Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vampires: The Ultimate Antihero

Typically, I am not a fan of vampire novels. In fact, vampires freak me out, but Adrienne Monson’s Dissension, the first book in The Blood Inheritance Trilogy, intrigued me so much that I couldn’t resist featuring her in my blog post today.        

Before I let Adrienne entertain you with her talk about vampires as the ultimate antihero, here is a bit about Dissension, which will released by Jolly Fish Press on February 23rd

Leisha was once a loving mother with an ideal family. Though this was over two thousand years ago, Leisha still holds that time dear to her heart. But for now, she must focus on trying to escape the eternal and bloody war between her kind—the Vampires—and the Immortals, an undying race sworn to destroy her people. Soon, Leisha finds herself captured by the government only to be saved by a young and mysterious human girl. What entails is the beginning of a long and torturous journey as Leisha and her newfound friend run for their lives while searching for the one thing that can end it all—the prophecy child.   

Vampires: The Ultimate Antihero

Thanks so much for having me today, Ann Marie! I'm very excited to be here.

Vampires are very popular in today’s media. They are creatures of dark things that we’re drawn to for some inexplicable reason.

My personal experience with vampires is fairly different from others. I actually thought my dad was a vampire when I was really little because he could do this neat party trick with fangs. One minute, you would be having a normal conversation with him, then you glance away for just a second, and when you look back he has fangs bared and a predatory gleam in his eye. He would then proceed to nibble on my neck while tickling me. So I didn’t really think of vampires as frightening.

When I was immersed in a reading frenzy in sixth grade, I picked up a series called The Last Vampire, by Christopher Pike. It was a fun YA series that sucked me right in to that vampire world (no pun intended). Pike had created his own version of how vampires came to be in the first place and gave the modern-day story a thriller/mystery feel.

Then, I expanded my vampire repertoire by reading Ann Rice’s series. I was totally hooked at that point and read everything I could about vampire folklore, whether it was fictional or historical. (Don’t worry, that wasn’t all I thought about – I had many other obsessions. Greek mythology, X-files, rock-climbing, just to name a few.

I’m obviously not the only one drawn to the idea of these creatures. There’s quite a large number out there that loves to read about the dark and tormented vampires. I’ve speculated before on why it is we love these creatures so much. After all, their sole way to survive is to drink blood. Pretty disgusting if you really think about it.

But I think what it really comes down to is this idea of an antihero. I believe Ann Rice was one of the first writers who gave vampires a three dimensional depth. They weren’t just a regular bad guy; they had a past and some were tormented by what they had become. Before that, most fictional writings about vampires had been based on a Dracula-type of character. When Interview With the Vampire came out, it opened up a whole new spectrum of what a protagonist could be.

I won’t go as far as to say that vampires were the first antiheros in literature, but they were one of the first antiheros that the general population fell in love with. From there, things have branched out to all kinds of different antiheros as well as all kinds of different types of vampires. I think it’s really fun that our imaginations have developed so much over the generations to the point that you never know what someone will think of next, even if it’s a twist on an old story.

ADRIENNE MONSON, winner of the 2009 Oquirrh's Writer's Contest and the Utah RWA's Great Beginnings, has immersed herself in different kinds of fiction since a young age. She currently lives in American Fork, Utah, with her husband and two kids. Besides reading, she enjoys Zumba, kickboxing, and weightlifting. She also loves yummy foods, so she doesn’t look like a workout guru. 

You can find Adrienne on Facebook, Twitter and her website.

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