I’m so happy today to be sharing the chance I had to interview Lilly and Torren from Awakening 2.
Lilly sits alone with Mari at the large table in Beth and Carrie’s kitchen, two weeks after the end of Awakening 2.
The change was hard on you. Can you tell us a little more (not mentioned in the book) about it?
After everything that’s happened, that seems so long ago now. *Shudders* I, uh…I suppose “It was difficult” is an understatement. Just so much stimuli all at once. *Closes her eyes* Imagine being in the middle of a crowded room where everyone is yelling and there’s really loud experimental-industrial music playing and people keep touching you with strange objects you can’t see and the air is thick and there are all these smells being pumped into the room that are vaguely familiar but you can’t quite identify and there’s a really bright light shining directly into your eyes but the rest of the room beyond is pitch dark. Times a thousand.
Now that you’ve adjusted a little more, what do you think of being a vampire?
*Opens her eyes* Right now? It really sucks. I mean, sensory-wise, it’s not as bad as it was those first few months. But I’m still healing from…the incident. I have a scar across my chest. *Gestures from her left collarbone down below her right breast* It aches all the time. And Torren kind of broke my heart. Not to mention the fact that the whole reason I became a vampire in the first place was to feel safer. *Snort* Needless to say, that didn’t really work out as I planned.
What are your plans?
*Looks down at her hands* I don’t know. I need some time to think. To figure out what to do with the rest of eternity. *Her voice quavers* I’m staying at Beth and Carrie’s right now. Part of me hopes that Torren comes looking for me, but part of me doesn’t want him to. I’m–I’m a little fucked up in the head right now. *She begins to cry* I’m so sorry, Mari. I need to be alone. Please go. *Rises and leaves the room*
Milan. Torren is sitting on a couch next to Vittoria, who looks at him adoringly. They are holding hands.
How long ago were you turned?
Torren: I’m not sure exactly. My memory of that time is still unclear, though it’s coming back, little by little. Vittoria is helping with that. *Squeezes Vittoria’s hand and looks at her with stars in his eyes* How long ago was it, my love?
Vittoria: Five hundred twenty years. It was the year 1492.
Do you remember anything about it?
Torren: *shakes his head* No, not yet.
Can you tell me the difference between human blood and animal blood?
Torren: Human blood has a subtler flavor compared to animal blood. To someone who does not have vampire senses and has never tasted blood, it is hard to describe. Drinking the blood of an animal, such as a deer or a horse, leaves a sharp taste on your tongue. Their blood is a little bitter. Human blood, on the other hand, is almost sweet. It’s more full-bodied than animal. More complex.
*Vittoria licks her lips and looks longingly at Mari’s beautiful, long neck*
Do you use human or animal blood regularly?
Torren: Human blood. Vittoria and I go hunting together.
*Vittoria smiles warmly at him*
Can a vampire survive from feeding off another vampire? Is it done for pleasure only?
Torren: *thinks for a moment* I’ve never heard of a vampire subsisting on another vampire’s blood. It is not a thing that is done. I imagine you could, but it would be difficult to find vampires who were willing to be another vampire’s food. It’s seen as…degrading.
What is it like changing someone?
Torren: I don’t know. I’ve never Changed anyone.
Vittoria: *pulls Torren up off the couch, eyes flashing at Mari* Basta! Torren, we go. Immediatamente!
Torren: *looks confused but follows Vittoria toward the door* I–I’m sorry, Mari. Thank you so much for having us here, but we must leave now.
Oh, I was almost worried there for a bit… I don’t know why but I don’t trust Vittoria.
This leaves so many questions doesn’t it??
If by chance you haven’t had a chance to read Awakening 1 or Awakening 2 or started following Jeanie here are the links..
Today I’m so happy to have a great vampire author here to guest post for me. (Jeanie you are the first person to guest post here, and the first to ever take over Vampire Wednesday.)
Jeanie was kind enough to tell us a bit about the mythology of her series. Jeanie Grey has a great vampire romance/erotic series. If you haven’t read Awakening and Awakening 2 you can buy them on Amazon. I definitely recommend them.
Now on to Jeanie’s guest post
I’ve been fascinated by vampire mythologies since I read Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire series and L. J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries as a teenager. Since then I’ve read every book and seen every movie about vampires that I’ve come across, and one thing I’ve noticed is how the vampire mythology changes—slightly or drastically—with each author.
In some stories, vampires can’t come out during the day (e.g. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, Blade, and Underworld), while in others they can (e.g. the Twilight series). Some vampire mythologies claim that vampires can only drink the blood of human virgins (e.g. Blood for Dracula, aka Andy Warhol’s Dracula), or that being bitten by a vampire either kills a person or turns them into a vampire (e.g. From Dusk Til Dawn). In some stories, humans and vampires can be bound to each other by the exchange of blood (e.g. Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling). In others, a psychic exchange accompanies the exchange of blood: vampire and human can see each other’s memories, hear each other’s thoughts, experience each other’s feelings (e.g. Annette Curtis Klause’s The Silver Kiss). There are rules about crosses and garlic and holy water. About stakes and beheading. Rules about whether being bitten is pleasurable, erotic, or painful. About shape-shifting and controlling the weather. And these rules change from story to story as each author creates his or her own mythology.
But there are three constants: vampires are stronger and faster than humans; they live a lot longer than humans (unless killed); and they drink blood.
When I started thinking about creating a vampire mythology for the Lilly Frank series, I knew I wanted to do something a little different, but I also wanted strong ties to the more traditional mythologies. I knew I wanted my vampires to be able to go out in daylight, but I asked myself, “Are there conditions under which vampires could go out in daylight but people would think they couldn’t?”
That’s how I came up with the idea that vampires are hypersensitive, especially in their first few years of vampirehood. (Is that a word? Well, it is now.) If vampires were hypersensitive to heat and light, it would make coming out during the day really uncomfortable, so they would prefer the nighttime.
(Vampirehood… I love it. I in the name of all that is vampire, on this day of the vampires, hereby state that vampirehood is now a word! At least on here it will be!)
The hypersensitivity would also explain their aversion to garlic: it’s a strong smell and offends even some human noses, so if vampires had a much better sense of smell, they might want to stay away from it (though it doesn’t kill them).
Here are some other characteristics of the Lilly Frank vampire mythology:
• Vampires can eat human food, but it does not sustain them; they need blood to stay alive, and human blood is best.
• Being bitten by a vampire can be either pleasurable or painful, depending on technique, but it neither kills you (unless they drink too much) nor turns you into a vampire. It takes a significant exchange of blood to become a vampire.
• Crosses and holy water have no effect.
• Wooden stakes hurt a lot (remember heightened sense of touch), but they do not kill a vampire. Vampires are immortal and heal quickly, and the only way to kill a vampire is to deprive them of blood for an extended period of time or to behead them and make sure the head and body stay far away from one another.
• They cannot control the weather or change themselves into bats, wolves, or other animals.
• Drinking blood from a human or vampire allows one to feel the blood donor’s dominant emotions—this is what happens when Lilly tastes Torren’s blood in Awakening.
• Drinking or exchanging blood does not create a bond between two individuals; bonds form between individuals for other reasons.
The one that surprised me the most, when I was writing Awakening 2, was the idea that there are more than five senses that can be heightened and that each vampire has a “gift”—one sense that is heightened more than all the others and whose sensitivity does not lesson through the years. I totally did not see that coming.
Jeanie Grey is a feminist reader and writer of romance and erotica who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have been published on deadlyeverafter.com and thedarkerhalf.com. She self-published her first book, Awakening in the summer of 2012. Awakening 2 was just released on Monday, July 1, 2013. Both are ebooks for Kindle and available to purchase on Amazon.
For more about her work and her views on writing romance and erotica, please visit her website at http://jeaniegrey.blogspot.com You can also connect with her on Twitter (@jeaniegrey) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
I love your mythology, Jeanie. Some of it I’ve proven to be ancient lore here on this very column. Thank you so much for sharing with my readers.
Jeanie has agreed to another 2 posts regarding vampires in the following two weeks make sure you come back.