Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's Not to Love about the Neck Biters?

Over at the Fangs, Fur, Fey blog I took part in the topic of the week and thought I'd re-run it here

Q: How do you pick the sort of creature/being you utilize?

A: I didn't pick them they picked me!

Well maybe they didn't so much "pick me" as "lure me in". I've loved the vampire mythos from as long back as I can remember. Way back in the Modern Dark Ages before cable TV and the Internet-- Barnabas Collinsand Lily Munsterwere my idols.

Barnabas was the first "good guy monster", the brooding hero with the bad haircut that all the girls wanted to drift off into the night with. Surely he's the grandfather of the majority of paranormal romance vampires heroes today.
And yet, I've always liked my vampire heroes to be more bad than tortured and angsty.

Richard Lynch's Anton Voytek was such a character, but as all "evil" vamps tend to be, he was dispatched in the end by the "Good Guys" (although Voytek's demise may have been ambiguous in hopes of a sequel. It was 1979, I'm old now and the minor details escape me ^_^)

To spare you all from me going off on a whole 'nother tangent the gist of it is that a mutual fondness for Japanese rock, Asian films and yaoi anime and manga brought Anne Cain and I together in an online game that spun off from an email loop dedicated to the Shinsengumi, a kick-ass samurai police group who patrolled Kyoto in the mid to late 1860s.

In the aforementioned game Anne introduced an original character of her Dao Kan Shu, top hatchet man for the Wong clan out of San Francisco.

Shu was the undisputed King of Sociopaths who somehow managed to be alluring, fascinating and damned sexy as he cut a malicious swath through the game's landscape of 19th century America. If any man was destined to come to a violent end before the age of thirty is was Shu. And yet we couldn't bring ourselves to let him die in the game as he was meant to, especially after he acquired his protégé, Toshiro Itou.

But how could we logically keep alive an assassin who had more enemies than we could name wanting him dead?

By giving him a "secret admirer" in the form of a traveling kabuki actor who was a centuries old vampire.

In researching the vampire mythology of Japan and China we found great info that fit perfectly with Shu's violent nature and slashy relationship with his Toshiro.

I keep hearing that the market for vampires is saturated but vampire fiction has had a loyal following that's an immortal and Count Dracula himself. I know Anne and I have had quite a fun and wild ride watching our Dragon's Disciple universe expand and grow to encompass erotic urban fantasy and contemporary and paranormal romance and we'll play with our very bad boys and adventurous girls as long as they continue to tell us their stories.


Anonymous said...

Brooding and angsty vampires are great too i.e. Angel. But true bad boy vampires are just something else. Funnily enough was just saying that to Mychael Black in the authors post below yours.

I loved the Shu was so sick and twisted, and just loved to kill and had no remorse. His relationship with Toshiro was fantastic. So Shu does have to be my favourite bad boy vampire in e-book land. He was great in the first book.


Barbara Sheridan said...

Mr. Shu will always hold a special in my heart. Anne did an incredible job in bringing him to life.

I think I came across too many brooding vampires in succession and tired of them a bit. Angel is a favorite though.

Of course like any other people they aren't created equal. Some will be like Shu totally loving their new state, some will hate it and some will be straddling the fence. That's why writing is so cool. We get to play with all the types

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