Sunday, March 07, 2010

Bring on the bad guys!

It’s been a strange week for me, vampire-wise. Not only is the theme of this week’s blogs ‘Vampires’, but just yesterday I saw a hilarious comedy, Lesbian Vampire Killers, and one of my stories, ‘Bite Deep’, became available for reissue. I have to admit, I’m something of a purist when it comes to certain subjects. Monsters are one of those subjects, and vampires are monsters. Even the lesbian ones.

There are those who like the ‘glitter in the sun’ vampires. Some balk at the glitter but have no problem with sexy heroism. Some dislike the sex but have no problem with dark brooding heroism. And let’s not forget the science fiction version, vampirism as a disease with blood as the cure.

Not me. Vampires are monsters, whether the story is a comedy or a tragedy. They are defined by all manner of bad things.

Of course, they can also be good characters. The man whose own nature betrays him, or the wicked sinner who gets what he deserves. A creature that was once a man but now isn’t can still work up a good case of angst, trying to be what it had been. The awareness of fading humanity is good ground for tragedy if the victim was a good man, and villainy if he was not. Or perhaps the awareness of fading humanity will lead a villain to try to become a good man, far too late. Dark and brooding non-heroism.

So far I have used vampires twice. My novel A Warrior Made features a villain who becomes the first vampire. Surprised the hell out of me, too, I didn’t realize that’s what he was until after I’d finished the book. ‘Bite Deep’ features the People of the Fallen Blood, born of an evil act and spending their immortality trying to atone for it. I was asked to write a story about fire. Somehow that became a vampire Christmas Carol. It was the right season, at least.

Don’t get me started about werewolves–!

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