Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vampiric Evolution in 'Stake-Out'

I was one of the people who hated the thought of vampires being anything but cape-wearing, coffin-sleeping murderers. Having been obsessed with the species since I was a toddler (ask my mom, it’s true), I had a clear picture of what a vampire was supposed to be, and Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee perfectly encompassed my ideals.
As I got into my very early teens, the sparkling vampire craze began. Now, I’m not going to say anything derogatory towards those vamps, their creator or their fans. I will just say that I was not a fan because those vampires didn’t fit into my little world of the Undead. As I perused the YA section of my bookstore, I came across three different series that changed my view on vampires in the modern world:

Vampire Kisses, by Ellen Schreiber.
The Saga Of Darren Shan (AKA Cirque Du Freak), by Darren Shan.
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, by Heather Brewer (now known as Zac Brewer).

Each series is vastly different, and each series focuses on vampires in the modern world. Reading those, I began to start to perceive vampires in a different light. I always wanted them to be real (and I’m talking the “burn in the sunlight” and “can’t go into churches” real, not the types of vampire cultures we have today), but as I read those books I knew that a vampire like Count Dracula could never exist in the real world. Alexander Sterling, Larten Crepsley and Vlad Tod could, however.

I began embracing this new evolution of vampires: vamps who could drink bottled human blood, or drink from the vein and not kill. That didn’t make any of those vampires less badass than their murderous counterparts. Instead, it made me love them more: they were immortal and could fight if necessary, but didn’t need to murder humans to feed. They dressed the part of humans and could pass unnoticed amongst them if they chose. They walked amongst the mortals, the unsuspecting humans never knowing they were rubbing elbows with the Undead. The idea was exhilarating!

Fast-forward nine years later. A twenty-year-old Goth sits on her bed, watching a crime drama. She thinks, What if a cop’s perp turned out to be a vampire? What if he turned out to be a Bram Stoker-esque vampire? That girl was I (obviously), and I wrote the prologue to Stake-Out that next afternoon. What’s Stake-Out? It’s my debut novel published by Vamptasy Publishing. It is the first of four novels in the Paranormal Detectives Series (number two,Miranda’s Rights, was just approved and I should have a release date soon).

It focuses on said cop, Danny Mancini, who has a near-fatal run in with a violent rogue vampire named Vincent, who is on a killing spree all throughout Chicago. When the CPD doesn’t believe him, he gets fired.

Two years later, Vincent is back in Chicago, and Danny is contacted by the FBI’s Paranormal Investigative Division. More specifically, by Agent Angelica Cross, a beautiful girl Danny immediately falls for. As they get closer to each other, Danny starts having visions of a past life with Angelica, Vincent keeps killing, an old enemy resurfaces and Angie’s secrets are revealed for all to see.

I made two types of vampires in my book: the classic and the revamped (excuse the pun). Why? Because both of them are great and both types have a place in vampiric literature, television and film. I will always love my ruthless vamps, but just because the vampires who follow the paranormal laws I put into place in Stake-Out don’t kill to feed, it doesn’t mean they are any less awesome. If you do decide to pick up Stake-Out, you’ll understand what I am talking about. It is a vampire’s nature to kill. In my modern world, vampires just kill bad guys to keep this place safer for mortals, satisfying their innate bloodlust and doing good at the same time.

The vampires also have an ulterior motive: the less evil vamps out there killing wantonly, the less likely humans are to wise up to the existence of the paranormal world and start hunting down vampires (or shifters, or witches) just because they are afraid after reading ’Salem’s Lot one too many times.

So that’s what the Paranormal Investigative Division does, and you’re damn lucky they exist, or you might be dinner tomorrow night.

The point here is, the classics are wonderful and deserve to be kept alive, but some changes can be good. Just open yourself up to them. Look at theUnderworld film series, or Buffy. Those are amazing vampires, but they are also fairly civilized.

It was an honor for me to be able to contribute my own vampires to popular culture, one good and one bad. Creating them was not hard, they brought themselves to life on the page, but it was a lot of fun. Just like in humankind, all types of vamps have their proper place in the world. In Stake-Out, I got to utilize two sides of the same coin and come out with something readers really seem to enjoy.

If I scared you, made you gasp, made you cry or made you shake your head and start yelling at your ereader, I have done a my job.

You can purchase Stake-Out internationally as an ebook or paperback on Amazon.
If you live in the US or Canada, you can purchase the paperback via Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million.
Read more about book two, Miranda’s Rights, on my website.

Article by Lily Luchesi

Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call "Gothic", she doesn't believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover, and will always associate vampires with love, blood and rock and roll. Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe's complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and a debut novel, Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives Series Book One), was published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015.

She has a short story, "Undead Ever After" in the Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly anthology Love Sucks (released on June 13th, 2015). She will also have a short story, "The Devil's Dozen", in the upcoming Hot Ink Press anthology Death, Love and Lust. (Release date TBA.)


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