Monday, April 26, 2010

Guest: Lori Handeland

Please welcome Lori Handeland to VampChix during Werewolf Week.  No stranger to the hairy heroes, Lori also writes vampires, and she talks a bit about them today.  Lori will give away an autographed copy of CHAOS BITES to one lucky commenter today!  [Winner announced on Wednesday.]  Please leave a comment to be entered.

I’ve decided that what I love most about vampires is the angst.  Back when I was a reader not a writer, my favorite types of books were those with the totally damaged heroes.  Laura Kinsale anyone?  I loved her books.  Still do.
I was always on the Angel side of the Spike/Angel battle.  Sure, I think Spike’s a hoot, but when it comes down to a choice, I’d pick Angel every time.  All that brooding, angsty need is, for  me, irresistible.
My favorite vampire movie is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  “I’ve crossed oceans of time for you.”  Gary Oldman broke  my heart.
So, when it came time to write my own vampire, angst was a foregone conclusion.
In my urban fantasy series “The Phoenix Chronicles,” there are two heroes—a shape-shifting Navajo witch and a dhampir—the son of  a vampire and a human.
Jimmy Sanducci has it all—looks, charisma, super powers.  He’s also the first love of the heroine, Elizabeth Phoenix, and her right hand man in their fight against the demons who want to bring about the Apocalypse.  But Jimmy’s got issues.  Here’s a taste from CHAOS BITES, the fourth entry in “The Phoenix Chronicles” available in bookstores tomorrow (April 27).   Read the first chapter here.

No matter what he did, no matter what I did, no matter how many others we might love too, I’d feel the same way about Jimmy Sanducci until the day that I died as I’d felt about him when I was seventeen.  I couldn’t help myself. 
Jimmy and I had shared similar childhoods, even before I’d come to Ruthie’s at twelve, straight from another foster home that didn’t want me.  I’d also spent time on the streets, preferred it in fact to the parade of homes I’d been through.  The streets might be rough, but they were honest.
Jimmy was the boss at Ruthie’s, and he didn’t much like having to move in with some of the other boys so I could have his bedroom.  To welcome me, he’d left a grass snake between the sheets.  I’d put the snake in a cage, named him James, then loosened a few of Sanducci’s teeth.
What followed was five years of living in the same house, pretending to loathe each other, while what we felt in truth was developing into something much different.  Not long after the lust erupted we fell in love.  Jimmy would have done anything for me.  It wasn’t until years later that I’d found out he had.
Recently I’d been forced to choose between Jimmy’s “soul” and the lives of millions of people, which wasn’t really a choice at all.  Jimmy had wound up broken inside.  He could barely stand to look at me.  I had to live with what I’d done, as well as the knowledge that if given a second chance, I’d do it all over again.

            I’ve loved creating the world of “The Phoenix Chronicles.”  Liz Phoenix, who’s been thrown into the fire, literally, but will do whatever it takes to win.  Jimmy Sanducci, who’s been in this fight much longer and is becoming damaged by it.  And the shape-shifter Sawyer who . . . well no one really knows what’s up with Sawyer, including if he’s on the side of good or the side of evil.
            I hope you pick up a copy of CHAOS BITES and enjoy my take on vampires.

What do you prefer in your vampires?  Angst or no-angst?  Do you like dark?  Or do you like funny?  What’s your favorite vampire book and movie?  And most importantly—Is it Angel, or is it Spike? 

Please visit Lori at these places:

HER DREAM LIFE It’s not the end of the world—yet. But Doomsday once again lies in wait for demon-slayer Elizabeth Phoenix. Several weeks ago she had no choice but to kill a man she loved. Sawyer was a witch and shape-shifter, a sorcerer of incredible strength. And now he’s started to invade her dreams…in the most dangerous and sensuous ways imaginable.
HAS BECOME A LIVING NIGHTMARE Through her nighttime visits with Sawyer, Liz has acquired a new set of paranormal powers. She has also received a special new gift in the form of Sawyer’s baby. Now nothing is as it seems as Liz combs through the chaos of her new life while trying to outrun death at every turn. She’s going to need all the help she can get—even if that means dealing with her embittered ex-lover Jimmy Sanducci. He may be the only one left she can trust…since every other demon on earth is hell-bent on her destruction.


Hilda said...

I'm more into the "I'm a vampire and the world is mine" type. It used to be the angsty ones when I started getting into the Vampire genre, but not anymore. I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, in fact I have both shows on DVD, and it was always Spike! Sure, I loved Angel too (and who wouldn't? especially since David plays him) but his broodiness sometimes brought me down - whilst Spike always made me laugh.

So I guess I could say I like dark, funny non-angsty vampire stories.

I can't really pick a book - they all have something special that the others don't. As for the movie, Interview with the Vampire all the way! (and yes, I love Lestat!)

great post!

Zita said...

I love the brooders. Angel, Heathcliff, you know them. The guys that wander the moors with a cloud of doom over their heads. I want to rescue them all =). Catherine Coulter wrote a great brooder in "The Nightingale Legacy." It was a hoot to follow along as the heroine taught him that he wasn't really a brooder after all. Wonderful! Not actually a vampire example, but when it comes to the angst-ridden alpha brooder-type, vampirism is just another characteristic, like brown hair. LOL!

Ragan said...

Me, I was a Spike fan, but that might be more of a reflection on David Boreanaz than Angel himself.

I like angst but enjoy humor. It has to be dark. I'm very picky when it comes to vampires so I'm guess I'm still looking for someone to take my 'favorite vampire' spot.

cait045 said...

I like the brooding/anst kind of vampire. I like when they get funnier as they fall in love. I also agree with you about picking Angel even though I love Spike, but Angel is my choice.

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Hi Lori!

I completely agree with you I like my vampires and my vampire stories angtsy! I like my vampires dark and brooding, oozing that kind of dark dangerous vibe and irresistible power. My favourite vampire movie: is a series: Buffy! (though I very much like the new Vampire Diaries series too) I'd pick Angel too as a hero (but have to say Spike was an extraordinary character he had some of the best lines)!

So angst and tall, dark vampires for me! :-)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

throuthehaze said...

I definitely like the dark, angsty type of vamp, but I also like it when they have a sense of humor too.

SandyG265 said...

I like the traditional dark vampire. But sometimes I also like the funny ones. My favorite vampire movie is Frank Langella's version of Dracula.

I can't pick just one book. It really depends on what I'm in the mood to read at any given time.

Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

You ask such tough questions. I'll admit, during the run of Buffy and Angel, I was an Angel fan. I wanted to kiss all of Angel's broodyness away. Now.. while I still enjoy reading about the brooding vampire, I think I would have to go with Spike. I want someone that can make me laugh, and not bring me down with them or shun my hilarious antics because they're not broody enough.

So now... I think I'm a Spike fangirl. I want more snark, less brood!

Aria said...

Angel, absolutely....and it doesn't that Joss Whedon always breaks my heart just a little... said...

spike and i like dark

Dot S. said...

I like my vampires angsty/dark. But I have appreciated some very funny Lynsay Sands vampires.

My favorite vampire book has to be D.B. Reynolds' RAPHAEL. He is so dangerous and sexy.

I don't have a favorite vampire movie, will a werewolf movie be okay? Blood and Chocolate is a fab werewolf movie. I'm hoping someone will make a ruly great vampire movie one of these days.
I have a fave TV series, MOONLIGHT.

It's always been Spike but only when Mick St.John isn't around.

Lorelei said...

Brooders are my favorite vampires/or hero all around.

Yes, "Dracula" with Oldman, but I prefered Frank Langella over all, and those hypnotic eyes.

Definitely Angel, though. And I'd have to say Nick from "Forever Knight"--first season.

Book? "The Historian" by Elisabeth Kostova. I read that thing 3 x's

Vickie said...

Oh...give me the bad boy each time, I have the biggest crush-age on Spike. Not too crazy about angst, but Angel could angst and I'd be good with it, what a honey. Maybe a mix of Spike and Angel? And give me funny, too. I love to laugh and be with a man who has smiling eyes, even if it was a bit of an evil grin in there.

Favorite vampire movie? From Dusk Til Dawn

Favorite Vampire play would be Raul Julia as Dracula on Broadway. *woof*

heatwave16 said...

I want my vamps to be sexy with a bit of humor tossed in. I originally was all about Angel, I think it was him in the leather pants...but the angst gets old after awhile. My final choice was and fun.

Favorite vamp movie is Underworld. Selene is very humor, but I'm sure its in there somewhere. ;)


Martha Lawson said...

Angel, definitely!! I like both dark and funny. I'd love to be entered to win this. I love your books, Lori!!

I follow

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

Angel, definitely!! I like both dark and funny. I'd love to be entered to win this. I love your books, Lori!!

I follow

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Lori Handeland said...

Seems like the consensus is angsty with a bit of humor. Just my thing!

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

Shauna Kemp said...

I agree with you too. I actually just became a fan of Angel as of late. Oh my! :) Angsty is definitely the way to go! I lean towards that way myself in my reading and writing. I look forward to reading your book! Take care, Shauna

CrystalGB said...

I love your Phoenix Chronicles. I like the brooding angsty vampire. I have been enjoying the new tv series, Vampire Diaries. Angel was always my choice.

donnas said...

I love this series. Cant wait to read Chaos Bites. I dont like a lot of angst in the main character, some if ok, but not too much. Secondaries though anything goes. Dark is good, but dark and funny is better! And it was always Angel.

Shawn said...

Just wanted to let you know I've posted a link to your review at

Thanks :)