Vampires have always been a fascination of mine. Hell, I think they have been a fascination for almost anyone who reads or writes in the realm of the fantastic. Vampires are the ultimate undead (and I know some of you Mummy fans are going to disagree). They retain their human intelligence for the most part, combined with the animal cunning of a predator. They are strong and fast (how fast depends on the mythology of the literature they inhabit). In some works, like Bram Stoker’s, they are able to assume the forms of animals such as wolves, bats and rats, and can turn into mist and slide through the smallest of spaces. And in some works, again Stoker is the example, they can control weather. In the old vampire lore staking might kill them, but trying to stake them at night was an exercise in futility, as the stake would just go through their incorporeal form. In more modern works a stake will take them out no matter what. The vampires of old lore were really more powerful, in most cases, than those of modern works. They really couldn’t be harmed at night, just chased off by religious symbols. It was only during the day, when they were in their coffins, that they could be destroyed. And they tried very hard to make their resting places hidden from even the most determined of hunters. Of course not all Vampires were powerful. In some Eastern European regions they were seen as very weak, weaker than humans, and sort of like zombies with more intelligence. And like zombies they were more dangerous in packs.
In modern times many vampires are treated as almost normal humans with extraordinary powers. They dance, they drink, they go to clubs, and only drink blood when they need to. Some are even goods guys, the detective in Forever Knight comes to mind. I like these stories, but am more attracted to the vampires that are really evil.
My own Vampire novel, The Hunger, is being offered for promotion on KDP Select on October 5th through 9th. I wanted this novel to be different from the modern stories I see so much of, so I decided to go to the roots. Bram Stoker. Now Stoker did not originate the vampire, but he borrowed from the various legends to create the monster we are most familiar with. Vampires who are strong and fast, but not the blurs that some moderns are. Able to shape change, control the weather, not able to enter a dwelling without an invitation, having to be in their coffins by sunrise, but also able to move around during part of the day. And most of all evil. Not good guys, who lament their being vampires, though they may be tormented by nightmares (not really in Stoker, but from some other early vampire movies, i.e. Mark Of The Vampire). And spreading their disease with each kill, not having to do some organized ritual to turn a victim into monster. Anyone they kill rises in three days as a vampire unless something is done to prevent it.
Lucinda Taylor, the protagonist, is a vampire. But she regains her free will when her master is killed and goes after her own targets. She still has to kill to survive, but she makes sure her kills don’t rise again. Other vampires in the story do the same thing essentially. The old vampire tales always bothered me in that the vampire always made too many of his kind, and nothing spoils the party like too many guests. People catch on, and as I say in the story, nothing scares the vampires more than a city’s Baptist Ministers reinforced by the National Guard on their trail. Vampires against troops and religious figures during the day is a no win situation for the undead. But make no mistake. Lucinda is still evil, and does evil to evil in the name of vengeance. And the book is raw, with street language, drugs, gangs, and sexual situations. Vampires use sexual attraction to lure in victims after all. This is not a book for those who prefer gentle language and gentle people. But then again, the subject matter is not a gentle one, when we are talking natural killers, both human and inhuman. I hope that people will take a look at this book when it hits its free promotion. I think it is as well written as The Deep Dark Well, my scifi novel. And now an excerpt.
“What the hell are you?” he screamed as the weapon clicked on the empty chamber. He reached frantically into his jacket, trying to fumble another magazine, then tried to ram it home. But as his hands shook the new magazine refused to go where the old one still resided.
Lucinda took off in a sprint toward the man, moving faster than humanly possible, faster than the swiftest sprinter. She lowered her shoulder and took Carlos in the ribs, feeling the bones crack as she lifted him into the air. The man struck his right shoulder and arm against the wall, grunting out his breath. Lucinda was past him and into the living room as he slid down the wall to the floor, the machine pistol falling from nerveless fingers as consciousness fled.
Lucinda pivoted on her right foot, turning toward the family room, as more bullets whizzed past her, the sound of cracking plaster and breaking porcelain sounding to her sensitive ears. One large man, with the mass of a football player, came straight at her from the glass doors, lowering his shoulders and reaching his arms out into a classic tackle. Lucinda leapt into the air and brushed the ceiling as she flew over his form, which was falling to the floor after not meeting the resistance it had been preparing itself for. The vampire did a turn in the air, as she thanked herself for the gymnastics lessons her mom had insisted that she take, and landed lightly on her feet.
She could sense that the door before her was locked, and she didn’t have the key. So going into a crouch and out again she sprung toward the double doors and crashed through the glass, leaving jagged hanging splinters behind her. Women screamed as she propelled her naked form across the flagstones. One man dropped his drink and made a grab for her, but a strong backhand lifted him from his feet and into the pool