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.