Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight and Pretty When She Dies-Are They Alike?

I wrote about Twilight previously and what I felt about the story. The book was definitely like crack and I ate it up. It definitely appealed to the 14 year old inside of me while pissing off the older version at the same time. I had real issues with Edward's controlling/stalker ways, but at the same time, I thought he was freaking HAWT. I am going to see the movie with a friend on Sunday and I cannot wait!

But as a vampire fan, Twilight was definitely a very different take on vampires. They sparkle in the sun, they don't fang out, they have reflections, crosses don't affect them, and they can live off animal blood. There aren't any coffins to be seen and they're not going to be turning into a mist to seep under your door to get you. On the other hand, they have venom like a snake and eyes that go black, not red. I was a little confused by all these changes to the vampire mythos until I read an interview with Stephanie Meyer where she admitted she doesn't like scary things, she hadn't read up on vampires, and she hates blood. I'm not knocking what she likes or doesn't like, but it did explain the radical difference in her vampires from all the vampire legends.

Recently, at Fear Fest, a man picked up the proof copy of Pretty When She Dies, stared at it, then asked me if it was like Twilight. He was looking for a book for his 12 year old daughter. I told him that, no, it was not, and that she should wait a few years to read it most likely. "It's horror," I said. "It has violence, gore, blood, sex, and vampires who are scary." He thanked me for being honest and was quite nice.

Pretty When She Dies is not a romance novel featuring vampires. Yeah, there is sex and elements of romance, but the story as a whole is the horrific tale of a freshly made vampire. Her creator, The Summoner, is a necromancer and he does some pretty sick things in the book. Amaliya (the main character) also has to deal with her hunger and the terrible things she does to sate it. There is a very alluring male vampire in the novel (my friend Ceres has it bad for him..hehehe), but he's not a classical romantic hero like Edward Cullen. And the vampires in this novel are very much in the vein (hehe) of Bram Stoker's Dracula. They have no reflection, they consume the blood of humans, they have the ability to influence humans, they will die in sunlight and crosses will do heavy damage to them.

If you read the excerpt on Scribd of the first four chapters of the novel (chapters 1-3 here, chapter 4 here) you will have a clear example of what I mean. Just in the first four chapters there is plenty of blood, violence, sex, and horror to start it off with a real bang.

Unlike Mrs. Meyers, I am a long time fan of the vampire genre. I've studied the mythos and read a lot of vampire fiction. I know Anne Rice changed the rules a bit with her vampires, but my favorite vampires are the classical ones in Stoker's tale and the old Republic and Hammer films.

In fact, I absolutely loved working with the concept of Amaliya not having a reflection and how it affected her emotionally. It was a lot of fun.

Of course, I do tweak a thing or two along the way, but not too much. The vampires are still dangerous and yet alluring, and I loved writing them.

If you liked Twilight will you like Pretty When She Dies? If you're looking for a vampire tale that is sexy, scary, horrific and fun, I think you will. If you are looking for a vampire tale that is heavy on the romance, maybe not so much. I do like the relationship that develops in Pretty When She Dies quite a lot, but its not an innocent teenage love. It's more lusty...and bloody.

Meanwhile, I'm gearing up to plunge back into the world of my Gothic vampire tale. It, too, has the same vampire rules as Pretty When She Dies, but takes place in Europe in the 1820's. It's definitely more lush, more romantic and more Gothic that its modern sister, but it still has strong elements of horror in it.

Vampires still scare me to death. But at the same time, I absolutely love them. And my writings about them definitely reflect this.

Pretty When She Dies is on target for release next week. In fact, it could be out as early as Monday night on my online store.

I will keep you posted.

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