I have always been fascinated by those kings and queens of the supernatural monsters, Vampires. The ultimate evil, they spread like a plague, multiplying geometrically until they control an area. I remember all of those wonderful Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee movies as a child, based on the classic by Bram Stoker that was also a childhood favorite. There are still vampires out there that fit that classic mold, but most modern interpretations of vamps are what I call clubbing vampires. In that they get their blood and then go to the dance club to have fun. Now don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed stories, movies and TV shows with there kind of humanized vampires. Buffy was one of my all time favorite shows. I love the vampires of Tanya Huff and Jeanne Stein. And the German Independent Movie We Are The Night is now one of my favorite movies of all time. But when I decided to write a vampire novel, I made a decision to go back to the old standard in order to get something new. First I have to admit that I wanted to pursue something that was successful on today’s market. In 2008 I looked up science fiction and fantasy sales on Publisher’s Lunch. Science fiction, at least the technical military kind I write, was not selling very well, unless your name was Weber or Ringo. Seventy-five percent of sales were in Fantasy, and of those the majority were about blood suckers. So I made a plan, plotted out a book, and wrote Hunger, later changed to The Hunger when I saw there was a competing title out there.
I made my vampires evil. They kill to feed, then go back to their resting places for the night, which includes some the soil of their original grave. I decided to modernize the plague concept some. Unlike Salem’s Lot, I thought that modern vampires might be a little more leery of letting the World in on their existence. Modern technological man is more than a match for vampires if they know the danger. Baptists ministers backed by the National Guard would probably be more than they could handle. They already have a rap about this whole immortality thing, when most of them can’t last out the week. So vampires feed, but they try to do it on the sly, while still adding select members to their numbers. In the old vampire tradition I made it so that feeding on and killing a human doomed that person to rise again in three days, one of the undead, unless they were prevented in some manner. I thought it would be cool if they could transform in different creatures such as bats, rats and wolves, and transform into mist. Weather control was also a power I thought would be cool. And the more ancient the vampire the more powerful.
I came up with the idea of Lucinda Taylor, a woman who was beaten out of her house by her abusive husband and ends up as an drug addicted prostitute on the street. Her pimp slits her throat, but before she dies a passing vampire finishes her off in order that he can add her to his collection. He later dies and she becomes a free agent. She is one angry vampire, and she decides not to go the normal route of killing innocents. Instead she preys on the kind of men who tormented her in life. Pimps, drugs dealers, and those who supply them. And she makes sure they don’t rise again by taking their heads off. She is pursued by a Catholic priest who gave up his position of Bishop to become a vampire hunter, an FBI agent who blames her for kills she didn’t make, and an ancient vampire who fears that she may let the game out of the bag. And finally the enormously strong new blood she made by accident, who is after her ass. The idea of Deshawn came from being a football fan. I thought, if a vampire is strong, then a six foot seven two hundred and ninety pound ex-NFL defensive end would be massively powerful. He picks up cars and throws them around in battle. He is a force to be reckoned with.
I sent Hunger of to three publishers and got the standard form rejections. Last year I sent it to fifty agents. Most gave the standard form rejections. A couple wrote back with the market is flooded replies. The few who requested more material, stating that my work seemed original at least, finally rejected it with replies that although I was a good writer with an interesting story, it was not right for the market. Story of my writing career. So I decided to self publish this one. Those who have read it so far have all been positive, some enthusiastically so. Hopefully it will do well. Be warned though. It is an adult book with adult themes. Not for children or the faint hearted. An excerpt is included below.
She could feel the connection forming, the connection with the dark lord who gave her the powers she possessed. She could feel its anger at her, the anger she had brought by her refusal to do his work on Earth. The anger brought on by her destruction of evil and the foiling of the dark lord’s plans.
You will do my will, my child, came the thoughts of Satan to her mind. You are an insect, a speck in the eternity that I am. You do not have the power to resist me. Do my will or you will be punished.
Bring it on, she thought back at the anti-God, forcing all of her will to battle that of the arch demon. I am my own creature. Not yours. And you will bow to my will as a child of God.
She could feel the power of the demon battling her, as its will beat down upon her like storm waves upon a lone, struggling swimmer. And like the lone swimmer she fought to stay afloat, to resist the power of the waves that sought to drown her. She could feel the strength leeching from her body, as the demon lord of Hell pummeled her.
I defy you, she screamed in her mind. I renounce you and all of your plans for the race of man. And I will use you as you sought to use man, for my purposes.
She felt the presence of the demon as some of its essence was pulled into the circle of the pentagram. It fought her with all of its power. But once a part of it had entered the circle, more of it was pulled inexorably into the symbol. More and more flooded in, until Lucinda felt as if the power of a Sun was in the air before her.
Yes, weak one, said the demon’s voice in her head. Bow down before my might and worship your true God.
Lucinda opened her eyes and looked skyward, her cruel laughter echoing into the night. She brought her gaze down, her red eyes burning into the shadowy form of the demon within the circle.
You are the weak one, she thought at it. A liar and deceiver, who pretends to be his master.
The demon seemed to shrink in on itself as she exerted her will upon it. It fought against her, trying to slash through the magical barrier that kept it imprisoned. It went into a frenzy, but the circle of blood was too much for it, and soon its struggles ceased.
“You will give me the power,” Lucinda screamed into the night. “It is mine by right of magic, and you will give it to me.”
Lucinda felt the power flowing into her as it was released by the demon that was now under her command. She could feel it struggle to escape back to its realm, but her hold was too strong. When the energy finally reached its peak, all that she could hold, she clenched her hands before her.
“Back to Hell, demon. Back to the slime pits from which you came. Obey me now and leave this realm.”
She could feel the demon’s power wane as it was sucked into the void that birthed it. A final laugh resounded through her mind before it disappeared.
One day you will be brought to Hell, came the last thoughts of the monster. And I will be waiting for your arrival. Oh yes, I shall. And you will know torment through eternity.
And then it was gone, and Lucinda let out a mental sigh of relief. The energy she had leeched from the creature was trying to explode from her body, and she must put it to its use quickly.
Come mist, she thought with her entire focus, raising her hands again into the sky as she walked toward the seawall, carefully skirting the pentagram that still had a residual trace of the evil it had contained. Lucinda looked down into the water, repeating the call in her head over and over, visualizing what she wanted from the water.
At first there were only a few wisps of mist, curling from the choppy water. Then the wisps grew in number, as the atmosphere over the water became a thickening curtain of moisture. It rose into the air, until a region of hundreds of yards in every direction was blotted out by the thick white covering.
Find The Hunger on my website Imagination Unlimited (http://dougdandridge,net) , at Amazon
(http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006RXWEZS) or at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/118866)