Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vampires & Werethings - It's Complicated

By Kerry Schafer

Vampires and Werethings.


Yep, I said it. With a couple of exceptions, I am just not enamored with these creatures. I have yet to read a book where a vampire or werething is one of the main characters. I caught an episode of Buffy once by mistake. I did see Twilight, but in all honesty, the Viking and I laughed most of the way through it and our final analysis was, "if you were a guy who was several hundred years old but looked seventeen, why would you choose such a sullen and unattractive girl to become obsessed over?" (I also had other reactions, but they are ranty in nature and belong in an entirely different post.)

Now the necessary disclaimer. I haven't read the books, and therefore have absolutely no right to critique them. Meyers obviously knows what she's about, or the books wouldn't sell the way they do, and so more power to her. They are just not for me.

A little over a year ago, my muse, she of the twisted and sadistic sense of humor, pulled a wicked trick on me. I found myself writing a novel about a vampire. Of course, Gerry V. isn't your ordinary vampire. But even if you are over 80 and get turned on the night you were planning to die and aren't exactly happy about your new undead status, you're still a vampire. And, as I soon discovered, where there is one vampire there will be more.

Really I shouldn't blame my muse. It began as a joke on Twitter, with me threatening to write a geriatric vampire. Linda Grimes egged me on. I wrote the very first scene and sent it to her. She pushed me to write more. And before I knew it I was half way into a novel. So, really it was her fault.

Writing this novel was a little problematic on several levels, one of them being that I knew nothing about vampires. Obviously I needed to do some research. I read Dracula for the first time, and actually very much enjoyed it. I also loved the vampires and werewolves in Discworld, but then I adore everything in Discworld. Most recently I fell in love with Harry Dresden and read the whole series, beginning to end. I even enjoyed the vampires - or at least watching Harry slice, dice, and explode them in a variety of ways. I make an exception for Harry's brother Thomas, who I must admit is pretty awesome. But for the most part I still have a problem with the vampire as a sexy bad boy or girl. These are creatures that suck your blood. They either want to kill you, or turn you into a bloodsucking monster too. Sounds like an abusive relationship gone to nightmare proportions and it just doesn't turn me on.

I guess my current stance on vampires and werethings is like that Facebook status for relationships: It's Complicated. I adore Gerry V., and can't wait to get back to work on him as soon as I finish off the current WIP. Today I was joking about writing a Werepenguin into one of my novels. Probably I won't. But you never know.


  1. When the nights are frosty, and the snow lies heavy on the ground, the were-penguin comes waddling to your door -

  2. Yay! I will keep egging you on until you finish. I adore Jerry V. And I think that pic at the top of the post would make a good cover. ;)

    I love the Dresden Files novels, and Thomas is my favorite character after Harry. He can drain my emotions anytime. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

  3. Clearly the werepenguin would be a BIG hit! I'm not too fond of vampires either. I can take them or leave them (but do love Nalini Singh's Dmitri in the Archangel series). Enjoy the post as always!

  4. Linda - somebody sent me that pic with that very comment, lol. It's on my cover page now, for fun. Unfortunately I don't know where it came from, so can't give credit (and thus have sinned in using it at all). As for Thomas - YES>

    Veronica - thank you. And I'm thinking of a werepenguin short story at the moment. Imagine how horrifying it would be when the cute fluffy little penguin went berserk and killed you by the light of a full winter moon.

  5. Vamps are okay....not my favorite paranormal, but you've got me totally intrigued now. A vamp that was turned when he was 80? I assume that means he's not young and gorgeous looking. I'd love to read this when it's done.

    Speaking of supposedly cute and fluffy were creatures, I just read a hilarious novella by Eve Langlais called Bunny and the Bear. The male were-bear kind of discounts the female were-bunny, thinking she's a gentle, woodland creature, but she actually shifts into a 6 ft. tall saber toothed bunny and kicks some serious ass.

  6. Werepenguins! Yes!

    And I must go look up Bunny and the Bear...