Vampires: Heroes, Villains or Tragic Victims?
Vampires have undergone quite a transformation over the years. For a long time, they were relegated to the pages of horror novels and only made eerie appearances in horror films. These vampires for the most part were truly horrific creatures. Heinous undead monsters. Spooky. Creepy. Sometimes downright disgusting. Reveling in the harm or murder of innocents. Television shows and movies strayed from this occasionally with either a comedic or romantic portrayal, but novels remained fairly consistent in presenting vampires as horrific villains.
Until, that is, a few brave romance writers (Lori Herter and Maggie Shayne were the first I read) gave vampires a new identity in the early ‘90s: that ofRomantic Hero. And the paranormal romance genre was born. Vampire heroes in romances were often sexy, brooding, tortured souls then, unhappy with their existence, sometimes loathing what they had become. But, as more writers tested the paranormal romance waters and more publishers allowed them to (my first manuscript was often turned down because the editor or agent who read it wasn’t interested in stories that contained anything paranormal in nature), some cocky vampires who embraced their immortal status entered the fray. Extreme alpha males. Powerful, irresistible warriors who protect humans rather than harm them. Happy to seduce any woman enthralled by their presence. While vampires in early paranormal romances usually lived apart from their brethren in isolation and had to battle other vampires over territory, entire societies bloomed in recent additions to the genre. Secret societies who went to great lengths to protect humanity from any brethren who chose to fall from grace and willingly succumbed to bloodlust or a hunger for power.
First villains, then heroes. Now tragic victims? In my Immortal Guardians series, I wanted to add a new twist to the vampire romance genre. In Darkness Dawns, the first book in the series, vampirism is caused by a rare symbiotic virus that first conquers, then replaces the immune system, lending those who transform incredible strength, speed and longevity. The downside? Extreme photosensitivity and a need for blood, common drawbacks for vampires. Both the immortals and the vampires in Darkness Dawns are infected with the virus and share these characteristics. But for vampires there is another adverse side effect of the virus that transforms them from traditional villains to tragic victims. Or perhaps tragic villains. In humans who are infected with it, the virus causes brain damage that causes them to rapidly descend into madness. Even if the vampire was honorable as a mortal, he is destined to become a ruthless killer as a vampire and, at least in the beginning while he still has lucid moments, will be aware of the atrocities he commits when deranged. Vampires in my Immortal Guardians series don’t elect to become villains as some vampires do in other series. They have no choice in the matter.
Immortal Guardians, fortunately, are saved from this fate. Possessing far more advanced DNA, they were something more than human even before their transformation. They don’t know the source of the unique DNA. They know only that it mutates the virus and protects them from its more corrosive aspects. Their DNA also lends them special abilities vampires lack, such as telekinesis, precognition, telepathy, the ability to heal with one’s hands, teleportation and more. The older the immortal, the more gifts he or she possesses. And he or she possesses these gifts from birth. They are not a consequence of being transformed.
Immortals have been searching for a cure for the virus for centuries, or at least some way of preventing the brain damage that occurs in humans who are infected. Unsuccessful thus far, they can only continue to hope as they hunt vampires that they know could very well have been good men before their transformation, a task that abruptly becomes far more difficult when -- in Darkness Dawns -- a leader unexpectedly arises amongst the vampire nation and gathers an army, bent on waging war.
Villains, heroes or tragic victims. I admit to having a fondness for vampires in all of their incarnations. I hope you will enjoy the latest in my debut novelDarkness Dawns.
In this dazzling, sensual novel, Dianne Duvall beckons readers into a world of vampires, immortals, and humans with extraordinary gifts . . . where passion can last forever, if you're willing to pay the price . . .
Once, Sarah Bingham’s biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she’s landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control . . .
In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible -- when it mean forfeiting the world she’s always known, and the life he would do anything to protect.
Blog -- The Immortal Realm: http://dianneduvall.blogspot.com
I’m also hosting a Win a Kindle contest to celebrate and promote the release of Darkness Dawns. Details are available on my website. :-)
Question:How do you like your vampires? Dark and brooding? Playful and cocky? Alpha? Beta? Hero or villain?
Thank you Dianne for coming to the blog today!
As people who follow this blog know, I loved this book as evidenced by my review. Plus, it inspired my book boyfriend! *drool* Excuse me... ANYWAY... to enter to win for a book, Darkness Dawns, Dianne has graciously provided for giveaway, just answer the question or pose one of your own. Don't forget to leave an e-mail addy if it isn't in your profile. Btw, the giveaway is international!! I'll end the giveaway on the 17th. 10pm, MST. Just remember Roland is mine. ;)
Giveaway is now closed!