09 April 2010

The lure of Vampires...

Ah, the romance...the danger...the irresistible lure of immortality...and the man who would share everything just to be a part of your life.

Yep, you guessed it...the lure of the Vampire.

I remember being in college in the early nineties. Yes, I'm dating myself, but it's for a good cause. My Gothic Literature class had Dracula on the reading list. I read it with a consuming fascination and had furious debates with Dr. Ian Crawford, my advisor, about the influence it had over the books emerging from the period.

It was even being made into a movie, much to the horror of the Southern conservatives who loudly decried the entire movement as an attempt by the devil to lead the nation's youth astray. And that was my first step down the rabbit hole.

Maybe it was the taboo factor, but as a young woman struggling to find my balance in an uncertain sea of chaos, it struck a cord in me. So much so, in fact, that my thesis in college was the Vampiric Element in the Victorian Novel. I immersed myself in the myth and legends only to devour classic books of the era with my trusty highlighter in hand...searching for elements, clues, and validation that I wasn't alone in believing the classics held a darker understory if one chose to look for it.

And, way back then, before I had the confidence to ever believe I would see my name in print, I sketched out what I thought my vampire world would be like. The rules, the correlations to real life, the influence the dark and mysterious could have on my own protagonist.

It was a fantasy that stuck with me through the years. Every time I started to wander back down the path toward the vampire in my mind, I pulled back believing the idea had been done ten ways to forever and it wouldn't be original anymore. But I couldn't dismiss it. It simply would not be forgotten.

Then, one day, I discovered Destiny in a random scene writing exercise. I thought, why not? Wouldn't it be great to have a protagonist strong enough to withstand that intoxicating temptation?

You know, the thing about vampires is we think we can resist. We, as modern women, can simply smile and tease...and walk away. It's like playing with a tiger in the zoo. It looks tame and starts out innocently enough, but once you let your guard down, the claws come out and you're a goner.

I thought Destiny was made of sterner stuff. I thought she was the perfect foil for Marcus.

I didn't count on exactly how much power the idea of the vampire lover held. I fought the story. I struggled to detangle Destiny and Marcus as they pulled themselves tighter.

In the end, the vampire won. But doesn't he always?

What was your first taste of blood and destiny?
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