Friday, March 30, 2012


A Variety of Vampires…Make your Choice 

        Author of vampire novels…a rather heady and sometimes controversial title...

Each of us in this very esoteric and close little circle (close and esoteric compared to other genres) has his own favorite type.  The Undead…the sinmort…Nightwalkers…nosferatu…they have as many names as there are those who write about themand if the characteristics don’t exactly fit our criteria, why we’ll just use that good ol’ literary license and invent some that do.
          I know one writer who allows her vamps to be able to utter the Holy Name without injury, and actually have images in mirrors.  Another gave his nos the ability to walk unharmed in sunlight and to die of old age.  Some are repelled by garlic, others by various herbs and spices such as basil and oregano.  They’ve come to this unholy state by the bite of another Undead, a virus, the commission of some heinous crime, or by simply having the misfortune to be born on a specific day.  Some even spell their species differently…vampyre instead of vampire.
          A couple of centuries ago, undeath was so simple; now being a vampire gets more complicated by the night.  Then, the handbook on How to Become a Vampire, would’ve consisted of two pages and these instructions:
1. Be bitten by a vampire
2. Die
3. Revive as one of the Undead
Simple, huh?
       And the second page would read:
       Congratulations!  You are now one of the nosferatu.  Please keep in mind these precautions:
1.     Do not, repeat, DO NOT, go out in daylight.
2.     Return to your place of shelter before sunrise.
3.     Avoid garlic, and the sacred objects of your specific mortal religion and especially holy water.
4.     Refer to your local nest for further instructions as to regional differences and customs.
Now, the handbook would probably contain so many pages, it would have to be in pdf form and downloaded into a Kindle.
Currently, today’s literature features vampires as varied as the humans on this planet, depending on where and when he originally walked the Earth, as well as his writer-creator’s own particular preferences and originality.  It’s a very rare one indeed who hasn’t allowed himself to change with the times and avail himself—to some extent—of the technologies now present, unless he’s a die-hard old fogey holed up in the highest Carpathian peak.  Hey, the vampire hunters are certainly taking advantage of the Internet, etc., so why shouldn’t the vampires, also?

         Since there are so many types of literary vampires around now, I classify my vampires as the traditional kind—they’re repelled by crosses, Holy water, and garlic; they can’t come out in sunlight, don’t necessarily sleep in coffins but do rest on Native Soil, and can Turn another person if they so desire.  Even in the lighter moments of their stories, they still hold to these rules.

          My band of merry little bloodsuckers are:  Damien La Croix, Domingo Leyenda, Karel Novotny, Semris II, the (as yet unpublished) members of the Clan Andriescu, and Vlad Chemare.

          They cross a number of nationalities and borders.  Damian is French.  A member of the aristocracy, he voluntarily allowed himself to become a vampire in order to escape the ravages of the Black Death.  Damian is traditional to the core.  He is vampyre, hear him roar…Undead and proud of it.  His adventures are told in the novel The Night Man Cometh

          Domingo Leyenda is a vampire of a different stripe.  To start off, he’s a Spanish Jew pretending to be Catholic, having been turned in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella.  After many an adventure, Domingo makes a featured appearance in The Night Man Cometh, before ending up in Orange County, California, where he lives in a subdivision called Sleepy Hollow, with his wife and stepdaughter, who are both very human.  Having a sense of humor, he likes to make mention of the fact that his last name means “legend” and thus his little family became the Legends of Sleepy Hollow, Domingo makes a wholehearted attempt to be accepted, but at present, he’s been banished from PTA meetings, since he decided to nip at the teacher’s neck during a parent-teacher conference.  His wife now goes to those alone.   Domingo was introduced to the reading public in the short story “The Best Dentist in Orange County.”

          Then, there are the Andriescus.  A group of genuine Transylvanian vampires.  Exiled from their home because older brother Marius stole too many females from their Prince, the Andriescu clan now resides in New Orleans, right at home with all the other supernatural elements of the city.  Marius runs an art gallery and younger brother Valerius and cousin Timon help out.  They’ve been seen in “Love, Vampire Style,” “Sometimes Love Returns,” and “Working-class Vampires,” as well as being featured on my website in the story of how I met them in Savannah.  All their stories have now been gathered into a volume called The Clan Andriescu, as yet unpublished.

           Mention should also be made of Semris, the Mayan vampire from Dark God Descending, another story to be told.  The Mayan mythology is a vast treasure house of supernatrual creatures just waiting to be discovered.  Karel Novotny, both the human and the vampire, in Vampires are Forever, introduces the Irish vampire, the Dearg-dul, and the Celtic myths, another area which is slowly being explored.

          Vlad Chemare of the unpublished The Last Vampire Standing, is also Transylvanian, a hot-headed young (only 650) Undead from the Old Country who’s come to the New World bubbling with revenge for his sire who buried him alive after a thwarted attempt at rebellion back in the 17th century.  Vlad’s traditional, no doubt about it, but he has his moments of NuVamp angst, especially when he falls for mortal Meredith.  Still, he doesn’t let her get in the way of his thirst for blood (specifically his sire’s).  After all, a woman’s just a woman, but revenge is a dish that can be enjoyed no matter what the century.

          With the coming of the new year, I’ll be adding another family of vamps to the de Vissage fold, and I’ll announce their arrival now.  The Strigoisti…the members of Casa Strigoi…vampires of a definitely different ilk, because they’re not really vampires and they’re very much alive.  They’re simply victims of a disease called X-P, xeroderma pigmentosum, a congenital condition in which DNA can’t repair the damage done by ultraviolet rays.  Thus, they have to avoid sunlight or be burnt to a crisp. In fact, the Strigoisti can be blamed for starting the vampire legend if someone wants to point fingers.  Since the aventurieri, as they’re called in their native Transylvania, have existed as long as the rest of us, they’ve managed to acquire a bit of magic, un-human physical characteristics, and a few skills not possessed by normal humans, such as the ability to transport, telepathy, possessing having wings…and that rather upsetting habit of drinking blood (though they do eat regular food, also).  Otherwise, they’re just plain folks…

          Members of this family are:  Marek, the ghidaj or leader, his brothers, fraternal twins Vlad and Andreas, and their cousin Bogdan.  They’ll soon be unleashed on the reader world in their own series, The Second Species, so more on them forthcoming.

          Most of my stories, with the exception of Damian, and up to the arrival of the Strigoisti, have been slightly whimsical, played mostly for laughs.  Even Vlad has his lighter moments.  I’ve tried to see the amusing side of being a vampire, if such a thing can exist.  All my Undead, even the members of Casa Strigoi, are, by turns, jealous, spoiled, petty, curious, amorous, and reckless.  They make mistakes and sometimes do foolish things, and in their own way, are still very much “human.”

          If you should happen upon any of their stories, pause a moment and browse.  I think you’ll enjoy them.

          I'd like to thank Tony-Paul for stopping by and sharing this interesting post. Please give Tony-Paul some love and leave a comment.

          Visit Tony-Paul at



  1. While it's good to conduct a survey of the various types of vampires, and become familiar with the concept, there's an important fact that you left out, Tony: there are *so many* variations on the vampire that an author is free to add his or her own interpretation without this being considered sacrilege. And, for this reason, I've rethought the physics and physiology of the vampire.

    I just didn't think it was scary enough. The encounter is too brief. The vampire meets the victim and basically in one bite it's all over.

    I looked into the insect world and found something that I thought was much more gruesome--and, from a biological perspective, much more efficient. I'm referring mainly to spiders and ambush bugs, but there are other creatures that do this. I am referring, of course, to digesting the prey alive.

    I find the prospect of a victim being bitten and injected with digestive juices, slowly turning the body to slush, which is then sucked out, starting with the limbs and then working inward, MUCH more frightening than death by exsanguination--though the ability to do the former does not rule out the latter as a means of having a "quick snack."

    I also, referring to the insect world, where parasitoid wasps reproduce in the most gruesome way that I can imagine, rethought the conversion process. I think it is *far, far scarier* to have a victim become a vampire by having an egg laid in its body, and feeling it hatch and eat its way into the host, eventually digesting everything about the host and even consuming the host's memories (this is fiction and I'm allowed to occasionally stretch of the laws of physics).

    So my concept of a vampire is one that drains its victims, "sparing" an occasional one to lay eggs inside the victim's body, with a narcotic bite that weakens the victim so he or she cannot struggle (eventually leading to predigestion), makes the victim's will more malleable for the vampire so that the victim can be used to recruit other victims and addicts the victim, causing the victim to *want* to be bitten again.

    Now THAT'S scary. :) :) :)

  2. I have noticed the rules for vampires have expanded and some are very intricate. I see you have mastered the vampire tale with your array of most interesting book.
    A very interesting blog.

  3. Wow! Your catalog is impressive. I'm a more contemporary writer of vampires, but I grew up with the traditional kind. I think the world is big enough to house both. Great post!

  4. Awesoe spot, Tony! livres merveilleux, mon ami!


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