I've been asked why I write vampires on more than one occasion and my answer is always the same: I like history. I'm not into bloodletting (well since I was 15 or so), or wearing black lace (looks funny when with a kiddo at the store and I work at home), and as much as I'd love to, I don't drive a real hearse or sleep in a coffin.
When I write them I try to imagine as closely as possible what their daily (or nightly) obstacles would be. In Crooked Fang, the main character (a vampire) lives in a tavern. It makes sense, right? What if he's called out during the day for a reason? Maybe a fire or someone is injured? How would he react to such things?
There's a predatory feel to vampires that seems to appeal. Angry? Tear out some throats. Bored? Drive a motorcycle at 180 mph on an icy road. Feel those emotions because emotion is good even if it's only a black one.
He disappeared in the shadows once he reached the overhang and I heard the garage door open. I shook my head at the noise he was making and cursed when he snapped the light on. New vampires still carry habits of the living, like turning on lights when they enter a dark room, even though they don't need to. We're creatures of the night, we can see in the dark. I covered my face with my hand as he rummaged around in plain view of anyone from that angle. Thankfully he found the box quickly and turned the light off again. Then slammed the fucking garage door down. He came back over to me and I slapped him in the head.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Ow!” He whimpered and rubbed his head. “What did I do wrong?”
I yanked a few bags out of the box and carefully unfolded them. “Okay, so I'm going to lift him up and you just get his legs in the bag.”
Serv nodded and I grabbed dead Freddie under his arms and hefted him in the air. Serv fussed a little with opening the bag, but got the corpse's feet in it by easing the plastic up over the legs. Freddie was a pretty small guy so we got him almost all the way in, fit another bag over the exposed head and shoulders, and then lined the trunk with about three more bags. He didn't fit. I jerked him back out of the cavity and threw him on the ground.
“Now I get to take the fucking spare out,” I said, turning the giant wing-nut to free the spare tire from the floor of the trunk. “This is starting to be a pain in the ass.”
“Well maybe you shouldn't go around killing people then.”- Crooked Fang
Therein lies the challenges and joys of writing such a limited character. Sure he can jump off a building and survive but he burns up in sunlight. Interesting. Makes for good story. And there you have it. Why I do them. Vampires I mean. Write them.
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Crooked Fang, the novel and the album is due out in Autumn, 2011.
*Rough excerpt. My editor will be waving her magic wand and making it legibler. Or something.