Paranormal vs. Science-Based Vampires
So, when I agreed to do a guest blog here at paranormality universe I was mid-book (as usual), not paying much attention, and just said “Yes, fine, I’ll do it.” And then the day started drawing nearer and I came to see what others had done here and immediately began to panic. You see, my vamps aren’t cursed or the walking dead, and I have no zombies, were-animals, witches, demons, etc. In fact, much to my horror, my books aren’t paranormal at all! I’m an impostor! What was I thinking when I said yes? Obviously, I wasn’t thinking at all.
As per my usual modus operandi, I immediately went squawking to my husband about it. And in typical male fashion he peered at me like I’d sprung a leak (in the head) and said, “Yes, your books are paranormal.”
“Nope, sci fi, maybe,” said I, ”But I don’t have curses, walking dead, etc.” He just shrugged and said, “Its fine. They’re vamps. Stop panicking.”
So, what did I do? I looked up paranormal in the Merriam Webster dictionary online (of course, it wasn’t with the express intention of going back downstairs and quoting the dictionary definition to him in a “ha, ha I’m right,” sort of way. . . I would never do that—snort). Anyway, the definition I found was “Not scientifically explainable: supernatural” Sigh. While I would rather it had turned out that he was right, he wasn’t, and I was. You see, while my vamps are ancient, usually fanged, need blood, and can read and control minds as the typical vamps are said to do, they can’t fly or turn into rats or bats . . . and they are scientifically explainable. So, I hope you’ll forgive me for masquerading as a paranormal author and blogging here today.
That quandary, whether I was paranormal or not, however, is what decided me on my topic: Paranormal versus science-based vampires.
I should say I didn’t set out to write scientifically based vamps. A conversation with a couple of writing friends about doing an anthology together merely brought about some cute ideas for my own short story; a vamp that fainted at the sight of blood (the heroine in A Quick Bite) and for a vamp on a shopping trip in a grocery store (a scene in Single White Vampire). We never did the anthology, but those ideas stuck in my mind and I started considering doing some vampire novels. Well, I immediately ran into trouble. It was the whole dead, cursed, soulless thing. I write romantic comedy as a rule and dead guys with sharp, sharp fangs just aren’t that sexy to me. (I don’t know why I don’t mind if they’re alive with sharp, sharp teeth, and I guess this aversion to dead fanged-ones blows any possibility of future excursions into necrophilia for me, but hey, I can deal with it.)
So, I had a problem. I started looking for possible causes of vampirism that weren’t curses or dead guys. Science was the obvious answer, but our technology is only now starting to explore nanos. That meant the vamps would either be the result of new technology, human but young (no older than eighty or so since it would have to be people alive today) or aliens with advanced technology. Hmm. Neither appealed to me and I had to think for a while before I came up with the end result. My main problem was I wanted them to be old. Odd, huh? Maybe not.
An earlier blogger mentioned the attraction of vamps, and the one thing they didn’t mention was that they’re often old, and therefore have seen a lot, experienced a lot, are probably smarter than the average bear (nothing turns me on like a smart man) and have known a LOT of women over their hundreds of years . . . which makes their choosing the heroine super special. I wanted that for my vamps, but how to manage it? Atlantis was my answer. That mythical land rumored to have been technologically advanced, and to have existed but disappeared a long, LONG time ago. (myth? That’s slightly paranormal, right? Okay, ignore me, I’m just indulging in wishful thinking here) Anyway, the result was a highly advanced society, Atlantis, that developed what would have been considered a miracle cure in the form of nanos that used blood to power themselves as well as to travel through the body making repairs. It gave me old vamps that hungered for blood (to support the nanos and repairs) but weren’t dead or cursed. WOOWEE! The stories just started to flow then, and yes, stories in the plural.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading the dead guy versions, I just can’t seem to write stories unless I believe it’s possible, and for me, dead guys walking the earth lusting after mortal blood . . . well, it gives me chills and makes me glance over my shoulder, but I don’t really believe it when I sit down and reason it out. So for me, the slightly fantastic, but maybe possible some day in the future, version of vamps are far more fun. But I know they’re not to everyone’s taste. I have received letters from disappointed readers looking for dark, dead vamps. Well, one or two anyway. I also receive letters from those who prefer the scientific vamps.
What about you? The dark, dead vamps? Or science based vamps that may be possible? Write a comment and state your preference and your names will all be put in a draw for a copy of The Rogue Hunter. The winner will be announced here on the evening of the 23rd. I'll send a copy to the winner as soon as I get them. (It’s not out till September 30th and I haven’t got my copies yet but I’m sure I will soon.) Good luck!
The Rogue Hunter - September 30 2008
Single White Vampire - November 25 2008
Devil of the Highlands - January 27 2009
The Immortal Hunter - March 31 2009