Please join me in welcoming author Dianne Sylvan here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The first book in her Shadow World series, Queen of Shadows, was just released on August 31, 2010. You can read an excerpt here.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Queen of Shadows. As always, details are listed at the end of the post.
Lately the world seems chock full of vampires. They’ve always been a fascination for a lot of people, but in the last decade or so, they’ve become…I shudder to say…trendy.
On the one hand, this is fantastic, because it brings us amazing television series like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. On the other, it does mean that a lot of what makes the vampire a compelling creature has been sucked out of the genre in order to make it palatable to more people with less sex and less violence.
Nowadays we seem to be stuck with a world full of Louis and few Lestats. Vampire protagonists are so often portrayed as angst-ridden, brooding, self-loathing characters, almost always male, who reluctantly seduce a wide-eyed young woman while simultaneously trying to warn her away from his Obvious! Awful! Evil! OMG! Typically said vampire refuses to feed on humans, as that would be so wrong, and sticks to rats and deer and rabbits, which may give him the moral high ground, but drains the sex appeal right out of him.
There’s just nothing attractive about a man sucking on a bunny.
Personally, I’m sick of this guy.
The character that has always fascinated me is the vampire who loves being a vampire, but isn’t necessarily a murdering monster. I vastly prefer a confident, powerful vamp who accepts what he is and has learned to balance what he must do to survive with the desire to be strong and live his own immortality to the fullest.
When I began to create the protagonists for my first Shadow World novel, I knew I wanted the lead vampire character to be modeled after the second type. In fact, I wanted to avoid the first type altogether. I’ve always been interested in the idea of vampires as a society: Who rules over them? How are they organized, if indeed they are? I wanted to dig into the powerful vampire nobility, to see how they keep order, and how they interact with each other.
From those ideas came David Solomon, the principle male character in Queen of Shadows. David is a Prime, one of the most powerful vampires on Earth; he rules over all the vampires in the Southern United States, and his warriors enforce the law as he lays it down. He is both a powerful vampire and a brilliant computer programmer who has singlehandedly revolutionized the way Primes communicate, using technology to drag vampire kind into the 21st century. It would never occur to David to wish to be human again, any more than it would occur to a butterfly to pine for caterpillar-hood.
He is also sympathetic to the humans that his people feed on, and strictly forbids killing mortals in his territory, which makes him something of a rebel…and makes him a lot of enemies, because if there’s one thing the privileged and powerful don’t like, it’s change.
But given David’s talent for shaking up the established order, what, then, could shake his own?
Her name is Miranda Grey, and she’s an up-and-coming Austin musician…and a psychic…and she’s going insane.
When we meet our heroine, she’s slowly losing her mind to an uncontrolled psychic ability that drowns her in the emotions of other people. The slow encroachment of madness brings her to the knife’s edge of destruction.
But Miranda is no delicate princess waiting in her tower to be rescued by a sexy man in a long black coat; it costs her dearly, but through her own strength and the drive we all have to find our place in the world, Miranda saves herself. That, I think, sets her apart from a lot of the female characters in fiction; she has her own life, her own dreams, and her own power, and refuses to cast them aside for either grief or love.
Through destiny as well as violent chance, her world and David Solomon’s collide…and the aftershocks could blow the entire Shadow World apart at the seams.
Dianne Sylvan lives, writes, and drinks copious amounts of coffee in Austin, Texas. She is the author of two books on NeoPagan spirituality: The Circle Within and The Body Sacred. Queen of Shadows is her first novel, and begins the Shadow World series.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Queen of Shadows.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
What’s your favorite kind of vampire? The lonely brooder? The trench-coated badass? The scary Nosferatu type that’s more demon than man? What’s a literary or media example of your favorite?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to everyone.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Thursday, September 23rd at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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