What are the origins of vampires?
While the word “vampire” is a relatively new term (circa 1800’s), the idea of bloodsucking undead has been around since the dawn of time. Some legends state that simply being buried improperly can cause a human to reanimate as a vampire, Slavic legends for example. Other legends stat that one must have committed a heinous crime to become the undead. There are other legends about animals jumping over a corpse.
Some popular ideas that have been adapted to fiction, have vampires as the children of Cain or Lilith. Still more involve demonic spirits and possessions. If we seek far back into mythology you’ll find the Greeks and Romans believed in demonic spirits themselves and in many ways they were the prototype of the common vampire of today.
That hooked me! I love ancient mythology and happened across some very interesting similarities between creatures of the ancient Greek world and the vampires I wanted to create.
The Keres, in fact were dead ringers for what I had in mind. Daughters of the Greek Titan Nyx, goddess of the night, these creatures are described as winged female death spirits with an insatiable lust for human blood. Perfect!
According to my research they were also one of the evils released when Pandora opened the fabled box. While they sound fearsome and probably would be, they weren’t exactly evil. They existed in a murky gray area of morality. They were agents of the fates, also known as Death Fates. They did not attack people openly or without reason. They did however; hang around battles waiting for someone to fall. That’s when they swarmed, finishing the poor dying man off, savoring their blood as they sent his soul to Hades. They essentially sped a person’s fate on to its course. If you were going to die, they’d be there to do it and drink your blood at the same time.
I fell in love, not literally of course, with the creature and knew I just had to base my vampire legend off of them somehow.
In the first book, Immortalis Carpe Noctem, Lysander explains to Alyssa the origin of the vampire species. He tells her that the first “vampire” was created by a mating of one of the Keres with a dying man she encountered on the battlefield. The resulting child was immortal, like its mother, and carried the same insatiable bloodlust, but had the features of its father. Being a hybrid and the only one of its kind, Nyx (essentially Grandma) cursed it to the night so that she could keep watch and protect it.
The use of the legend doesn’t stop there however. As the Immortalis series progresses we delve deeper and deeper into the history. In Hunters & Prey, we are reminded of the fact that a human-turn-vampire is not a dead creature, they are “changed” but that change must happen properly. If not done correctly it will create a hideous abomination. In the third book in this series Pandora’s Box (Should be in Print Fall 2011), we’ll delve even deeper into the legends origins and learn more about the first vampire and what became of it.
Needless to say I really do love my vampires and the legends they spawned from and I hope you will too.
The exciting sequel to Immortalis Carpe Noctem.
Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She's still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum's most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she's missed more than anything.
Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan. Worse yet, her revelation entangles Fallon in the struggle between vampires and hunters and The Acta Sanctorum is ready to attack again, with a new army of hybrid creations: the Frenzy Soldiers.
If Alyssa hopes to survive and keep her mortal friend safe, she'll have to be willing to make a deal with the enemy, and regain her clan's support. It will take everyone working together in a precarious truce to fight against the Acta Sanctorum's new threat.
Books in the Immortalis series:
Immortalis Carpe Noctem
Immortalis Hunters & Prey
Immortalis Pandora's Box (2011)
Other Books by Katie Salidas
House of Immortal Pleasures
Author of the hot new Urban Fantasy series, Immortalis, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she's dreamed up fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires at an early age, she devoured every book, featuring those mysterious, blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find. She claims that, of all the monsters out there, vampires had always been the most interesting.
It was only natural that a love of reading about vampires, and a love of writing, turned into a desire to write her own stories.
A Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin, Katie loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories.
Facebook Author Fansite http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katie-Salidas-Author/214780936916
Visit Katie during her tour: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2010/12/27/immortalis-hunters-prey-virtual-book-tour-january-2011/