Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why Vampires?

Why indeed? Isn't this craze over with?
...funny story, that...
Back in 2005 I noticed that the vampire genre was once again on its way out. Sure, we had Blade, who was a bad ass, but then they had to go and make the 113 minute iPod commercial known as Blade Trinity. I won't even acknowledge most of the other vampire flicks from that era and outside of Harlequin Nocturne, vampire literature was scant.
So I decided that I would single-handedly revive the genre with a fresh take on the myth and set it in the original vampire capital of New Orleans. Now, by a fresh take, I meant a scientifically plausible take, because I am, after all, a lover of sci-fi. Armed with nothing more than the knowledge of DNA that I retained from reading Crichton's Jurassic Park a decade earlier, I began writing a miserable tale that I called Vampire Fan Club.
Note that this was 2005. I began writing in January and had 20 chapters written by August. I don't think I need to tell you what happened in New Orleans in late August of 2005. I stopped writing out of respect.
Soon after that I was laid off and focused all of my energies into learning a new job and the book was forgotten. A year later I tried to re-image the story into a fictional setting. This proved disastrous because I am not capable of merely changing a name and creating a few made up locales. No, I had to throw myself into full-on world building and suddenly I had convoluted backstories and histories that would have made Tolkien and Lucas proud. But I still had no story, so I said, (beep) it! And swept the whole project aside.
Now fast forward a few years and my husband's constant and not so subtle encouragement starts to finally take hold. It's 2011, enough time has passed that I can feel comfortable using New Orleans as the backdrop so I dig in.
In the meantime, vampires skyrocketed in popularity thanks to the addition if sparkly skin and vaguely stalker-like tendencies. Yet despite the... ahem... revamp... at that point, vampires were once again already on the downward slide into obscurity.
But despite the makeover, vampires were still, well, vampires. They were still immortal, still mythical, and just as implausible as ever. So I still had a niche to carve. Armed with the same scant knowledge of DNA, now going on two decades old, I scrapped nearly all of the content of Vampire Fan Club and threw myself into what would become Eyes.
I am not afraid to say that I'm proud of my creation. Is there a place in the world for enigmatic immortals? Of course. I enjoy a good vampire tale as much as anyone else who spent the majority of thier youth wearing too much black eyeliner. But I'm also not afraid to admit that I want a scientific explanation for everything, even if it's a stretch.

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