I don’t care what you say – we all write fantasy, time travel, dystopia, urban fantasy, paranormal romances, steampunk (okay, maybe not steampunk)…but more importantly, all of our heroes are vampires.
What? No, you say? I don’t write that. I write contemporary romances about contemporary heroes and heroines be it series, single title, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, historical or novels with romantic elements. (Calm down!). So maybe you don’t write fantasies or supernatural stuff. But all of your heroes are still vampires.
(This is My Brain, okay?)
I see vampires in every character written, and I bet if you were to take your contemporary romantic hero or heroine and give them fangs, you’d discover I’m right. Or just leave off the fangs, but drop them into an urban fantasy, and I bet your hero would end up the hero at the end.
Try it, seriously. Think about the simple things that make every day people vampires.
- Businessman – a thirst for power
- Cowboy – a master of the reins…(hehehe)
- Marketing/Public Relations Manager – an obsessive, multi-tasking, neurotic organizer (okay, that’s me in my day job:)…
- Doctor – too easy
- Lawyer – way too easy
- Romance Writer… also too easy…
- Or….Rat Catcher!
I recently finished reading The Strain, the first book in a trilogy co-authored by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, and what did I learn? Rats are freaking cool—scary, filthy, and blood thirsty, but cool. Especially when the habits, skills, and survival techniques of rats are the foundation for the mythology of a vampire epidemic in NYC. By the end of the book, I was actually smitten with a contemporary character who was a rat catcher. Seriously. Not a vampire, or vampire hunter, not a wise old yodalike figure, or super smart doctor-type, but a rat catcher, a strong, funny, handsome male hero smart enough to know how to kill the bad guys.
(remember, my brain:)
I recently watched some of the BBC’s Doctor Who, the most recent five seasons, after never having watched Doctor Who before. And what did I discover? OOoo…Doctor Who…filled with irony, conflict, obstacles, all wrapped up in the ‘last’ Time Lord, nearly 1,000 years old, a master of forever (vampire); incredibly lonely, incredibly selfish, incredibly loyal (vampire), obsessed with his companions (mesmerizing vampire personality), and might well have killed more creatures than any creature in the history of the universe (or in all of time)…. so, yep…Time Lord aka vampire, vampire, vampire.
But what if Doctor Who was Dr. John Smith, a contemporary doctor at Hospital X who meets a widow while on vacation–and its a romantic comedy! Give him all of those traits in the paragraph above without the supernatural or science fiction twists and turns, and you’ve got a multi-layered deeply textured contemporary character – or another word for (wait for it!) — vampire (and yes, it’s a comedy).
I adore the strange, the dangerous, the underbelly of society, and I like writing stories about fringe personalities with bad habits who live in familiar cities, that I tweak to be a bit different, askew, not quite right.
I also love romance. Destined, and hard fought, funny, sad, sincere, beautiful, ever lasting, that grows out of camaraderie, similar goals, and the same foe—you know—daredevil lovers who are daring and/or real devils, but also sexy, weak, strong, and exaggerated – so think about it – everyone, everywhere writes about vampires (at least in my brain, they do:)…
How about your hero – vampire?
(Just say yes.)
Some of my favorite vampire books, films, television:
- Gone with the Wind
- A Tale of Two Cities
- A Wrinkle in Time
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
- Anything by Stephen King
- Anything by J.D. Robb
- The Godfather
- The Sound of Music
(Please stop by tomorrow, Friday, February 3, when there will be no mention of vampires – NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Romance Author – Francis Ray – will be this month’s interview at WaterWorld Mermaids – Don’t Miss It!)