Sunday, December 14, 2008

Guest Blogger: Emma Petersen

The winner of Emma's book is: JSB (Jana)! Congratulations, Jana. Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Emma. Thanks to everyone who participated.

So this weekend friends and I went to see Twilight. They had been after me for a month or more to see it and finally after a bit of trickery (on their parts) we ended up in our local theater.

Let me preface this by saying like many of us, I grew up on Anne Rice and Bram Stroker. Until much later, after the paranormal/urban fantasy genres exploded, Anne Rice and Bram Stroker's world building and mythos were the only ones I knew. And even though I had started reading the books in my pre-teen years, neither book could be mistaken as young adult.

And maybe that is why I was barely, barely able to sit through Twilight. I'm embarrassed to say that even though I had gone to the theater (albeit unwillingly) with the understanding that the movie and the book it was based upon were targeted for a much younger audience, I didn't realize there might be an absent of "darkness" and/or violence.

I know, I know, silly Emma these vamps are for kids. Maybe I'm desensitized. Okay, I've been quoted as saying Saw was the feel good movie of the year and have been known to laugh at the most inappropriate times during "scary" movies, so yeah there's a good possibility I'm desensitized. But to the point where I would wish for blood and violence in an almost children's movie?

Umm yeah. I waited. Hoped. Prayed that one the Cullen clan would be reminiscent of Claudia or that Edward would lose control around Bella and bite her. Hard.

Le sigh. I know. I know. I should be ashamed of myself. But I'm not. And while I'm not a fan of vampire light, I'll still watch New Moon when it comes out, no doubt waiting, hoping, praying for violence the entire time because, hey, I'm me and it isn't often that vamp/were movies come out. At least I'll be prepared for the lack of darkness and violence, or I least I think I will.

So my reaction to Twilight got me thinking. (Never a good thing.) How did my early reading selections shape my voice?

1. I write my vamps like I like to read them. Dark, brooding, bent and bordering on evil.

2. Fear is a good thing. And yes, call me twisted (so wouldn't be the first time) but I happen to think fear can be a heady aphrodisiac. (Don't believe me? Here's a paragraph of two from my latest release, the first book in my Dating the Undead series:

As I waited in the lobby for my cab, I couldn't help but notice my heartbeat hadn't slowed, and what I thought was fear didn't feel like the kind I would have experienced normally. What was it about St. Nic that made me need to do stupid things?

What's so stupid about wanting to be with him?

Besides the fact that a lot of predators played with their food before they killed it?

I was getting myself worked up for nothing. St. Nic didn't want me.

Then why did it feel as if he were the one in control of my body? And why didn't I mind more?

I had almost been killed -- okay, maybe a slight exaggeration -- and it turned me on. A lot of girls liked a little pain with their pleasure, but wasn't this crossing the line?

3. Darkness is needed to balance the light. Because a vampire without the darkness is like a mall without shopping. A spa without a masseur. Slipknot without the masks. (My feelings often waver about that last one.)

So what about you? Don't be shy. You're among friends. We won't judge. (much.) Do you prefer vamp light or vamp dark? And why?

Leave your answer in the comments and you'll be entered to win a copy of Seducing St. Nic.

A winner will be selected Tuesday evening and posted here.


Blogger lindseye said...

Hi Emma, I think vampires in particular need an edge. The conflict between what they want and what they are is part of the story. The ability to kill is in their nature and when they hold off and develop feelings for their prey I want to know how they cage the hunger.

2:17 AM  
Blogger Caffey said...

Hi Emma! I understand about the feel of 'darkness' when I've seen or read any vampire stories, even the romance books because I don't read horror, but I do love the darkness in the romance books (but I'm not one will read ongoing violence and gore in the book but most Vampire Romances I read at EC in print etc, some have a great deep dark story within the book, that it makes it all more the real! Then again I love the variety of vampire romance that there is out there, including those with humor, and too Urban Fantasy. I just don't read any YA books. This period of time for me, I love the intensity of the romance. The mating of the h/h can be so intense and along with that all makes for a great read.
But I do know some readers love YA too. It just hasn't interested me yet. Same with the Harry Potter books, I just haven't had the mood to give them a try.
Nic sounds like the hero I want! Dark with the inside that tortured. My mood has wanted that for the time being and that's what I'm reading. I do really go with my mood when it comes to reading. I remember a very favorite of my authors that I always picked up and read right away. I tried to get into the humor softer side of the vampire romance, but I just could not do it at that time. I knew it was not anything else, it was me. I finally put it away and went on to other reads. One day I picked it up again and read it all day til it was done and it was great! So mood plays a big part with me. I do love them dark and disturbing, but not to the point of horror. That make sense?s

3:49 AM  
Blogger Caffey said...

Oh my, that was a long post, I'm so sorry, ROFL. I love to chat books, and got carried away, LOL

3:50 AM  
Blogger Tamsyn said...

Hello Emma, Congrats on your new release! To answer your question, I like both types of vampires although I would lean towards the dark ones. I would term Kresley Cole's Mackenzie vampires as 'light' and Christine Feehan's Dark series as 'dark' but I love them both. From the excerpts, I think Seducing St. Nic is going to be one hot read!

6:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like my vampires with an edge. Make them crawl into my psyche and make me crazy...heh.


7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Twilight. I'm much too happy/perky in my books (well most of the time!) And generally I can't even stand to read vamps because they're so bitey. Those puncture wounds, blood gushing, bleh. So I loved Twilight (and they had the blood biting bad vamps, too!) I bought the first two books in the series and can't wait to read them. The only thing I realized is that it's in first person, and I'm not a fan of first.

But your vamps books are good, Emma. I never get the dark/gross vibe and they're even funny!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Ruth Schaller said...

I love my vamp stories dark, but the lighter ones are okay too, such as Chris Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends. It had some really 'light' moments. But I'm not picky really. I love them either way!

8:58 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

I'm a big fan of the darker side, although I read and enjoyed the Twilight series. My favorites though would have to be Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG. Seriously. Do you guys know how hard it is to type with one hand? Okay get your minds out of the gutter. The way it’s raining it’ll get totally washed away. I’m typing with one hand because I have a 20lb black cat sleeping cradled in my arms. Seriously. When did I turn into a cat couch?

Thanks again Lynda so much for having me. I had a blast writing that post.

@ Lindseye – I think vamps (I can only speak for mine) cage their hunger because they don’t have very many other choices. At least where the heroine is concerned. I actually address this in the second Dating the Undead book, which I’m finishing up right now.

@ Caffey – I don’t read much YA. Hmm…trying to remember a YA I’ve read…Hmm…can’t remember one. I may make it a goal to read one next year.

And no worrys Caffey. We all get super passionate about books.

@ Pollyanna – Thanks! And loving both dark and light is awesome because you get twice the amount of books. Lucky. LOL.

@ Jana – Totally. That’s what Lynn Viehl’s Lucan did for me. OMG! I am so addicted to that series. If Angels Burn isn’t a modern day classic, I don’t know what is!

@ Shell – You know I think the biting is the best part. LOL. But I’ll behave and not go into details why I think that. Hehe.

@ Ruth – I haven’t read too much Chris Moore. I know, I know, shame on me. I read one book but I can’t remember the title.

@ Tetewa – I’m thinking of checking out New Moon because of the werewolf element but I haven’t made up my mind yet. I love that her weres are native.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Patricia Altner said...

I admit I like a bit of edge/danger with the vampire hero. Who wants nice when you can have a bad boy?

On the other hand I read Twilight and liked it very much. To me the vampires even the Cullens had some edge. But forget about sex - in Meyer's stories at least - there isn't any. A few kisses and that's it.

I would say don't judge the book by the movie.

Emma, looking forward to reading your book!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I haven't seen the movie isn't out here in Austria until January!!!

Oh and Lynda -

9:52 AM  
Blogger Tameka said...

Hi Emma! I would have to agree with you I like my vampire's more dark not totally evil mind you but I like when there ruthless killers to their enemies. Yet can be gentle and rough with the woman they love. It just so hot when their not wimps.

11:06 AM  
Blogger ThatBrunette said...

I'm used to a much darker, meaner, adult vampire. It took a while for me to get used to the angsty/anti-hero vampires that are popular, now.

I will admit that it took me until book two of Twilight to get in the groove.

My first vampire reading had them more as monsters/animals than lovers. Dracula (the book) had them a evil creatures not possible mates. It took me a while to accept vampires and sexual objects.

My friend says that vampires are to the new millennium as rape fantasy was to the 80s.

Oh, I thought Freddy Vs. Jason was a comedy. I was the only one laughing in the theatre.

I'm so glad I saw the link to this blog from Ruthie's Book Reviews. :-)

11:23 AM  
Blogger B said...

Hi Emma!

I enjoy my vamps mostly dark, but I enjoy the balance that can be had between the two mostly. Without balance and can be too light and too dark, I like it right in the middle.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Vickie said...

Emma: I like 'em dark. Dark and sort of funny is my favorite. They do need an edge of tortured soul and bad boy (or chick)
I will not be going to see any of the movies based on the Twilight series. I read the first book and that was enough. I am pleased for the author, but that vampire clan and their angst ridden humans are not for me.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I love my vampires dark and edgey and their bite wonderfully erotic and sexy. Like my vampires to be the heroes with a dark side, but not pure evil.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Asylumgirl said...

Vamp dark mostly, cuz I'm a dark girl myself. There's just something about a mysterious vampire with secrets who is always brooding about something. What's not to love? LOL


3:31 PM  
Blogger Julie Robinson said...

Guess we're just old fogies liking our vamps dark, brooding and mysterious! There's something thrilling about the dangerous--I mean, it's fiction.

Maybe our likes reflect our lives----that we're more risk-takers than some of the younger generation? Just a thought.


4:34 PM  
Blogger orelukjp0 said...

Hi Emma,

I agree with you. I like my vamps dark. I need the slight fear in order to love them more. Kind of like Moonlight. Beth loved Mick but she feared what he was slightly as she'd seen him at his worst.
If a vamp is always good, how can we feel for them and want to help make them good which is what all heroines do with the tortured heroes.
Evil yet with a kernel of goodness that the heroine must nurture and then she brings out the true goodness of him in the story.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Martha Lawson said...

Hi Emma,

I haven't seen Twilight or read the books yet! But I do like a dark brooding but still a good guy vampire!

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Emma, I must say that I prefer my vamps (and werewolves, and any other creature of the night) to have an edge of darkness to them.

Now, that said, I don't do horror; and even if I know the vamp hero/lead won't harm anyone considered "good", the fact that he could keeps it interesting.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Amberkatz! Thanks so much for the blog nod for Paranormality. You're aces!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

ARGH! I spelled your name wrong! I meant:


8:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congrats on the new release! I like both.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love a dark vamp, ohhh shiver's down my spine i also love storys where the heroines try to turn a bad guy to good

5:49 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Emma. Excellent post and congratulations. I like my vamps with a dark edge to themm but compassion is always a good thing it goes well with possessivness.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Susan Macatee said...

I have to confess, I like my vampires dark. But my vampire in my short story, Eternity Waits, is female and she preys on the hero. In my new not-ye-published vamp story, the hero is attacked by an evil vampire and as he starts to exhibit changes, he has to keep himself from preying on the heroine as they combat the evil vampire. Guess I don't write what I read. LOL.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Pamk said...

I like the somewheres in the middle. Don't want a haha giddy and fun. But the really dark and broody ones just make me want to smack them lol.

8:24 AM  
Blogger cissikat said...

Hi Emma,

I think a vampire has to be dark, at least somewhat. The tortured soul thing definitely makes them more edgy and angry. Humor is always good too! Don't we all need a laugh!

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ PatriciaAltner - Exactly Patricia. I think that's why vamps, weres, etc are so popular because they are the ultimate bad boy. And who wouldn't want to be the chick that makes a guy change his evil ways just because he wants to be with her.

See, I'll be honest. I totally read books with lack of sex but never a romance with lack of sex. I'm not saying sex and violence are required for me to read a book but it's not like I'm going to put the book down if it has a good combo of both.

@ Tameka - Hey! *waves* A good friend of mine said the true test of a perfect semi-evil hero is how he treats the innocent. Does he go off butchering bad guys with no remorse but help to find and console a little girl lost in the wood just because he can? See. Perfect mix. Now if he eats the little girl in the woods, that may not be a good thing. Unless it's not a little girl and it's like the heroine or something. Then eating totally should occur. And often.

@ ThatBrunette - I love darker, meaner adult vamps. I like angst too but not of the vamp light kind. I'm looking forward to the New Moon movie because of the weres so I might try reading the book. I don't know if Dracula was exactly evil and he was kinda mate-worthy. Hehe there was rape fantasies in the 80's? Since I was in elementary school in the 80's I kinda missed that particularly trend.

@ B - Yep, is definitely key.

@ Vickie - Love a tortured soul. That was what was so appealing about Angel.

@ Cathy - Love, love, love sexy bites.

@ Deirdre - I love a mysterious vamp with secrets too.

@ Julie Robinson - LOL. Total old fogies. Exactly. It works so well because it's fiction. In real lives I don't know how I'd be attracted to someone who could flip and accidentally kill me. It's one of the reasons I no longer date Marines. LOL. Just kidding. Seriously. Just kidding.

@ Orelukjpo - Very well put.

@ Martha Lawson - See I guess "good" is kinda subjective because I want him to be good in certain ways but not hesitate to be bad/evil when necessary. IE when it comes to protecting his heroine.

@ La-Tessa - Yeah, that's the general consensus. I'm okay with horror. Hannibal Lecter, Dexter, and The Joker (H.L.) are some of my favorite characters.

@ Amy - Thanks Amy!

@ Angietheresa - Gotta love the shivers.

@ Sarabelle - Thanks for the congrats. Yeah love the possessiveness but it depends on who they're being compassionate to.

@ Susan Macatee - LOL. I think a lot of people don't write what they read. When I'm writing my vamps I don't read vamps. But it's weird when I'm writing a contemp I can totally read contemps. It's weird. *shrugs* I dunno. Maybe it's because my contemp voice doesn't have mythology but my vamp voice can?

@ Pamk - LOL! I don't know about smacking a vamp Pamk. It's okay if he does the smacking though but only in a good way.

@ Cissikat - Humor is needed but I like dark humor most.

@ Lynda - Thanks so much for having me.

And thanks to everyone for weighing in on the vamp light/vamp dark debate. It looks like team vamp dark won hands down!

12:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home