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The vampire in my head

Recently I've been thinking a lot about vampires, because I'm working on a vampire story (an erotic one, of course, that's what I do, right?). I have the plot, the setting, the characters all in my head. I've even written parts of it - mostly the non-vampire-related parts. But (and this is a major but), I can't wrap my head around the bloodsucker himself yet.

It's not that I don't know anything about vampires, on the contrary, I seem to know too much about them. I've probably read more novels and seen more films with vampires in them than any other paranormal creature. And that seems to be precisely the problem: there are just so many different types! There don't seem to be any clear genre conventions on what vampires can or cannot do.

If you're into vampires and romance fiction, you've probably read (and love) Lynsay Sands' Argeneau novels (as do I). And if you've read them, you'll know that she created a whole new world of vampire conventions and that there are a lot of things to think about in terms of your fictional vampire's abilities. For example: will your vampire be able to go out in the sunlight? If so, how will you explain this ability and, maybe even more importantly, how will you explain away the age-old tradition of vampire stories that contradict this possibility? How will they get their blood? What happens when they bite someone? Will that person turn into a vampire too? Will they kill their victims? How will they make new vampires? Will they be allergic, spiritually opposed to or totally unaffected by typical vampire counter-measures like crosses, garlic, mirrors...? Will it be necessary to kill them (the bad ones) and how can they be killed? Will they have mortal enemies? Will their bodies be differnt from those of human beings? How so? Will they have special powers like super-human strength or mind control? How to incorporate these into the story? These latter three raise even more pressing questions when it comes to vampire erotica: what about their sexual abilities (think super-human stamina and no need for sleep and the old phrase of "keeping it up all night" gets a whole new meaning. I mean, even no-sex-before-marriage Stephenie Meyer came to that conclusion in vol. 4 of the Twilight series!). I don't know about you, but I've never had sex with a vampire and have to draw on my imagination rather than on any previous experience here.

So, what kind of vampire am I going to write?

The sexy kind, obviously. The one on the left would definitely qualify (I'm totally with Buffy on that point).

As would the delicious Mitchell from the British TV series Being Human. Tall dark and brooding, and quite dangerous too...

So, what's your kind of vampire? Any particular characteristics that he/she should have? Anything that you find totally unconvincing in terms of vampire conventions?

I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments.

Want more strange ramblings? Mina Dorian can usually be found here:

Or come back here next month on the 19th.

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