Writing vampires can be a tricky business. Though there’s some element of romance involved, one thing I try to remember – and pack into every book – is that vampiress are monsters. They are the things nightmares are made of, even if some of them are wearing hot, longhaired, well-muscled wrapping, and they need to be vicious. They need to be terrifying. Most important, the villain at least needs to have that general disdain towards humans that’s inherent in all superior species.
But, if vampires come from humans – were human – why do they look down on humans so much? Shouldn’t they think of them as new recruits or raw material? In the Amaranthine books a few of them do, but why do the rest sneer and look down their nose?
As Katelina suggests in Children of Shadows, perhaps it is “intentional distancing.” After all, how can they drink blood – essentially eating – humans and still identify as a human? Wouldn’t that basically make them cannibals?
No one wants to be a cannibal, not even a terrifying, evil vampire villain, who probably doesn’t think he’s a villain, anyway. The best way to avoid that label, of course, would be to stick to what modern vampire lovers have termed a “vegetarian vampire diet”, meaning that the vampire in question only drinks from animals – generally wild creatures like raccoons, deer, or in cases of some teen novels, mountain lions. (I admit, even the Amaranthine vampires have been known to bag a wolf when in foreign territory).
But drinking from animals presents its own problem. For one thing a vampire has to catch them, and though most don’t have trouble with it – between their super stealth and their speed – why run after prey if you don’t have to? People are lazy by nature, and I can’t imagine that a dose of vampire blood would change that.
Another point is the fur. When we eat animals they’re neatly cleaned and cooked, but what vampire is going to stop to skin the beast? No, they bite a furry, wild animal, and that has to taste bad. Especially since vampires should have an enhanced sense of taste to complement their other heightened senses. Do you want to put any part of a wild raccoon, or even a mountain lion, in your mouth?
Which brings us to bald animals, fish (which seem pretty unappetizing and hard to catch), or humans. I don’t know about you, but of that list humans seem like the easiest prey. They don’t need skinned, and if you pick your victims right, they should be clean. On top of that, if one is an attractive vampire, the humans might even come to you, which means no need to chase them. Does it get easier?
So, in the end, vampire superiority really equates vampire laziness. Who knew?
Joleene Naylor is the author of Amaranthine, a paranormal series where vampires live in the shadows and don’t sparkle. She grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by soybeans, corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She has been writing and drawing since she was a small child, with a particular leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It is this love of all that goes bump in the night that led her to write the Amaranthine series.
In her spare time she is a freelance artist, book cover designer and photographer. Joleene maintains blogs full of odd ramblings and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live near Bolivar Missouri with their miniature zoo. However, unless she starts buying tickets she won’t win anything.
The sixth installment of the Amaranthine series pulsates with the dark blood of vampire lore.
The Children of Shadows, a vampire cult not seen for hundreds of years, resurfaces to wage war on the vampire guilds. Led by a familiar face, the cult wreaks havoc while Katelina and Jorick are trapped in Munich. Ume, a mysterious vampiress, claims to know Verchiel and offers the help of her secret organization. But can they trust her?
As mysteries are solved, new ones appear. Why have the Children of Shadows returned, and is it really a former ally that leads them, or a look-alike?
Legends rise and secrets are revealed in a world where vampires walk, drenched in blood and shadows.
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