Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest: J.K. Beck

Please welcome J.K. Beck.  Beck is the new pen name for author, Julie Kenner, who has entertained us with tales of superheroes, demon-fighting soccer moms, the Blood Lily Chronicles, codebreakers, and even YA stories.  Whew!  This is one busy writer.  Her latest, when blood calls, will be in bookstores tomorrow (but might even be there today), so read, then go shopping (because you deserve it, right?).  But before you hit the shops, leave a comment to enter to win a copy of WHEN BLOOD CALLS.  Enter through Tuesday; winner will be announced Wednesday.

Spike & Angel, Damon & Stephan

Okay, I confess.  I haven’t actually read The Vampire Diaries. I’ve seen all 7 seasons of Buffy multiple times, but only just discovered Diaries.  I was in major television avoidance mode.  I swore I wouldn’t glom another show.  I swore.  I was happy with my tiny sliver of TV entertainment:   Mad Men and The Real Housewives of NYC.  But then my husband went and dangled the lure of vampires (teen lust vampires no less!) in front of me, got me to watch the pilot and…well…I’m hooked.

But the truth is, at least at episode 4, that I think Damon is so much more interesting than Stephan (who, imho, needs his hair ruffled).  That’s the way I feel about Buffy, too. I’m cool with Angel, but I think Spike is the coolest.   In the past I was just all {{{shrug}}} “Spike’s cooler; what of it?”  But in the past I was only watching the vamps and reading about the vamps, and whichever vamp I thought was sexier, cooler and more interesting was something I chalked up to personal preference.  But now … well, now I have books coming out and guess what?  Some of my heroes are vamps…and so I’ve slid into analytical mode.  Always a dangerous thing. 

Why do I like Spike more than Angel?  Why is Damon more interesting than Stephan?  The easy answer is that those are the bad boys, and although easy answers aren’t always wrong, that’s not the entire of the story.  Because even after Angel went bad and became the ultimate bad boy, I still thought that Spike was cooler.  And I finally—finally—figured out why. 

It’s that humanity thing. 

Spike may think he’s the big bad – and yeah, he was pretty much of the killing kind for most of the series – but there was a spark of humanity in him.  The kind of thing a gal could latch onto and say, yeah, this guy just might be worth fighting for.  Manchester United and all that, right?  Even The Judge noted it in the episode called Surprise.  He comes out of the box and his first comment to Spike is that he and Drusilla “stink of humanity, you share affection, jealousy.”  (Thank you Netflix instant streaming for confirming my memory!).  But Angel?  He loses his soul, goes in front of the Judge, and is immediately pronounced “clean” – there’s no humanity left.  He’s a bad boy…and not one you want.  I mean, sending the entire world to hell?  That’s a little too bad boy for even the most determined heroine.

Ditto Damon.  Granted, I’ve seen fewer episodes, but I think Stephan had it right when he told Damon that there must be some humanity left in him—that’s why Damon hadn’t killed his brother.  And because there’s that humanity, those guys are tortured.  Tortured, but not bemoaning their lot like AngelPrime.  And not sucking the world into hell like AngelSecundus.

And that, folks, is my theory as to why Spike and Damon are cooler.  They’re bad ass vamps with enough hint of humanity to make them redeemable…but they’re fighting like hell against it -- and what red-blooded romance heroine isn’t up for that fight?

How about y’all?  Are you Team Angel or Team Spike?  Pro Stephan or Pro Damon?  Who’s your favorite tortured vampire?

JK is the author of the upcoming Shadow Keepers series, starting with When Blood Calls, which will hit shelves on August 31. Check out the series trailer here: or directly on YouTube here:

Here’s a blurb about the book:  Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Sara Constantine’s orderly world is rocked when she’s hand-picked to prosecute “special” cases for the mysterious Division 6...but when she steps into the interrogation room with her new boss to question a murder suspect, the earth shifts beneath her feet again, because not only is the man across the table the very man with whom she’d recently had a passionate one night stand, he also happens to be a vampire. 

You can learn more, read additional excerpts (and excerpts from the other books!), and find all sorts of stuff about the series at and visit JK’s blog at

Be sure to friend her on facebook ( and follow her on Twitter (


cait045 said...

I think I to hang out with the bad boy vamps but want the good one so Team Angel and Stephan.

I loved When Blood Calls and can't wait for the other books in the series.


Anonymous said...

Awesome Cait---thrilled to hear it! As for the good/bad thing, something else occurred to me last night (as I was watching another Vamp Diaries) --you just never really know, do you? I mean, Damon looks like the bad one, but I'm starting to get hints that maybe all isn't what it seems. I could be totally projecting and totally wrong, though, so don't tell me! I've been good this go round, refusing to check wiki or anything!

Jennifer Mathis said...

oh i am team spike he just seemed more like a vampire to me no goody-goody and I haven't watched the Vampire Dairys yet so

Michelle Greathouse said...

I have always liked Spike more than Angel. :) Which is a huge surprise to me because I generally go for the dark haired guys. But Angel just had too much baggage - Spike was fun, even when he was bad - or maybe especially when he was bad. :)

I have only watched a couple of episodes of Vampire Diaries - but I find Damon more appealing than Stephan. It is the attitude. :)

kweenmg at yahoo dot com

Angela Garrett said...

I'm definitely on Team Angel! So looking forward to reading the new book!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! I think Spike may be winning, Angela, LOL! And I'll enthusiastically recommend Vampire Diaries. I'm only on episode 5, but it's much fun. Has a very Dark Shadows feel about it. My husband is hooked, too!

Anyone remember the scene in Angel (the show) where Spike comes to town and narrates over Angel talking to the girl. OMG, cracked me up!

Silvia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
van_pham said...

Team Spike! Looking forward to reading When Blood Calls.

Michele Hauf said...

Totally a Spike girl here. I'm rewatching the Buffy series slowly (about a third of the way through season 2) and Spike really made that show. Angel was a bit of a wuss, sorry to say, those first few seasons, just following Buffy around everywhere. They needed Spike to liven things up a bit.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Michele!

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

As one of the what, maybe 3 people on the face on this planet that's never watched an episode of Buffy (dodging books and other objects tossed at me)(sorry I was a reader not a watcher)I intend to get the DVDs and have a marathon feast in the very near future. Aren't you all jealous that I have such a wonderful occasion coming my way?
I am so looking forward to When Blood Calls but I will make time in the very near future for Buffy.

Teril said...

I am pro Damon. I am going for the tortured bad boy.
I never watched Angel or Buffy, but I read the Vampire Diaries.
When Blood Calls sounds like great read, you can enter me in for a copy ;)

Barbara E. said...

I'm team Spike all the way. I've been looking forward to this new series since I first heard about it and I'm happy the first book is coming out, I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

It's worth it, Lisa. Every time I re-watch it, I'm impressed with the writing and overall story arc. There are a few duds in there (Season 4 is NOT my fav...) but on the whole some really great, lasting television. And some episodes are just plain brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Teril and Barbara!!

Anonymous said...

Team Spike all the way. I think Angel was cool and I loved when he went bad. I also watched his series 'Angel' and they were great. But I always had a thing for Spike and I couldn't stop smiling like an idiot when he and Buffy finally got together.

I don't like the Vampire Diaries, but I did read the books a while back. They weren't exactly my favorite books but I read them all. And I never liked Stephan. He's annoying, and even more annoying in the tv show. So, I'm pro Damon. He's hot, funny and he does 'feel'. :D

CrystalGB said...

I am Team Angel and Team Stephan. Your books sound great. :)


Rosie said...

Give me the good old bad boy vamp any day! I've been a huge fan of Julie's for years and can't wait to get a hold of her new book!!!

sgttibbs said...

SPIKE!!! Oops didn't mean to yell. Hehe. I loved Spike and was grateful when he showed up on Angel.

As for the VD, I haven't read them....yet. Sorry too excited for The ShadowKeepers series to come out!!

GB (formerly JD) said...

You know, even when Angel went bad I still thought Spike was way badder. EvilAngel just didn't seem that evil to me. Bringing about the anihilation of the very beings he needs to feed on just didn't seem like a very logical course of action. Whereas Spike causing chaos for the sake of seeing the fallout, that makes more sense, funnily enough. And you're right with the humanity thing. As Spike said, he may have been love's bitch but he was man enough to admit it.

So it's no surpirse I'm all for Damon in The Vampire Diaries. I've only read the first book (and decided to not bother reading the rest) but I loved the TV show and can't wait for season 2. Damon does have glimpses of having a heart and, coupled with the amazing looks of Ian Somerhalder, well, it amounts to vampire anti-hero crack for me. :)

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