Thursday, October 31, 2013

Demons of Oblivion Blog Tour by Skyla Dawn Cameron

On Vampire Fatigue in 2013
By Skyla Dawn Cameron

Vampires. We’re all sick of them.

I read slush for a while, I remember when every other book was about those loveable fanged hellions. And here I am with, you guessed it, vampires.

In my defense, Bloodlines—where the lead character is a vampire assassin named Zara Lain—was originally written in 2004. It went through the slow, slow machine that is known as Publishing for a few years to be released mid-2008. A change in my situation meant it was a few more years before the rest of the series came out—2011, in fact, as I wanted to rewrite and revise Bloodlines before the rest of the books released—and the market was well-saturated by that point.

But vampires endure because there’s a lot that can be done with them.

Mine come from being infected with a demonic parasite. The parasite invades the host, works its way to the brain. The body goes into stasis for ten to twelve years as the parasite takes over, changing the host’s body to accommodate it. Denser bones, stronger muscles, all to help it survive. It requires blood so the heart pumps, but many other organs are changed and shifted around.

I was asked by a few readers where this idea came from. Honestly...it came from story necessity. For my heroine’s backstory to work, I needed a block of time to pass between her “death” as a human and her awakening as a vampire, and then I had her wake early because I needed a reason why her maker wasn’t there to retrieve her on time. That writer necessity turned into great mythology I could—and have—played with for the rest of the books in the series, even when they don’t center on vampires.

I’m also the sort of reader who is drawn out of very illogical world building. Vampires commonly don’t need to breathe—okay, I get that. But they still have to draw in oxygen to be able to speak, right? Also, vampires quite commonly have sexy times in books but, uh, boy vampires? Don’t they need some blood pumping you-know-where in order for that part to, well, work?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

I wanted to have some sort of possible biological basis for any vampire mythology I used—I’m obviously not a biologist and there are holes in my science, such as it is, but I aimed to make it plausible. My vampires still have plenty in common with ones of myth: an allergy to sunlight, though they don’t burst into flame; super strength and speed; fangs; requiring blood to live; a stake to the heart will paralyze them (you still have to decapitate to kill). Holy water? Crosses? Mine isn’t set in Christian mythology so if you tossed holy water at Zara Lain, she’d probably blink at you for a moment before shooting you in the head.

Also, they kill. Or, rather, some of them do. They’re not innately evil; Zara Lain’s best friend is a pacifist who doesn’t drink blood straight from the vein and would never kill for it. But Zara will kill you. Probably. Unless she can use you for some other purpose.

“But I’m tired of vampire books, Skyla. Why should I read more?”

Well, random-disembodied-voice-from-this-post, because vampire books are rarely about vampires, per se.

They’re about people. They’re about how we can turn into monsters. They’re about the struggle we have with questions about life and death. They’re about what makes us human. In my case, my books are about finding family in the most unlikely of places, learning to see past the scars built up over centuries, reconciling what you used to be with the monster you’ve become.

And these topics never get old.

If you’re not into that, well...there are explosions, car chases, naughty language, demon-hunting nuns, demon mercenaries, psychics, and a hot warlock.

Vampire books, I believe, tell more about the writer than they do the myth, and as long as the authors writing them bring their own unique perspectives to the table, these books will add something new to an already saturated market.


About the Author
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever. 

Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her attention deficit disorder.

Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she dabbles in art, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own pub, as well as become world dictator. 

You can visit her on the web at www.skyladawncameron.com. When she’s not writing or being glared at by cats, she’s probably on Twitter. You should ping @skyladawn and tell her to get back to work.


Excerpt from Hunter:

Want to try the series? Guess what?
So don't forget to pick it up HERE!

The rest of the series will be 1/2 price at the same time! Lots of adventure!

28 comments:

  1. Vampires. We're all sick of them. Only not. There must be something wrong with my brain because I never get tired of vampires. :) And above all, I love it when a biological/scientific explanation for them is offered.
    Great post! Thanks for sharing, Mel.

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    1. Glad to hear some people aren't! I still like a good vampire story myself but working in acquisitions, quite literally every other MS would have vampires and after a hundred or so...it was just exhausting. Now, a good twist on things is something I love to see (a friend had a YA paranormal series about the girl who healed vampires/werewolves/etc) but I feel for the people who say "no more vampires, please."

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  2. yay! this series is so fun! need to read book 3!

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  3. I can handle vamps as long as they're not stereotypical. Give me a good plot, an interesting twist on the genre and I'm all over it, even when I think I'm completely done with them (well, I am pretty much done with YA vamp stories. Those all seem to be the same lately!).

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    1. And what I don't understand is WHY so many of them are all the same. There are a plethora of myths and different cultures to draw from when it comes to vamps and yet so often they're just...the same. (Particularly in YA.)

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  4. I've heard people go through phases. I'm one to mix up the pile so I don't feel the blah on one particular genre or topic. :)

    Thank you for joining the tour Melissa!! :)

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    1. You know me, I hate nearly EVERYTHING...

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  5. I don't think readers are necessarily tired of vampires, but rather the same *type* of vampire shown over and over again. I'm really intrigued by the science aspects of vampires in this series. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think as long as they're not the typical-sexy-brooding-male-lead, there are still a lot of places writers can take vamps. I *love* what Ilona Andrews did with the Kate Daniels books and the vampires in that world.

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  6. "Also, vampires quite commonly have sexy times in books but, uh, boy vampires? Don’t they need some blood pumping you-know-where in order for that part to, well, work?

    These are the questions that keep me up at night."

    It's like were two halves of the same coin Skyla, because those are questions that keep me up at night too ;-) I have to be honest and say I NEVER get tired of vampires, I love seeing how different authors incorporate old mythologies with new ones and make something completely different. Bring on more vamps I say!

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    1. Seriously! Nothing draws me out of a sex scene faster than wondering HOW HIS DEAD PARTS ARE WORKING. *shudder*

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  7. Glad that I'm not the only one to wonder about this very thing Jenny.

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  8. Thanks for that post. I'm pretty tired of vamps/dystopian books but I'll give these books a chance since you convinced me :)

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  9. Sorry some of the illogical aspects drew you out

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  10. Nice post! I'm not tired of vampires; I just think it depends on the book. I like how some can be scary, some "realistic" in a sense, some funny, etc.

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    1. I've got a review going up in a bit at Melissa My World's blog and it's a book with vampire priests, which were fun (though admittedly I read it for the archaeology/tomb raiding puzzle sort of stuff).

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  11. Oh I'll have to grab this one! I'm not tired of vampires, but I have to say that I agree, I need some logic behind things. At least a little bit.

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    1. "It's magic" only suspends my disbelief for so long, and even then, magic must have its own logic as well.

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  12. Sure today I feel more were love than vamp love but I would still never tire of them

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    1. I am...a little torn with weres. I prefer them as a reader--I'm an animal person after all--but wolves are my spirit animal (not the spirit animal meme; I mean literally) and I get very irritated quite easily with how they're typically portrayed. I mean, I wereWOLF should act a little like a freakin' wolf, you know? Same with were-lions and tigers and bears, oh my. So I tend to shy away after some bad reads even though I know there's some really good were(wolf and otherwise) fiction out there.

      /tangent

      Thanks for dropping by!

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  13. ROFL! Dead parts... Yes, I'm with Jenny and Skyla as well... how does that work? :) Although in Anne Rice's Vamp world, it didn't work...

    Not tired of vamps and this looks like a great world!

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    1. I actually quite liked that detail about Rice's books (although those brought in a different sort of fatigue after a while...).

      Thanks for having me, Melissa!

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  14. I will never tire of vampires..i love them and they are my favorite paranormal creature. Only hold the sparkle, they need to be kick-ass and alpha.

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  15. Yeah, I'm still not really sick of vamps, especially when an author can put a new spin on them. And demon parasites is definitely a unique take! This sounds cool, I'll have to check it out!

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  16. I don't believe the market will ever be saturated, paranormal romance is here to stay. I read a lot and there are still hundreds of series I want to read. With new series emerging every year.

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  17. Love vampires. I have since I read Anne Rice as a teen.

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  18. lol I think any trope/genre can be overdone but there will always be room for vampires and werewolves.

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!