I know, it sounds like I’m touting some kind of super-power deodorant, but really I’m hear to talk about vampires, and how while everyone says they are so popular that the genre should be dead, it’s really anything but. I mean we are talking the undead here.
Yes, I’ll admit, for those of us with Buffy-love in our heart, Twilight brought vampires to a whole new audience and between that and HBO’s TrueBlood, vampires do seem to be everywhere supersaturing the market. But that doesn’t mean everything that can be done with these fascinating denizens of the dark, has been done. Case in point, my new mini-series for Harlequin Nocturne, the Sons of Midnight. The first book in the series, The Truth About Vampires, just hit store shelves this week and already reviewers are commenting about how it’s something fresh and different than they’ve seen in vampires before, but appealing to those of us who dig fangs.
Our ability to create something fresh is only limited by imagination. When I was creating “Theresa’s version of vampires” I tried to keep the myths that made biological sense to me and discard the others, making up some that were knew along the way. For instance, my vampires can certainly withstand sunlight, but it gives them one heck of a migraine, similar to what you might get if you left the eye doctor’s office after having your eyes dilated. This made biological sense to me. My vampires’ vision is sharper, so like other predators in nature, wouldn’t their eyes be more sensitive to light?
I also looked at garlic and stakes and thought, hey, really, I’m half Italian (and my hero in The Truth About Vampires, Dmitri is full Italian), is it fair to have to cut out garlic? No. So my vampires can eat it if they choose to, but they do have preternaturally sharp sense of smell, like other predators in nature, so it could be obnoxious to get close to a clove. As for stakes, they are going to sting, but if you’re talking about a creature with a fast healing ability and superior strength a little stick is going to be annoying but not take them down.
Sure there are a few things, however, that do impact my vampires. Silver acts as a disruptor to their nervous system’s electrical impulses. Dead man’s blood is a swift acting poison if it gets beneath their skin or is ingested (which makes sense if you consider there’s no life force left in it, so it’d be like snacking on out of date cheese which could make you sick.) My vampires are also impacted by a precious metal called orichalcum. We’ve forgotten how this alloy is produced, but it was originally mentioned by Plato in his writings about Atlantis. My vampires also possess a venom that can liquefy flesh like some species of spiders. And perhaps the biggest nod to biology of all was the fact that my vampires are created by means of a virus. In nature viruses can take down even a top predator. It made sense to me that they could change humans. I also gave my vampires the ability to change themselves to suit the most intimate fantasies of their prey. And why not? If you’ve got a superior predator, shouldn’t they have superior skills?
I also happen to be a bit of a history nut, so I took bits and pieces of mythology, Minoan, Etruscan, Greek and blended them together to form a history for my vampire culture, explaining how it all started and the involvement of the gods in the creation of vampires in the first place by means of the virus. And my vampire society has different facets that are somewhat medieval in nature. Most of the civilized vampires live in clans with a laird and a council that lead them. The laird and council answer to a knight which in turn answers to vampire royalty. But there are those outside these structured societies – reviers, who like the Scottish border reviers merely subsist on the fringes of good society by taking what they need and moving often.
Mix in the whole revelation to humanity that vampire do exist by an investigative reporter determined to win a Pulitzer, and you can see that The Truth About Vampires is only the beginning of how these two societies will learn to live with one another out in the open and that my take on vampires is a little bit different.
As I said, a fresh take on a genre of characters we already love is only limited to imagination. Writers can make the undead fresh again. We just have to love them and embrace the unknown.
The Truth About Vampires info:
The Truth About Vampires
Harlequin Nocturne - Vampire Romance
March 1, 2011
Pulling back the veil on a world shrouded in darkness, Theresa Meyers' stunning debut reveals a sinfully handsome vampire whose secret is about to exposed...
All her life Seattle reporter Kristin Reed sought her breakout story. She never thought she'd find it in the crimson lair of a real life creature of the night. Kristin never believed vampires existed—until with dark brooding eyes and a decadent chocolate scent, Dmitri Dionotte called out to her...
Dmitri and his clan's true nature was cloaked in secrecy until a warring vampire order threatened their existence. Kristin was just the woman he needed. She couldn't resist their story...or Dmitri. Her blood pulsed hot and furious when he touched her, and with his kiss, all logic fled. But each night she spent with her vampire lover brought her closer to death and destruction. A death not even an immortal could triumph over.
Theresa Meyers Bio:
Raised by a bibliophile who made the dining room into a library, Theresa has always been a lover of books and stories. First a writer for newspapers, then for national magazines, she started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer's Digest course and putting the book under the bed until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993.
In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, three cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd puppy, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden.