The Genesis of the AVS

 

Twenty years ago I never would have guessed I would be writing about vampires. I have never considered myself a vampire lover as such (never wanted to be a vampire, never thought vampires were creatures to look up to or envy, never thought drinking blood was cool, etc.). And I didn’t pick up the subject because it was popular. In fact, vampires were not much the rage when I was first inspired to write about the AVS. I don’t write anything because it is popular. (I tried that once after meeting an agent who told me fantasy was out and “sweet romance” was the rage. I set aside my fantasies and tried writing a Harlequin Romance. I fell flat on my face with that one; it was the biggest waste of time and effort I ever made, and it was crap. I decided to write what I really wanted to write, popularity be damned, and if people liked it, that would be great.)

What got me on the vampire kick was a dream I had one night. I take my dreams seriously. I often have dreams deep in symbolism, or even dreams that come true. I see many of my dreams as messages from God. I’ve had several that have been ideas for stories, but none so obviously so as the one about the girl vampire with short red hair.

I didn’t record when I had the dream—somewhere around 2000, maybe. I dreamed I was a jilted teenage girl seeing an event that amazed and terrified her. The dream continued with one scene after another, laying out key inciting incidents of a story with me as the main character, acting on the terrible reality of suddenly facing a vampire in her life and experiencing all the girl’s emotions. A confrontation led to a different approach to the subject than I had ever heard of, and ended with a question that demanded an answer.

Next, I was myself, in a wooden locker room, telling a teenage friend that I had had this dream and it was a good idea for a story.

When I woke up and thought over the question the girl in the dream asked, I decided it was a story that needed to be told.

This was back before the publication of Twilight and the craze that made vampires so appealing that readers and viewers practically filed the fangs off the monsters without any expectation of retaliation. I hadn’t even watched “Interview with a Vampire” yet. When I did, I was so spooked I could barely get myself to watch it again. Maybe it’s a bad thing I got used to the movie. But yeah. Vampires, for me, are not the kinds of creatures I want to meet in a dark alley (or anywhere else), and they certainly wouldn’t light up that alley by sparkling. I’m writing about people (whether they be considered human or not) that you love to hate . . . or hate to love.

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Soliciting Opinions

I would love to hear why you chose the vampire you did–or why you didn’t vote for one at all! If you answered the poll, what did you like/love/hate about the one you chose? What did you think about the others? If you didn’t answer, why not? Was it too hard to decide? Or do you just hate all vampires?

I don’t write about vampires to make them likeable. I would prefer that evil be evil and good be good in my stories. But you may see that there are many different types of evil, and maybe you will also see that even demon-driven vampires may not be all as bad as the demons that drive them. Or, even if they are bad, they can be funny in their badness. Please comment, and let’s discuss these issues.AVS cross

Still a Vampire Lover? Time to Make a Choice

There you have it, folks: Five interviews with five vampires, eleven questions each. As the eleventh hour approaches, how do you react when you hear them outside your door? Would you let one in? Would you dare interview one yourself?  Perhaps ask for–or allow–something much more? 

New Kid on the Block: Hugh answers 11 questions

Francis Franklin, who made the Vampire Lover Blog Award (and who is re-blogging this one with comments) says you don’t need to be nominated to play; “it’s just an excuse.” If you blog at all (or just want to for the contest–after all, free blogs, like this one, can be easily started), please do. And let me know. I want to read what you come up with.

Alas, I have not heard from the well-known writers I nominated. We shall see yet, but they are probably too busy with published authorly things to slum with the likes of me. (Francis has at least published a book, Susie and the Monsters.)

Now I bring you the final vampire in our series of interviews–the one I almost forgot, because he is so new: I bring you Hugh, the 17-year-old whose hazel eyes change with his mood or clothes, and whose eyes now glow green when he is hungry . . . which right now is all the time. (The picture is from before the change–from an “innocent” date with Carletta.)ImageDoes living as a vampire have the same appeal as prior to being turned (if you’re that type of vampire)? If you had to do it over, would you? (Katya)

It did NOT appeal to me! When I found out my girlfriend was a vampire, I was horrified . . . but I was fool enough to stick around and find out what that meant and to think I could help her somehow. If I had to do it over, I’d have listened to my ex’s warning at the beginning and run the other way. FAR the other way!

If you live forever, or for thousands of years, and are difficult to kill, and are very strong and powerful… how do you not become a sociopath? And go off and start doing anything you want and acting on any impulse? (Katya)

Good question! I doubt any vampire can keep from being a sociopath for long. It’s only been about a day since I was forced to drink my girl’s blood. I don’t WANT to act on these impulses, but I don’t see how I can avoid it for long. They’re too damn strong!

What’s it like to be a vampire? (Rebekkah Ford)

Oh, God, it’s hell. You don’t want to know the urges shooting through my head, driving me, pushing me, and the horrible, horrible thirst. Just smelling you, I can’t stay long or I’ll kill you. So far, I’ve barely managed to not kill any people—almost drank from my own mom, who Carletta had already bitten. Had to run away from home to keep Mom alive. I started growing fangs weeks ago, after Carletta gave me a little bit of her blood on the slip, but they haven’t broke through yet, so I have to use a knife. Killed a cow. The cow blood filled me up for a little while, but it tastes terrible, and it’s not the thing I’m driven to have. Soon I’ll be killing people right and left—Oh, God, do something! Help me, kill me, stop me . . .

If you had the choice to no longer be a vampire – to just be a human again – would you go for it? (Robin Layne)

I’d give anything to just be myself again! But I guess it’s hopeless, there’s no sense in wishing for it. What am I going to do?

Are there other vampires, and if so what role does gender play in vampire society? (fjf)

I noticed my girlfriend Carletta always wanted to be in the lead when we had sex. Darrell, a guy who still tried to be my friend through all this, said she was just a deceptive monster. I didn’t listen to him because I thought Carletta must have had something terrible happen to her in the past. She said another vampire was out to get her, and she wanted to turn me so I could protect her from him. I don’t know anything about vampire society, but Carletta seemed really scared. . . . Now I’m the one who’s scared.

What do you think of the recent fashion for vampire books and films? Has it made your life harder or easier? (Georgiana Derwent)

I didn’t pay any attention to it before, really. When I saw Darrell going around in a Dracula cape, I thought it was just Darrell being Darrell, and when my former girlfriend Mary told me Carletta was a vampire and my hickey was really a bite, I thought poor Mary had gone off the deep end. I guess it made things worse because I thought my friends were victims of a craze. Turns out I’m the victim here. Nobody’s laughing.

Can you have sex the ‘traditional’ way? Do you have any desire for sex? (Tyro Vogel)

Me? Guess I could, but only after I satisfy this horrible hunger—it’s all I can think about now. When I was still myself and I was with Carletta, she was fantastic in bed. But now I realize she must have been killing a lot of people to maintain herself. Oh, God! I was so stupid to think she wouldn’t have to kill if she kept biting me. I didn’t want to believe I was sleeping with a murderer. When we got close, she got such a hunger in her eyes, and I used to think it was a hunger for sex. That excited me. Later, when I found out she always wanted to drink my blood—well, when she said she loved me, I wasn’t sure she loved me like a boyfriend or like a pot roast.

They say a vampire’s bite brings pleasure rather than pain. Is that true, and how is that even possible? (Francis Franklin)

For me, it’s been a combination of both. Carletta said her kisses make it so I don’t feel all the pain. It’s in the saliva, she said, so I guess the longer the bite takes, the less pain. What do you expect when your girlfriend kisses you? That’s what you get.

Do you believe in ‘true love’ and ‘soul mates’? (Francis Franklin)

I think I did before. Now I’m sick of the whole idea. I’ve been used. My life is over, and I’m not running off with the girl no matter what.

Would you date a werewolf? (Francis Franklin)

No way! What would I be then, a werevampire?

 Should humans tolerate the existence of vampires? (Francis Franklin)

 How can I answer that? I want to die, but I’m afraid. I want to keep Carletta from being killed, too. I can’t give you moral advice. All I can say is—run. Hide. No, come back. The fangs have broken through. I’m ready for relief.

 

Luke’s Mentor: Thaddeus answers 11 questions

(Note: Thaddeus died in the 18th Century, so I am vaguely assuming some kind of time warp allowing him to peek into today before his death.)

 

Does living as a vampire have the same appeal as prior to being turned (if you’re that type of vampire)? If you had to do it over, would you? (Katya)

Oh-ho, you assume I wanted to be turned! Fascinating! How much have times changed over these past few centuries? Does everyone want to be a vampire? Fulfilling such wishes would not be practical for us all. Before I was turned, I barely knew what a vampire was. I sensed the woman seducing me was something other than just another Salem witch. She did give me a choice . . . and though I little knew what that choice entailed, I have not regretted it.

What aspect of humanity or being human have you lost or used less – or has diminished the most? (Katya)

Why think in terms of loss? I think of it all as gain.

If you live forever, or for thousands of years, and are difficult to kill, and are very strong and powerful… how do you not become a sociopath? And go off and start doing anything you want and acting on any impulse? (Katya)

Another interesting assumption—that vampires don’t do all they please. You seem to think we judge ourselves in the same way you do. This is not the case. Are we more impulsive than you? Some are; that’s one reason I’m extremely careful about who I am willing to turn. Others are more settled in temperament, especially the undead (for there are live vampires as well, who have not died. But we have much freedom to do what we want. We do not find a problem with it, as long as it doesn’t expose the secrets of our existence.

 From what you’ve witnessed yourself, do the history books have it right? (Sylvie)

I should like to have a peak at your history books. Is anything remembered about the witches of Salem, Massachusetts? I was not executed among them, but I did a good part of the witchcraft and then blamed others. How I joined the devils in spreading that hellfire through that city!

What’s it like to be a vampire? (Rebekkah Ford)

 A vampire is more aware of the spirit realm than most humans. They know they are never alone. Demons attend our steps and drive us into our bloodlust. But they give us so much of what we want!

Are there any female vampires around? (Sam Driscoll)

Certainly. I was changed by one. This seems to me another strange question. Are there not female humans in your time? Can they not be turned just as males can?

Can you be turned back to a human? (Tyro Vogel)

I have heard rumors that such a thing may be possible, but I have not been able to confirm any. As far as I know, the closest a vampire can come to returning to humanity is to die.

Can you have sex the ‘traditional’ way? Do you have any desire for sex (Tyro Vogel)

Heavens me, what do you think vampirism does to a person?

They say a vampire’s bite brings pleasure rather than pain. Is that true, and how is that even possible? (Francis Franklin)

I haven’t the patience, nor any reason, to bring pleasure to those I bite. Who is the “they” that told you we were so pleasant in so many ways? I am under the impression you are all under a spell—just waiting to be devoured.

Do vampires possess a soul? What difference does having or not having a soul make? What happens when you die? (Assuming you can actually die… Can you?) (Francis Franklin)

So people still haven’t stopped asking theological questions. In my own century, we had not made up our minds what a soul is. Why would a vampire be able and willing to tell you the answer to that question? To some, a soul is a life. Let me see . . . I am not exactly a demon. I am to some extent the same man I was before I was turned. I have demons within, including my familiar. All vampires have a familiar. But I may be thought of as a devil in my own right because of my dedication to the cause of darkness. As to whether I can die, why should I tell you?

Do you believe in ‘true love’ and ‘soul mates’? (Francis Franklin)

Do I look like Cupid? I’m a vampire, a killer, a bringer of death and destruction! What a confused and girlish time I have found myself in! I shall straightforth break this spell and return to my own time!

 

Born to Be Wild: Steven answers 11 of the questions

Continuing with the Vampire Lover Blog Award, I bring you my third vampire interview. I don’t have a drawing of Steven (I tried scanning a sketch of Carletta, but it’s too light; her image will have to await the completion of the painting for which I drew the sketch).

1. From what you’ve witnessed yourself, do the history books have it right? (Sylvie)

They say history is written by the winners. I say it was written by suckers. Take that any way you want.

 2. Do you miss food, the sun, or your heartbeat more? (Shah Wharton)

 I miss riding my motorcycle on sunny days, but it’s still a blast by night.

3. Is ‘live’ blood more beneficial than bagged blood? Is it true that the last blood from a dying person is sweeter due to their fear of death? (Dii)

Bagged blood is shit. I never touch it. Live is the only real thing. I always kill my victims, unless I have some other use for them. But when I leave them alive, there are things that make it taste best of all.

4. What significance, if any, does gender identity and sexual (etc.) orientation have for vampires? (fjf)

It can be a bloody mess. It can also be a lot of fun.

5. What do you think of the recent fashion for vampire books and films? Has it made your life harder or easier? (Georgiana Derwent)

I love it. I can fit right in with the crowd and just shine! And when I need a good laugh, there are plenty of cheesy movies and books to choose from.

6. Can you have sex the ‘traditional’ way? Do you have any desire for sex? (Tyro Vogel)

Yes, I crave sex, and plenty of it. And I don’t have to chase after anybody’s traditions. Who needs that crap?

7. According to folklore, vampires can’t cross moving water. Does this present problems for you? (James Lyon)

Only when I go to take a bath after a night’s killing spree. It’s hell trying to keep the water motionless. (No, not really. I’m not the Wicked Witch of the West.)

8. Is it possible some vampire-related genes can be passed down through human bloodlines over the centuries? (James Lyon)

I sure hope so. I’d like to think I’ve started a legacy. Did I show you the pictures of my girl? Did you know I’m one of the few vampires around to succeed at having a kid the normal way?

9. Do vampires possess a soul? What difference does having or not having a soul make? What happens when you die? (Assuming you can actually die… Can you?) (Francis Franklin)

If you want answers like that, go to a church! (Not that they really know the answers, but they can bullshit like nobody’s business.)

10. Do you believe in ‘true love’ and ‘soul mates’? ( Francis Franklin)

Don’t remind me. Mine got away, thanks to her mother butting in and running off with her. Have you seen a red-haired girl with my eyes?

11. Would you date a werewolf? (Francis Franklin)

 If she’s young enough, we’d have a howling good time.