Lately I’ve been witness to a whole lot of vampire attacks.
Not attacks launched by actual vampires, mind you (that’s right, you can put the phone down; no need to book a room for good ol’ Meg at the Hotel du Looney BinJ); but attacks launched against fictional vampires by a number of literary critics. They claim that many of the vampires depicted in today’s romantic and erotic books are not true blood suckers; that they defy vampire legend by being (gasp!) kind, sensitive and sensual. They insist that, by their nature, creatures of the night should be scary stalkers who murder and devour their prey.
Well as a devoted vampire fan myself, I have enjoyed my fair share of conventionally bloody vampire legends. After all, the handsome vamps who filled the cast of The Lost Boys—my all-time favorite vampire movie—were not exactly pacifists. And throughout his many screen and literary incarnations, Dracula has never been a vegetarian.
Still and all, when I myself became a vampire writer, I couldn’t imagine crafting a hero who terrorized and murdered his heroines—or anyone else, for that matter. This is why all of my vamps are incubus in nature; instead of drinking blood, they draw their sustenance from the sexual energies of women. So the more they can satisfy their women, the stronger and more nourished they themselves become. Oh yeah babe, works for me! And for my readers; one of my most popular series, the Nuit books from Phaze, concerns three Victorian vampires who run a strip club and bordello for women.
Now I will admit that one of my stories, Song of the Vamp from the Melange digest Vampire Nights, does feature an ‘off camera’ vampire killing. In this story, my heroine Antonia—an entertainment manager who counts Sylvan, a sexy vampire rock singer, among her clients--is the victim of attempted rape. After fighting off her perpetrator, she tells Sylvan what happened; and that night, the attacker is obliterated through a vampire kill.
Sylvan is a man with a strong but gentle nature; one who can’t stand to see any harm come to his precious Antonia—his friend, manager and eventual lover. It is the same kind of love which inspires Lord Gerard, my vampire hero in the Noble Romance story Noelle’s Nocturne, to compose a song for Noelle, the seamstress who brings light to his lonely life. And the same kind of love which prompts Victor, my vamp hero in Vampgasm: It Was a Dark and Horny Night (available in the Midnight Thirsts digest from Melange), to reveal his true nature to Kat, his horror writer best friend and the subject of his affections. The nature of the incubus.
I take a similar approach to other paranormal creatures. Sirens, for example, are traditionally seen as predatory femmes fatale who lure sailors to their deaths on high seas. The sirens I write about in my book Wild Sirens and the upcoming Naked Siren from Class Act Books and Mermance from Melange—by contrast—are kind-natured males who lure women to some real good romance and sex, also on high seas.:)
No doubt some critics would impale me for messin’ with the classics; but as I visit my local DVD stores and see the gratuitous ‘torture porn’ titles currently lining the horror shelves, I’m proud to offer gentle, loving, hot, and woman positive stories. And I know I’m not the only one; many of my sister and fellow erotica authors are coming up with similar heroes and story lines. So let’s hear it for things that go bump in the night; and in a good way!