I am always a work in progress... We never stop learning to master our craft.
Some of my favorite personal quotes..
"Everything I do, everything I am, all that I breathe is 18+ and will contain sexually suggestive material. ~ Gina Kincade 2011
"If you never have any expectations of other people then you will never be disappointed. When a positive experience occurs it is always a reason to rejoice." ~Gina Kincade, 2009
"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow." ~Julia Cameron
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Vampires - Silent Killers or Nancy-Boy Emos? by Belthizor
Hello my lovelies and faithful readers,
I bring to you, today, a very special article. Today we look at how modern media has changed the image of the single most dangerous predator - the vampire.
I begin today's article with a look at what tradition deems to be a vampire. According to some (and Wikipedia), Vampires are mythological beings who 'live' by feeding on the very life essence of living creatures. This is characterised in the form of blood. Vampires are said to survive by drinking the blood of living creatures be they animal, human, or even the undead themselves. In many tales, drinking the blood of a fellow vampire is said to provide an even greater energy surge, unlike any they would get from the blood of mortals.
Literary historian Brian Frost believes that the "belief in vampires and bloodsucking demons is as old as man himself". Having said this, the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe. Indeed, it is Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula that is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel, and remains to this day, my personal favourite vampire myth.
There is just something about a Victorian-era count living all alone in his castle overlooking the township of Transylvania that appeals to me. The fact that Dracula was only ever seen during the night, during which time, he would feed on his hapless victims really sets the scene for mystery, and that is what is the most appealing thing to me about the vampire mythos. Dracula's weaknesses included sunlight (though it did not kill or burn him, just weakened him), a wooden stake through the heart, decapitation and fire were said to kill him. He was also said to have no reflection and be unable to cross running water except at low or high tide, he was unable to enter a place unless invited to do so, once invited, however, he was free to enter and leave at will. He also requires Transylvanian soil to be near him in order to successfully rest and regain his strength. A trait that all but disappears with the modern vampire. Dracula's powers were many, but included hypnosis, shape-shifting, enhanced strength, telepathy, being able to climb upside down vertical surfaces and control nocturnal animals such as rats and wolves. Interestingly, Dracula could also control the weather, usually conjuring up a fog to hide his presence and add to the mystery.
This brings me to modern media's interpretation of vampires. At first, it started off innocently enough - Buffy the Vampire Slayer brought a new flavour to vampires. According to the Buffy series, vampires were demons inhabiting the human shell of their former victim. These vampires carried many of the traits of traditional vampires - they are unable to enter the residences of the living without having first being invited, they can only be killed by fire, beheading, penetrating the heart with a wooden object (most notably, a stake), direct, prolonged exposure to sunlight and blessed/holy items, and they had enhanced senses (strength, speed, etc). However, unlike dear old Drac, vampires in the Buffyverse, have a demonic visage that they can change into at will, and upon their "death" they explode into a cloud of dust. Different, but acceptable.
Next up, we have a series of films of which the first is entitled Underworld. These vampires are seen as being more moral citizens living underground away from the prying eyes of humans and forever feuding with their mortal enemies - werewolves (also known as Lycans from the term Lycanthrope meaning wolf-man, a type of therianthropy which literally translates as beast-man, which alludes to the ability, whether voluntary or involuntary, transformation into an anthropomorphic beast). The vampires in Underworld, like their Lycan counterparts, carry a virus within their genes, that, should a human who is bitten by a vampire survive the virus's initial outbreak, are transformed into a vampire. Biting is not the only method of vampiric 'reproduction' as it is shown that vampires can interbreed with each other and produce vampiric offspring. A vampire's main weakness is, once again, sunlight. Underworld also dealt largely with the politics of being a vampire, something I will not go into at this stage.
Next we have Blade. Vampires were evil beings bearing fangs that turned to ash when 'killed'. Their weaknesses were a severe allergic reaction to silver, garlic and sunlight. A wooden stake through the heart was also said to kill one. Blade introduced us to the Dhampir - half-human, half-vampire having all of the strengths of a normal vampire, and only one of their weaknesses - The Thirst for human blood.
Other authors have re-created vampires to great effect, including Christopher Pike's "The Last Vampire" series, and any vampire book by Anne Rice, however, not all modern day vampires are such marvellous, mysterious wonders.
There was 'peace' among the vampire mythos, until along came author Stephenie Meyer. She re-created the vampire in ways we could not comprehend, and while hugely popular, especially among the pre-teenage audience, found her creations to be largely unpopular with those of use who have grown up with tales of horrifying monsters that feed at night on the blood of living beings. Meyer created Edward Cullen, and may we curse the day that sparkly little emo-freak was created.
Edward Cullen is a vampire who looks just like a regular human boy, albeit with serious complexion issues... that is, until you expose him to sunlight. Edward Cullen, upon sunlight exposure, does not spontaneously combust, nor does he even get a sunburn, let alone a tan... no, boys and girls, Edward sparkles, and he doesn't do it quietly, either. He is always whining about how being a superhumanly powerful creature that feeds off blood is a bad thing. He puts on a woe-is-me attitude and constantly complains about how bad life is, and by constantly, I mean: all. The. God-damned. Time. To the point that you just want him to shut the hell up!
Edward's powers include, super-strength, speed, the ability to read minds and, apparently, the ability to reproduce with mortals, albeit at a high risk of either feasting on the blood of his human companion (something which he has sworn against, and yet still complains that he is dangerous) or else crushing her to death with his "super-strong-penis-o'-death"... at least that's how I see it.
In conclusion, I wish to issue a warning to all you aspiring authors - it is my job to read your stories, and edit for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors, but I also do a mini-review of the stories, and if I see one single sparkly emotionally disturbed vampire with, what I have officially coined as, a "super-strong-penis-o'-death", there WILL be serious repercussions as it simply does not make good fiction... having said that, I DO welcome any and all stories that deal with the execution of the aforementioned emotionally damaged vampire.
Vampires have come a long way from times when they were silent, well-dressed, killers of the night that could keep an entire township under their thrall by mere reputation alone. Is the future of vampires destined to be vegetarian (non-blood drinking, like Edward Cullen), sparkly vampires with severe manic depression to the point of moping about their "super-strong-penis-o'-death" (oh noes!)? For your sake, as well as mine, I seriously hope not.
Until next time,
Keep on writing,
Lord Belthizor, Assistant Editor for Mistress Journals Erotic Stories Forum
[Note: I am not going to include references this time, as all my information came from Wikipedia and I can't be bothered going back over each topic and copy-pasting the web address]
USA Today Bestselling Author Gina Kincade has been penning romance since she was seventeen years old. She writes everything from contemporary mainstream romance, to high heat M/F, M/M, Ménage, BDSM, and fetish. Her evil little vampires and were-creatures will rip out your heart without thinking twice, and then engage in steamy, explicit sex scenes. Gina writes under a total of three pseudonyms to-date in other genres, including YA and children's. A busy mom to three children, she lives in her wild household of two rambunctious dogs, a devoted, loving cat who believes herself to be royalty, and twelve crazy little chickens. She loves healthy home cooking, gardening, warm beaches, fast cars, and horseback riding. Gina is also the C.E.O of Naughty Nights Press LLC, a quality publisher of contemporary romance, paranormal fiction, and sensual erotica. Ms. Kincade's life is full, time is never on her side, and she wouldn't change a moment of it!
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