Thursday, January 19, 2012

Guest Blog with Tracey Cooper-Posey

Don’t Like Apple?  Switch to DOS and Become a Vampire

I’ve written a good many vampire novels now.  The fanged ones have featured in over half-a-dozen of my invented universes.  I always like to explain in my fictional universes not just where vampires came from and how they came into being (or at least hint at it in the shorter works), but I also like to explain (or outline) why vampires are vampires:  how their physiologies work, and why they are the way they are.

Of course, I have to figure that out for myself, too, and often, coming up with answers for each new book or series, means I end up supplying myself with some really good source material for conflict, problems or interesting scenes and character building.

It would be fair to say that I’ve spent a fair amount of time ruminating about how a vampire might form and how his or her physiology might work under all sort of interesting situations.  If you’d like to see an extended version of my warped mind at work, flip over to “Vampires and Body Fluids.  I Was Just Wondering [].”  -- but make sure you come back here to read the rest of the good stuff!

For me, it’s not good enough to simply say vampires exist because they’re magic and therefore they just are.  I mean, you can certainly say that.  Magic excuses and creates a whole lot of things in the paranormal world. 

But ultimately, it’s just not all that satisfying.  It’s like having a get out of jail free card:  The game doesn’t feel exciting enough if you know you can escape scott free by producing the card if you get caught.  The stakes are not high enough.  The game isn’t real enough.

Television and movies learned and understand this lesson about fiction and reader satisfaction extremely well.  There are always limits to power and consequences when it is used, especially when it isn’t used wisely.  I spent an entire other post on this blog tour, talking about the consequences of paranormal powers, so I won’t get into that side issue here.

But I will point out that True Blood is a very good example of a vampire world that demonstrates the writers have thought about the constructs and limitations of their vampires’ physiologies, and built those limitations into the story and character conflicts.  There’s one particularly powerful scene that MM and MMF romance lovers should remember well:  Sam’s dream in the first episode of Season 3, when Bill comes to visit.  I won’t lay down spoilers here, but if you’re curious and don’t mind spoilers, you can click through and check out pictures and all the spoilers you want here [] (but come back!).

I construct histories and physiologies for my vampires, along with powers and talents.  In Blood Knot, for example, because Winter is able to reach inside people’s physiologies by touch, she is able to analyse vampires and she figures out they are running what amounts to a different operating system, while their human operating system is in hibernation.  Sort of like Apple and DOS (what we know as Windows, these days)...or should that be BOS (Blood Operating System?).  She is able to switch on one or the other temporarily (and at cost),

In the Beloved Bloody Time series, I went in a different direction altogether.  The series is set in the 23rd century, and for the first time in one of my vampire worlds, vampires are “out” and known to humans.  I thought it would make sense to have figured out by then that vampires are what they are because of a symbiot creature that resides in their blood, feeding on it.  They need blood to feed the symbiot, who in turn maintains and restores their physiologies in exactly the same state the symbiot found it in when it took up residence, once it repaired any ill-health.

This was a bit of a twist on my usual take on vampires for me, because it takes away any “magic” or paranormal slant.  It’s a scientific explanation.  Oh, there’s still a ton of paranormal stuff going on in the series, including century’s worth of time-travelling.  There’s also a lot of romance and sexy stuff jammed in there, too. ;)  But the vampires have spent a couple of centuries justifying their existence to humans, so they’ve scrambled to learn more about themselves, and their knowledge spills out across the pages of the book as they constantly struggle to maintain a legitimate place in the world against a whole swathe of people who would rather vampires had never really existed in the first place, as the excerpt below will show you.

Bannockburn Binding
by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Time is theirs to keep. But it comes with a price.

MMF Urban Fantasy Futuristic Time Travel Romance Serial

In the early 23rd Century, vampires learned how to travel back in time, and created a time-tsunami that threatened life as we know it, until they corrected their mistake.  They created the Chronometric Conservation Agency, which is tasked with preserving history and therefore protecting humanity’s future.  The Touring arm of the Agency offers trips back into the real past, with vampire guides, called travellers.

When Natalia (Tally) Marta, vampire and traveller, takes her client to visit the siege of Stirling Castle in 1314, she is caught and held hostage for ransom by Robert MacKenzie, a Bruce clansman.  Rob finds himself drawn to the wilful, stubborn and very different English lady he has captured and the relationship becomes an intimate, highly-charged sexual pairing.  Swiftly, Tally and Rob realize their bond is more than sexual, that the emotions stirring their hearts are true.

Christian Lee Hamilton, vampire, one of the last true southern gentlemen, and Tally’s ex-lover, knows the 1314 time marker enough to jump back and help Tally return home. His arrival at Bannockburn adds complications, for Christian finds himself drawn to Rob MacKenzie as much as Tally is.  But neither of them can stay in the past forever.  To do so means certain death.
Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2012
All Rights Reserved.

Ursella Shun hated vampires with a carefully hidden distaste and all-encompassing prejudice that humans in bygone centuries had once held for different races and religions. Ursella Shun was the twenty-third century’s bigot.

Which was why someone with a sense of ironic humor had appointed her the head of the Historical Defense Bureau, which had oversight jurisdiction of the Chronometric Conservation Agency. It was Ursella’s monthly inspection tour of the Agency, and as usual she was making her tour in person.

Nayara sent Lee Hamilton to meet Shun at Halfway Station and escort her the rest of the way to the Agency. Who better to smooth Shun’s feathers and put her in a good mood than a genuine Southern gentleman who had been raised within a system of intricate bigotry and racial differentiation?

The fact that he could draw a sword, take Shun’s head off and sheath it again before she had time to open her mouth and scream probably wouldn’t even occur to Shun. Christian Lee Beauregard Jackson Hamilton knew how to pour on the charm when he needed to.

So Nayara hovered in the receiving lounge, watching the shuttle nudge its way up against the docking clamps with infinite care, and laughed at her own nervousness. The station went through this craziness every month, thanks to Shun insisting on visiting in person.  They should be used to it by now. But every month they turned themselves inside out trying to placate the diminutive Shun.

The bay doors flickered over to green. After a moment or two, the doors opened. Then Tinker, the human pilot, emerged. He gave Nayara the thumbs up, and headed down the passage toward the kitchen and the tiny office he used as his quarters when he arrived at the station. He would grab a quick meal and wait to return Shun to Halfway Station.

Then Ursella Shun and Christian emerged. Christian was bending over the tiny woman, listening respectfully as she spoke. He wore all black as he always did, which made his blonde hair seem even lighter. He glanced up, a single flicker of his green eyes, spotting Nayara. He lifted his hand, silently guiding Shun over toward Nayara as Shun continued to speak.

“Director Shun,” Christian said, breaking into Shun’s monologue. “See, Ms. Ybarra is waiting for you.”
Shun frowned, looking up at Nayara. “Nayara,” she acknowledged, brushing at the long skirt of her pristine white business dress.

“I trust your journey was comfortable, Director Shun?” Nayara asked. “Christian did procure you the best seat on the beanstalk, I trust?”

Shun’s lips thinned. “You know perfectly well I get vertigo in freefall.”

Nayara painted a smile on her face. “Of course, you are always more than welcome to take advantage of the shortest route here.”

Shun didn’t quite shudder. The quickest route to the agency involved direct contact with vampires. Flesh on flesh. Ursella would rather suffer through freefall and twelve hours of travel than have a vampire put their arms around her. But she would never say that aloud. Instead her face grew taut and her eyes neutral. “Of course,” she said stiffly. “Is Mr. Desmond in his office?”

“Ryan is waiting for you, yes.”

“Would you like me to show you the way, Ursella?” Christian asked.

“Thank you, no,” Ursella said shortly. “I know my way from here. Thank you for your company, Mr. Hamilton.” She nodded at him, and moved stiffly down the corridor toward the administration section of the station.

Christian blew out a long breath once she was out of hearing range.

Nayara rested a hand on his arm. “Thank you, Christian. What else can I say? I know what she is like, but with you, Ursella does arrive here in a more amenable mood.”

“Oh, I don’t mind soothing her for you, ma’am,” Christian replied, in his soft southern drawl. “Except I know that she’ll be in Ryan’s office for twenty seconds and he’ll have her all riled up once more. That Irish temper of his....” He shook his head.

“It’s not just Ryan,” Nayara pointed out. “Ursella isn’t always a diplomat, either.”

Christian gave her one of his slow, knowing smiles. “Ryan is the diplomat, Nayara. Why are you the one pouring all the oil on the waters, hmmm?”

She couldn’t help smiling. “Want me to pull rank and tell you where to put your nosy question?”

“If you want me to escort the wonderful Ms. Shun back to Halfway, I wouldn’t if I were you.” But he wore a smile, too.

“Damn it, Christian, you have no respect for your elders,” Nayara replied.

Christian touched his hand to an invisible hat brim. “I find it hard to remember to treat you as anything but a lady when you’re so beautiful and sexy, Nayara.” He turned, heading for the living quarters. “’tis little wonder Ryan’s temper is so unstable,” he said over his shoulder. “You really should consider putting him out of his misery, you know.”

Nayara eased the lurch of her heart Christian’s parting words had caused, and waited for her breathing to steady before she turned in the other direction and headed for Administration. Christian was irreverent, that was all. It didn’t mean he was accurate. He had simply been deflecting her gentle admonition back. Yes, that was it. He had been on the defensive.

Her mind and heart settled, Nayara tapped back into her messages and tasks as she walked, picking up the myriad strings of her busy day, deliberately dismissing Christian’s barb from her memory altogether.

After all, Christian was no judge. He had his own affaire de coeur troubles.
  • Erotic MMF romance, time travel, urban fantasy story line, on-going serial storylines.
  • This is the first book in the BELOVED BLOODY TIME series.
  • Futuristic settings:  Australia, near-planetary space.  Historical settings: Medieval Scotland, France.
  • Vampires and other fantasy species.
  • Available at Amazon: Kindle formatPrint format.
  • Available at All Romance eBooks: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.prc and Mobi), Rocket, ePub
  • Pages: 162 in PDF, including front matter. (Short novel-length story)
  • $2.99 in all electronic formats, and at all retailers.
  • $8.97 in print.
Tracy Cooper-Posey is a national award winning author, with more than 35 romance titles published since 1999. She writes mainly romantic suspense and paranormal romance, with brief forays into other romantic genres here and there. She has been nominated for three CAPA's for best paranormal romance, one CAPA for best historical romance, and the CAPA for Favourite Author, and has won the Emma Darcy Award.

…an author I’ll pick up simply because her name is on the cover.
Kristi Ahlers,

…reminded me of why I fell in love with reading in the first place.
M.M. Gwynn, eBookConnections

…touches the heart and makes you feel everything.
Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance

…writes books which deserve a place on keeper shelves everywhere!
Julie Bonello, ECataRomance Reviews
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1 comment:

Tracy Cooper-Posey said...

Hi Roxanne:

Thanks for having me here today. It's good to be here!

I hope it's a lot warmer wherever you are. It's 30- Celsius here today. That's -22 in Farenheit.