Sunday, 11 October 2009

Okay, the vampire thing

So, as I've toured around the US I've been asking 'who wants to be a writer?' and there's been a fair response. And most of you seem to be writing vampire stories.
Hasn't this bandwagon rolled? Does the world need more vampire books?
First, let me state I was reading vampire fiction before most of you were born (okay, not before Jon Mayhew was born). I love vampires. Like most of you, I went through a period (brief, but distinct) when I wanted to be one. Or maybe it was just me? Alas I'd have resembled the Count Orloks of the vampire kingdom rather than the Lestats. Anne Rice is a writer I've mentioned at various points and she was the one who brought vampires into the spotlight. Not as the villains, but as the tragic centre-stage dark heroes that they've now become. If there had been no Louis, the melancholy vamp in Interview with a Vampire, there would be no Edward Cullen.
So, you want to write a vampire story. I will not stop you. No-one will. But...
What makes yours so very different from the others? What are you saying about vampires than no-one else has said? For Anne Rice is was the struggle between knowing good v. instinctive evil. For Meyers it is the tension between the longing of desire and the consumation of that desire. Simply put, with vampires it is always sex and death. These are, arguably, the driving forces behind us all. Our desire for immortality (the survival of our genes) is acheived by the one to 'defeat' the other. We cheat death through procreation. We cheat death with life. Vampires cheat death with death.
Please, believe in you vampires. Make them live in all their undead glory, but say something new. Vampires appeal endless because they answer the ultimate riddle: life/death. This will always fascinate us and aren't all religions, to some degree, based on trying to answer this riddle? What does it mean to you? What does it mean in your writing?
In most religions, and certainly the subject of Devil's Kiss, we have an immortal component. Our souls are eternal. The flesh dies but that is not to end. For those of you who have read DK you know the price that's paid in giving up your soul. You gain phyisical/vampiric immortality at the cost of your divine immortality. You are damned.
Make your vampires dark, tragic heroes. Make them blood-lusting fiends. Make them anything you want. Just make them special.

1 comment:

SMidlock said...

This was spot on! Got me thinking, although before I wrote my book, I wanted it to be very different than those I have read already.

Thank you!