Guest Bloggers Heather Graham and Julie Kagawa discuss vampire themes in Romance books.
Graham on the RT Book Lover’s Convention vampire party and her new book, "Let the Dead Sleep":
I’m in the midst of planning for RT’s Book Lover’s
Convention and our Friday-night vampire party. Both have taken many twists and
turns through the years—just like vampires themselves. This time we’re doing “Thirty
Years of RT in Thirty Minutes or Less,” which gives us a chance to go back to
the beginning of this very special event. In the past, we’ve had vampires playing Clue, Vampires
of the Wild, Wild, West, and Vampires of the Caribbean. We’ve done parodies of Twilight and True Blood and more. The
parties are always fun. We write and perform a skit, people create incredible
costumes—and we dance into the wee hours.
vampire party? It’s fun. Just like the ever-changing vampire mythology. (I know
there are lots of interesting theories about the current fascination with
vampires and otherworldly beings, but this party is truly about having fun.)
writers, here’s the thing—until someone can introduce us all to a real blood-sucking
vampire (not a “spiritual” vampire, but the real rotting undead) we can take
them in any direction we choose. Sure, it’s great to draw on legend, but each
author makes vampires his or her own.
This year, I’ll be promoting my new
series, Cafferty and Quinn, with Let the
Dead Sleep. Danni Cafferty’s dad dies—and she inherits way more than she
expected in his New Orleans curio and antiques shop, The Cheshire Cat.
The “vampire” in this story is never labeled as such; he’s an evil
spirit who’s managed to survive on the blood—the lives--of others through an object. A bust, an image of himself. When Michael Quinn, a man with his own unusual
past, steps into her life, the two of them discover just how many faces evil can
wear. They form a special bond but don’t run off into the sunset together—there’s
another strange murder mystery around the corner. (March of 2014, to be exact!)
If you can make R.T.’s convention
and this year’s vampire party, I’d love to see you there!
Julie Kagawa on her writing transition from fey to vampires in her new book "The Eternity Cure":
People often ask me if it was difficult to switch
from writing about faeries to writing about vampires. While it wasn't exactly hard, it was very different.
In the world of The Iron Fey, the setting and characters were almost
surreal. I wanted the Nevernever to be a place where you weren't sure if you
were dreaming or not; it was a haunting, dangerous place, and its inhabitants
were just as beautiful and deadly.
And then, we have vampires.
Even more than faeries, the vampire myth has changed
tremendously in these modern times.
Where vampires used to be terrible, night-walking monsters, creatures
you would never want to meet in a dark alley, they are now tortured souls who
hate what they are and drink animal blood so they don't have to prey on
humans. They can walk in the sunlight,
eat normal food, and blend into human society.
They are sexy and romantic and beautiful, and would do anything to
protect the human female they inevitably fall in love with.
There is nothing wrong with this type of
vampire. It just wasn't the creature I
wanted to write about.
I wanted my vamps to be monsters. The vampires of old, much like the faeries of
old, were feared and respected, creatures that would rip your throat out before
they ever kissed you. They may remember
their human life, they may even feel human emotion, but these vampires are
predators, and the Hunger for human blood overpowers everything else. Their world is dark, filled with blood and
violence, and that was my inspiration when I created the post-apocalyptic
setting of The Immortal Rules. It is a bleak and desolate world, and a
perfect fit for the vampires who rule as monsters.