Seriously? Vampires Dwelling Among Us?
Vampire lore and literature has been filled with the traditional tenants of "creatures of the night" that we love so well. When you say the word "vampire" the average person knows precisely what attributes to expect: sharp fangs, reanimated corpses seeking the blood of innocents, aversion to sunlight and garlic, arming oneself with holy relics and wooden stakes to combat the enemy, and supernatural strength and speed. Many successful authors of vampire literature rely upon these long-held doctrines as the foundations for their paranormal romances and urban fantasies. However, when I created my Sunset Vampire Series I wanted to do something fresh and different. My vision of the perfect vampire wasn't a cold-skinned animated corpse, but rather a living being whose human body had been transformed into something new and powerful. And while I incorporated some of the customary properties of traditional vampires, I wanted the key attributes to make sense and fit seamlessly within the boundaries of a logical structure.
Are you intrigued? Then please, let's proceed...
My Sunset vampires are living, breathing beings whose cells have preternatural qualities. Their bodies command vastly superior strength, speed, senses, and restorative constitutions that far exceed that of humans. However, they are not invincible. Their cells can be damaged by high doses of ultraviolet radiation, particularly sunlight. As living beings, they are susceptible to blades, bullets, and fire, though much larger proportions of damage are required than what is needed to kill or maim a human being. The cells of my vampire's bodies are fed by breaking down blood, thereby justifying retractable fangs for withdrawing such live-sustaining sustenance from their victims. Of course, since a vampire's cells have highly regenerative qualities, it stands to reason that their blood and saliva has healing qualities, as well. The cautionary element is that too large of a dose of such blood could threaten to overtake the cells inside of a human's body, thereby transforming them into a vampire.
By creating vampires with a living physiology it was much easier for me to imagine the plausibility of their existence. It also made them more realistic to combat, because as living beings, they're no more affected by garlic, holy water, or crosses than you or I are. Also, like humans, they aren't bound to a particular behavioral pattern. They could choose to act with either benevolent or dangerous intentions; merely with more influence and impact given their enhanced abilities. However, the challenge still remained to incorporate them into present-day society. In today's world, technology is a double-edged sword for vampires. While some advancements such as refrigeration for blood storage, UV-filtering film for exterior windows, and Internet-based commerce and communications have aided vampires with some of their challenges, other concerns remain. For extremely long-lived beings, the hiding from society or spontaneous creation of new identities is much harder with the increasingly collaborative information and surveillance systems utilized by governments. Such developments generated a host of new challenges. Given such concerns, it's only natural that vampires might collaborate into loosely-organized networks to maintain their secrecy or to profit from such services needed by their peers. Once the most obvious obstacles for societal integration were confronted and overcome, it became entirely plausible to me that a vampire might be living next door!
I hope that you appreciate my new approach to vampires, and that you will consider reading my Sunset Vampire Series. The first novel, Sunrise at Sunset, was published in October 2010, and the second novel, A Bloody London Sunset, was published in May of this year. A third installment, Summit at Sunset, is being released this November. All novels are available in both trade paperback and multiple eBook formats from major retailers including as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Apple iBookstore. My sincere thanks to Denise for the opportunity to appear on Immortyl Revolution and for her support of the Romancing Your Dark Side Paranormal Blog Tour that I am participating in.