The word vampire conjures different images from Bela Lugosi, the most famous Dracula, to Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat and the monstrous Nosferatu of the silent film era. Everyone knows that vampires fear the cross, cannot abide garlic (too much and I can’t either), do not have reflections in mirrors, turn into bats or steam and sleep in a coffin. Of course, they must be invited in. Anne Rice’s novels revolutionized the traditional vampire and opened the door to the authors who would create their own vampire mythos.
The vampire legend exists in most cultures around the world, and each is different. The following is quoted from my GRW Maggie winner, Cardinal Desires. The heroine, a forensic psychiatrist is telling her supervisor about my research:
“John Keats’ poem, Lamia retells the story of Menippus, ‘Your bride is a serpent, a vampire, an empusa, lamia.’ Like most ancient demons, the Lamia are seen in as many different guises as it has names: wolf, bat, a man-like creature capable of altering its appearance. As divergent as the cultures, Lilitu or Lilith varies, but most share the common theme of a woman deprived of her children. Not surprisingly, this resentful demon destroys the children of other women. She is described as a drinker of blood, who attacks infants and bests the strongest of men.
“In the Talmud, the original book of traditional Jewish law, the demon is Lilith, the first woman on earth and Adam’s wife before Eve. Lilith and Adam argued about supremacy of the sexes. When Lilith threatened to leave Adam, three angels, Sanvi, Sansanvi and Semangelaf, pleaded with her to submit, but Lilith was, apparently, a modern lass. To punish her for her defiance, the angels slew her children.”
In my mythos, vampires must kill to retain their powers, drinking the victim’s essence at the moment of death. They are not animated corpses but mutations. The Vampyre virus mutates human DNA and the result is a creature who cannot walk in the sun but has extraordinary powers. He is the perfect predator—alluring and deadly. I’ve tried to create my own species of bloodsuckers.
And they suffer as humans suffer but to a greater degree as their feelings are hyper-sensitized. In Black Swan, our vampire hero Tristan runs from himself, leaving behind the only woman who understands and loves him—despite his nature. In my novel, Sinners Opera, the hero Morgan, against the rules, decides to procreate with a human woman. My vampires are amoral but then again human in pain and triumph.
The picture is one that I chose for Morgan in my book video for Sinners’ Opera.
Please visit my web site www.lindanightingale.com for a serialized vampire story, starring Morgan.