Exploding the Vampire Myths
Not I! I wouldn’t dream of it! I love all the vampire stories out there, old and new, and I’ve particularly enjoyed writing a few too. In fact, I have a new book out (BLOOD ON SILK), the first of a vampire trilogy called Awakened by Blood, and while I love my powerful, inclined-to-evil vampire hero, I thought I’d talk today about my myth-busting heroine, Elizabeth Silk.
Elizabeth is on a mission in Transylvania. A little naive, perhaps, but very down-to-earth, skeptical and analytical, she’s researching a thesis that will explain the prevalence of vampire myths in eastern Europe. A little like the sixteenth and seventeenth century witch craze, vampire myths, she believes, were invented to justify the otherwise illegal killings of people who threatened the community – greedy or cruel lords, military recruiters etc.
The thesis is important to Elizabeth: she came late to academia and she has confidence issues. Obtaining her PhD and academic credentials is, to her, a necessary self-justification. And her research is all going very well, apart from one annoying character who crops up all over history, but only in folktales. There’s no actual evidence that he ever existed or ever died. Until a mysterious man gives her a lead to the burial place of this “vampire”, and she discovers a stone sarcophagus ornamented with the lifelike carving of a man. When the sarcophagus comes to life and bites her neck, it is, as you might imagine, a bit of a shock.
She doesn’t believe in vampires; if she reads vampire fiction it’s purely to understand the appeal of the creatures of the night to the human imagination. Her interests are largely historical. Waking Saloman, the most powerful vampire of all time, is bound to change her life, but she doesn’t yet know it. In fact, she fights against it, trying to rationalize what she saw and the sexual attraction she experienced. After all, if it was real, then her whole thesis, rather than the vampire myths that inspired it, is exploded.
With her life, beliefs and research turned upside down, there’s only one thing left for Elizabeth to hang onto – her duty, which is clearly to kill the dangerous vampire she accidentally awakened. But there’s a problem there too. In fact there are several – she needs to learn to fight and kill; she’s struggling against a profound sexual attraction to him; and, worst of all, he needs to kill her to gain the mystical strength of his Awakener, and his lust for her to her isn’t going to stop him.
I confess I like Elizabeth! She has to learn very quickly to cope with an entirely new and threatening world. She wants to do the right thing, but she thinks for herself and insists on working out exactly what the right thing is. She’s independent, compassionate, vulnerable but perfectly willing to stand up for herself – and ultimately capable of it too. So although she doesn’t get to explode all those myths to her own intellectual satisfaction, I’m glad she gets, in the end, to explode a few vampires J.
BLOOD ON SILK: An AWAKENED BY BLOOD Novel
By Marie Treanor
Out Now from NAL Signet Eclipse.
Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is spending the summer in Romania researching historical superstitions for her PhD. While she is tracing local folktales, one subject in particular sparks her imagination. His name is Saloman, legend's most powerful vampire, a seductive prince staked centuries ago. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers the legends are real. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger.
An army of vampire hunters has amassed to send Saloman back to hell. Sworn to help - yet fearing Saloman's deadly blood lust - Elizabeth seeks to entrap him, offering her body as bait. But something stronger than dread, more powerful than revenge, is uniting Elizabeth to her prey. Caught between desire and rage, Elizabeth must decide where her loyalties lie...and what the limits are to a yearning she can no longer control.
Read an excerpt here: http://www.marietreanor.com/BloodOnSilk.htm
Marie’s website: http://www.MarieTreanor.com
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