Fangs a lot, pal! What IS this fascination with Vampires?

27 Mar

I mean, seriously, what WOULD you do if you actually ran into one, face to fang?

Considering that they are fictional entities, these days you can’t turn around without seeing one somewhere.  And, apparently, they come in a wide variety of flavors—good, bad, vicious, benevolent, tortured, lonely and some who revel in their existence and embrace it to its fullest.  So many choices it’s hard to know where to begin, but let’s give it a shot, shall we?

First, I’m guessing your reaction would depend a great deal on whether it looked like the ghoulish Nosferatu from the silent film days or HBO’s characterization of Eric Northman from The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.

I know I’d pick a big, sexy blond over the short, repulsive bald guy in real life, so let’s go with that for now. (Actually, I did pick a big, sexy blond from the north, named Eric so this isn’t much of a stretch for me :o)

What next?

If I could somehow talk him into NOT killing me, then oh hell yeah, I’d love to go a round or two in the sack with that one.  Then,  call me crazy and since at this point I’d be risking my life and perhaps my very soul, I’d want to talk to the guy and find out what he knows.

Think about it. This particular character is over 1000 frickin’ years old. He’s lived an entire millennium of human history. He’s seen first-hand all the things that we can only read about.

Of course, after the vigorous and very satisfying sexual pounding I’d just experienced, I’d likely not be coherent enough to remember my own name, let alone ask for a history lesson, but it is something to think about.

And what if it went beyond mind blowing sex? 

Would I want that kind of immortality if it was offered to me? Would I want to see where humanity goes in the next 1000 years? Would I be willing to deal with the consequences of my decision?

The truth is that as easy on the eyes as the character is, and sexy as hell to boot, you can’t forget that vampires, all vampires, are by their very nature…killers. They need living, human blood to flourish if not survive, and that’s the crux, isn’t it?

As a writer, how do you make a killer likable? How do you make the reader desire something so deadly and dangerous that if the relationship goes bad, eternal damnation and death are the only options?

Redemption.

There are other things that help, but that is the strongest tool you have as a writer to make the darkest of characters heroic. There must be redeeming qualities that will suspend the reader’s abhorrence to the inherent evil of the character and/or his actions.

You can of course, create your own “Vampire Mythos” where the vampires are more like warm, fuzzy, bunny rabbits with sharp teeth, than cold blooded monsters and that is a matter of personal taste and your target market. However, if you want to stick to the traditional vampire mythology, it gets a little tougher and your options get more limited.

But, hey! If the writers at Showtime can make you like a serial killer as horrific as Dexter, then making a vampire dangerous and redeemable is a piece of cake!

First, the concept of wanting anything that is forbidden opens the door to eroticism and therefore, as writers of erotic fiction, we have an edge.  Although the average woman might not make a dangerous killer her first choice for the man she wants to settle down and raise a family with, there is always an inexplicable attraction to the dark and dangerous type.

They are the “bad boys” who tempt us to do things we know are socially and often morally wrong that we would not have the nerve to do otherwise.

Vamps are certainly great for that!

Second, we are preconditioned on many levels that “love conquers all” and even in the eternal battle between good and evil we want to believe that anything is possible and love will prevail. Our heads tell us, and for many of us personal experience has taught us that this is not the case in reality, but we are dealing in fantasy.

Vamps are great for that too, because they allow us to safely explore the darkest of fantasies, even romanticize them, without crossing real life boundaries. No harm. No foul.

Third is the human need to be needed. Not just wanted or desired, but truly needed. This is yet another coup for Vamps! When the writer can effectively combine the vampire’s want and desire with a real need, then the human counterpart in the story is destined to fall hopelessly in love with the vampire despite common sense.

Ideally, the reader falls just as hard and you have them hooked.

The happily ever after?  That’s a matter of taste and opinion and ultimately dictated by the situation at hand and the strength and moral fiber of your characters.

Whether your vampire “turns” their human lovers, walks away from them, or one sacrifices themselves for the other, life does go on as does the eternal battle between men and women, good and evil , Angel or Spike and whether Buffy ever decided between the two of them. ( From an erotic romance writer’s perspective… I’d take them BOTH and as often as possible ;o)

I’ll stick with my own Eric in real life and we’ll just have to wait and see where my vampires take me…Happy reading!

–Shannon

14 Responses to “Fangs a lot, pal! What IS this fascination with Vampires?”

  1. Crystal Kauffman March 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Never was a Buffy fan but I love all other things vampy! What I’d ask is what really happened to the settlers of Roanoke? I honestly think it had something to do with vampires. 🙂

  2. Nara Malone March 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    I think you’ve done the impossible and talked me into giving giving a vampire romance a try. 🙂

    • shannonemmel March 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      MuaHaha…another convert to the Vampiric minions.

      :o)

      Thanks, Nara! Glad you found it “intriguing”…

      But seriously…even from just a Historical RESEARCH perspective, wouldn’t ya love to have an hour with an immortal and a list of unsolved mysteries to ask him/her about?

      Damn! I sure would! LOL

      -S

  3. Sasha Devlin March 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I like vampires (of course I have a vamp on the old hard drive, and guess what, he really *is* blond), and I especially like it when the author recognizes that they are lethal.

    It’s fine for him to be Hottie McHotHot (I rather expect that in romance) but I also want it known that he could kill at any moment. There’s real danger in that and if the heroine (or hero) has half a brain, there will be delicious conflict while they try to wrap their brains/morals around the fact that they are ga-ga over a killer.

    I should get back to my vamp….

    • shannonemmel March 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      …or, perhaps, back ON your vamp? :o)

      I know… my mind is in the gutter today. Must have been the whole, “What Would a Penis Say?” headline from today’s blog that started me down that road.

      Oddly, I can’t seem to turn off that road, or even pull over…

      :-\

  4. Marilyn Campbell March 28, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    No, no, no, I’ll never give in to– what’s that look in your eyes, I feel so, so weak, it can’t be yet I’m truly tempted… I’ll tell you what Shannon – you finish YOUR vampire story and I will submit to the dark side.

    • Brandi Evans March 31, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      LMAO. I like my heroes tall, dark and dangerous–oh and tortured. Very, very tortured. 🙂

    • shannonemmel March 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      Working on it!

      BTW–“Work It” ( Loved it …can’t wait for the rest of PD…then to see it on EC!!! Woooo whoooo!)

    • JUDY D April 3, 2011 at 6:33 am #

      MARILYN & SHANNON! I’D READ ANYTHING YOU 2 WRITE.
      WAITING, WAITING ON VAMP STORY! STILL WAITING!
      LOL JUDY D

      • shannonemmel April 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

        Hi Judy–

        Well, I PROMISE to let you know as soon as the first in the series is finished…It WON’T be long now!

        -Shannon

  5. shannonemmel October 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on Passionate Reads and commented:

    All Hallows Eve is right around the corner, so I thought I’d start getting everyone “in the mood”, with a little reblog about a favorite horror icon!
    Enjoy!

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