road and a skid into a cornfield later, she finds herself in a face-off with an evil but seductive vampire. Add to that one huge werewolf who leap in to save the day.
Anyone else would scurry back to the more conventional hazards of life in Chicago, but Hilary moved to the city’s far distant suburb of McKenna with an agenda. If she makes a success of the new Café Lotti, it will mean a promotion to manager for the next new Lotti in the heart of the city. But just how do you build your customer base when stalked by the undead? Not to mention that the hot, hunky head of your company turns out to be the werewolf who charged to your rescue?
When C.E.O. Nathan Sutton admits he’s her shape-shifting protector, Hilary suspects there’s something else he’s not telling her. Will the secret he reveals have the power to bond them together forever or will it rip her life apart?