Vampires, like all other creatures, have evolved over time. From John Polidori’s The Vampyre, to Bran Stoker’s Dracula, to Jonathan Frid’s adaption as Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows, to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, Fright Night, The Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, From Dusk till Dawn, Blade, True Blood, Vampire Diaries and Twilight, vampires have transformed from the scary male holed up in a creepy castle, to charismatic long lost relatives, to those living amongst us while others sparkle in the daylight.
I’ve been a fan of all things vampire since I was a little girl. My mom hooked me on the reruns of the original Dark Shadows TV show. I don’t know what first drew me to vampires, but the fascination has had a lasting effect. In fact, once I decided that I was going to write a book, I knew without a doubt that I’d be writing a vampire novel.
The vampires in The Descendant (Book 1 in The Descendant Vampire Series) exhibit traits from many of their literary and cinematic predecessors. There were too many vampire traits for me to have only settled on a few! So which traits did I chose and why? Read on to find out.
Vampires Live Amongst Us…Secretly
In The Descendant, vampires live among humans. They live in the same neighborhoods, mingle in public, and even host lavish Halloween parties with mortals on the guest list. Although they have settled into society, vampires never reveal their existence to mortals.
I chose not to have my vamps secluded in a castle, thinking that after all the centuries they figured out how to engrain themselves with society. Besides, isn’t easier to live amongst your food source then to have to hunt them in the dead of night? Yet my vampires are still reserved, keeping their society secret to prevent the witch-hunt that would occur if mortals possessed knowledge of vampire existence.
Vampires Need Blood – Any Blood
It used to be that vampires only subsisted on human blood, but somewhere along the line that all changed. Some vampires now exist by drinking synthetic blood or animal blood. The Drakes and the other vampires in The Descendant that abide by the rules for their sect of vampire society, exist by drinking a combination of mortal and animal blood. Why did I choose to do this? Part of the sexiness about vampires is their lust for humans and I didn’t want to change that. But if vampires were around for as many centuries as I propose in The Descendant, they had to survive on multiple blood sources or risk terminating the human population. But their preferred elixir of choice is still human blood.
Daylight and Vampires Don’t Mix
Some vampires can’t expose themselves to the light of day because it will set them on fire and kill them. Or the sunlight will turn them to ash. Other vampires can go out in the daylight only if they wear a trinket that contains a spell to protect them. And then of course, there are those that sparkle in the daylight.
Personally, I’ve always liked the vampire’s aversion to sunlight (they are after all creatures of the night), but I was never a huge fan that it would set fire to a vamp and kill him. So I modified this piece of vampire lore. My vampires can exist in the daylight hours, but too much sun exposure will cause their blood to boil, and that is an extremely painful experience.
The Origin of the Vampire
Ever notice in most vampire stories that the vampire is just there? That you never really hear about how the vampire was created?
I had picked up on this after reading several vampire books and watching numerous movies. It grated on me because I’m the type of person that likes to have a plausible explanation for how things came to be. Okay, okay, I know we’re talking about vampires and they really don’t exist (or do they?), but still, most of the stories about vampire beginnings I just didn’t buy into.
For me, the vampire’s origin had to be rooted in something realistic and that’s the story I tried to spin in The Descendant. Want to know how I explain the vampire’s origin? You’ll have to read the book!
In The Search (Book 2 in the series) I expand on other popular vampire lore. For example, there is a scene where the vampires fall victim to a boundary spell where their obsessive-compulsive nature kicks in and they’re compelled to count every grain of salt in the border. I had always liked this flaw in the vampire’s behavior and therefore wanted to incorporate it into the storyline.
If you read The Descendant and The Search, I think you’ll find that I pay homage to the vampires of yesterday but still give my vampires their own unique flare while telling you how vampires came into existence. That was the story I had always wanted to read, and since I couldn’t find that story, I decided to write it.