On Vampires…

From a guest blog at N.O.R. on

“…I want to discuss something with all of you. My newest book, Blood & Sex, Volume 2: Jonas, came out this month, and all this talk about my vampires got me to thinking. What has us so enthralled by these mythical leaches?

I’ve researched this while working on the Blood & Sex series, though each of the vampires is shaping up to represent a single fetish. The more that I write and chat with readers, the more I learn that these creatures represent a deeper need that is often hidden, even from us.

What is so danged hot about vampires anyway?

It seems that even from the first vampire story, sexuality and the vampire are permanently united. Long before the modern dark romances became acceptable, if not mainstream, the vampires were bad guys. They were frightening monsters, closely related to the modern zombie. Still, a few stories featured attractive beings such as Dr. John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” and Sheridan Le Fanu’s seductive female in “Carmilla”. Dracula and a few of his contemporaries also tempted young women into dark deeds. The mind control that generally came along with the character’s powers excused the sensual familiarity that the vampire’s embrace demanded, allowing the victim (and the reader) to experience the sexual experience without the guilt heaped on by religion and society.

After the sexual revolution of the sixties, vampires came out of the roles as villains or guilty pleasures, and moved into the hero category. Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows started the sympathetic version of the monster with the elements of undying love in the story line. This daytime gothic soap opera made the vampire an endearing personality for the masses.

Anne Rice turned the monster into a sexy protagonist with much of his humanity intact, beginning with Interview with the Vampire. For many readers, the series was their first look at sensual stories and positive homosexuality in fiction. Today, Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight saga brings the vampire hero to the next generation through Edward Cullen. Although the story is far from being an erotic romance, Edward and Bella’s relationship smolders with the promise of more throughout the series. Their sexual relationship is one of the main conflicts and is, for many teens, the first brush with eroticism in literature. Even a generation ago, this combination of vampire and teen sexuality would have been unacceptable.

What does it mean?

I’m convinced that the vampire’s ascension to the hero in our modern myths is directly tied to the sexual liberation of our society. As we grow in the acceptance of our needs and the needs of others, our vampires become more mainstream and openly sexual. For some, they still represent an acceptable submission to another through no weakness of our own, as does the fantasy of mind control. For others, it is the draw of a lover with centuries of practice. In any case, these preternatural creatures represent the darker needs in us, which have remained taboo throughout our history, especially for women.

When I asked Lisa Lane, my friend and author of the popular new vampire series The Darkness and the Night, what vampires meant to her, she replied:

“I believe the fascination so many people have with vampires stems to the primal, basic urges that course through every human being. Vampires represent the wild, hungry creature that exists within us all, and the fantasies surrounding them allow us safely to explore hard-wired issues such as control and submission. We are all animals, but we are also all civilized beings; in exploring the animal, however, I believe we are able better to understand the human.”

Your Opinion

This reference to animals from Lisa made me thinking more about the role that werewolves play within this vampire lore, but I’ll save that for another blogging day.

In the end, vampires are all of the above, depending on my mood, and that’s obvious in the dominant natures and fetishes explored in my vamp series.

That’s why I’d like to hear from you.

What do vampires represent to you? Is it simply the strength and danger of the mythical creature? Or is it something deeper?

Post a comment today, I’ll automatically enter you in the drawing for a free copy of Blood & Sex, Vol. 1: Michael.

Until next time…
Angela

If you want to know more about me and the guys of the Blood & Sex series, check out my blog at angelacameron.wordpress.com. You can also find excerpts at http://www.ravenousromance.com/ and at my website http://www.angela-cameron.com/.”

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My Blog Stop

Come on over to my stop on the Ravenous Romance blog tour! We’re discussing what the most important thing is to bring to readers.

Also, read a new excerpt from Blood & Sex, Vol. 1: Michael. #c7313208673027576991#c7313208673027576991.

Welcome Author Meredith Holmes!

Today, we have the honor of chatting with our guest blogger, author Meredith Holmes. She is one of my fellow writers with Drollerie Press and a very talented storyteller. For her blog post, she’s been kind enough to give us the story of how she got started as a writer. –Angie

     In the beginning… Well, there was me. Hi. This blog tour we’re (mostly!) talking about origins–our origins as writers, the origins of our stories…Maybe Origins stores. Who knows! I think most writers have a similar start–their imaginations, especially as kids. I know I did. I’d make up stories all day long to tell my stuffed animals, my brothers, my mom… Stories about the plastic Native American figure that survived the cold war and ended up in my bedroom (I’d made him into a lost descendant of Geronimo, his spirit trapped in the plastic drugstore toy that one of my uncles had purchased decades ago), stories about how the large tree outside the bedroom window was actually a woman and I sort of let my writing sit on the back burner for a while. I was actually first published in elementary school. I wrote a haiku about a kitten and it was put in the little school newsletter that was handed out at PTA meetings and in the language arts classes. “You should write more,” my mom and maternal grandma both told me. I blushed and rolled my eyes (sarcastic even at six). I would poke at it, making “books” with ruled paper and pretty wrapping paper as the cover, held together with brads or staples. Short stories that, looking back now, make me cringe but for a seven year old or ten year old, weren’t too bad (in my honest opinion *wink* ). I was too obsessed with becoming an actress at that point though and thought of writing as something someone else did, make me a script or write a book about me! In junior high I was asked to read a short story in an assembly. Wow. Intimidation, anyone? I glowed, I shuddered, I read, and I tucked the praise away for later, refusing to believe I might be good at anything, the self-defeatist certainty that adolescents seem to revel in making sure I believed that.

by Meredith Holmes, Drollerie Press

by Meredith Holmes, Drollerie Press

transformed at night. Stories about gremlins under the bed to scare my little brothers, about ghosts in the woods (sensing a theme here?), elves and faeries, imps and demons. As I grew older the stories evolved, took shape and form and texture as I read more and expanded my literary world (I was very precocious reading-wise and read way above level, which might explain some comments on my Language Arts papers from elementary school…).

     Years passed and I began to dabble in journalism. Nothing serious–newsletters for campus projets while in college, technical writing for an anthropology project that was to be published in a journal, and some tentative poking at “unembedded journalism” which left me burned after the alleged publisher for the paper ran off with all of our articles and tried to pass them off as his own. I wrote a short story that was published on Byzarium (it’s now on Drollerie’s site) but I didn’t think much on fiction or “seriously pursuing” a writing career. During this time I had finished college and begun grad school, attempted a career at teaching but all the while kept coming back to my flights of imagination. I had notebooks of half-formed plots and ideas, pictures cut out or described which made me think of characters I was sure that I’d never use. Then one day, I was introduced to National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, for short. My dear friend who told me about it had participated in it herself a few times and said I should give it a try (she had seen my notebooks!). I hemmed, I hawed, I signed up a month or so in advance but I didn’t give it much thought. At least not until one day soon before the start of NaNoWriMo when I was in a local New Age shop and saw a beautiful card depicting a male faerie: he was dressed in semi-Edwardian garb and had hair the color of autumn leaves, nearly translucent wings that were almost nonexistent against the brightly swirled background of holly and snow. “Cadfael,” I said aloud. “That’s Cadfael.” And like that, Unseelie was born. I couldn’t tear myself away from NaNoWriMo whenever I had a free moment and I eventually wrote Unseelie, Stone Circles and A Year and a Day–the three novellas which would become known as Unseelie.

I haven’t looked back, really–it’s been a rollercoaster ride getting published and now working on two more novels to submit and several short stories but sometimes, when someone asks me where it began, I do think of the kitten haiku and I tell them about my overactive imagination.

Visit Meredith’s blog at: http://meredithholmes.wordpress.com/ 

My First Guest Blog

The Drollerie Press authors are guest blogging!

Stop by the following sites to see the authors. The links are all on the Drollerie site at http://drolleriepress.com/

Please, don’t forget to see my first released character interview. It’s at

http://ndhansen-hill.blogspot.com/2009/01/today-id-like-to-welcome-angela-cameron.html

I’m interviewing Torin (the vampire) from my novella Nocturne, from Drollerie Press.