Author Guest Post: Tony-Paul de Vissage

Throwback Thursday! We revisit a author post from 2016.

Vampires…The Never-ending Story…Evolving just like the Rest of Us

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Vampires…The Never-ending Story…Evolving just like the Rest of Us

So…why do we like vampires?

That’s a good question.

Though there have always been vampires among us, the literary vampire didn’t begin to flourish until the mid-1880’s, with The Vampyre, a short novel published in 1819 in England whose authorship was in question for quite some time.  Written during the famous “Geneva Summer” which produced Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it was long attributed to George Gordon, Lord Byron, who violently disowned it and is now fully believed to have been written by his personal physician, John Polidori, with Byron as his model.

This definitely revealed their love-hate relationship. I mean…how many people are brave enough to portray their only means of support as a bloodsucker?

Then came Varney the Vampire, a newspaper serial running 220 chapters and written either in 1845-47 by James Malcolm Rymer or Thomas Preskett Prest—depending on who you talk to—and the fanged fiend was off and running.

Allowing for individual differences attributed to the creatures by their various creators, novels, stage plays, movies, and TV shows concerning the Undead have flourished ever since, but it was in the 1970’s that the literary vision of the vampire changed.  Until that time, the vampire had been a creature damned and doomed to walk the corridors of Time for eternity, his immortality enabling him to laugh at puny humans.

Then, something happened.

The vampire was still cursed…most certainly…but immortality no longer has its charm. It was no longer a blessing. Now more often than not he laments his ability to live forever, though I doubt he truly thinks of what not being immortal involves.

Let’s face it…the vampire wants to have his bit of cake and eat it, too…loving immortality but wanting someone to share it with.  Thus, he hates the fact that he is forced to kill others to continue his own survival, while he searches the world for someone brave enough to accompany him on his Undead travels.

From cursed creature of the night subsisting on a diet of liquid protein, to sympathetic protagonist who wants nothing more than to be accepted by someone who will love him in spite of his fiendishness, to a man alone, trying to fit in and adjust his lifestyle to more acceptable patterns, the literary/theatrical/film vampire has done a complete about-face.  Oh yes, he still avoids sunlight, has to drink blood, and can change from human-appearing to fanged demon in the blink of an eye, but these days sunscreen shields him from the sun, he has a friend at the local blood bank (or buys synthetic blood). and generally doesn’t morph unless he or his colleagues/friends/lover are in danger.  He works for a living—as a private eye, on the night shift of a police department, as the owner of a New Orleans restaurant—but he’s still looking for something…the key to being human, or at least being accepted as human.

The one thing carried through in all of these stories—other than the search for acceptance—is the ennui and despair accompanying being immortal.  As Christopher Landless, explains it in Death in the Blood:

“Why bother to like someone when you know he’ll soon age and die…as will his children, and his grandchildren…and his great-grandchildren…?”

       Sometimes, this inevitablity is accepted, as the vampire in The Night Man Cometh

States:

It may take several millennia for the truth to sink  in, but at last, it does.  Finally, I bowed my head to the inevitable, and continued my existence alone.  As I was meant to be all along…”

Perhaps this can best be summed up in the opening sentences of The Night Man

Cometh, as the vampire Damian La Croix introduces himself to his readers, 

“Time…something a vampire has in abundance…time to enjoy the pleasures of Immortality…time to contemplate his sins…and his mistakes.”

 

 

All the “new” vampire wants to do is become human again—or does he? The new breed of vampire—the 21st century one—seems to have shaken off this dulled-by-the-millennia boredom and bounced back with enthusiasm…he thrives in all walks of life, more times than not helping Mankind instead of harming it, finding better ways to sublimate the killing urge, and doing something the “old-fashioned” vampires never did—getting the girl…or the boy…in every sense of the word.  Today’s vampires are not only sexy but extremely capable, and I think that’s part of their…dare I use the word charm?…or shall we say—mystique.  They’ve had forever to perfect their techniques, and, whether sadistic or gently seductive, do it very well.

 

In Shadow Law, the vampire Marek Strigoi dares ask the woman for whom he has a secret passion why she likes vampire movies, her answer is less than a little satisfying for him:

He set down the chair and dropped into it. “Tell me exactly why women have such a fascination for vampires.”

For just a moment, she stared at him as if she thought he was teasing.

“I’m serious,” he went on.  “I’d really like to know.  Why would an intelligent woman like Suzanne Griffin like a tale about a creature who turns into a bat and drinks blood?”

Yes, Maggie, tell me—so I’ll know if you feel the same way, if you could want such a creature if he said he had fallen in love with you.

“Because…”  she stopped, frowning as if thinking it over.  “I don’t know—it’s so romantic.”

“Being bitten in the throat is romantic? Having a reanimated corpse make love to you is romantic?” he scowled.  “Perhaps I’d better revise my definition of the word.”

“Perhaps I’d better give you mine,” she answered, studying her fingers a moment.  “The way they portray a vampire is romantic…tall, dark, handsome, with an air of mystery and danger…”  Briefly, the ultramarine eyes met his. 

“…sort of like you, Mark.”

He affected a disbelieving laugh.  “No mystery here, I assure you, and as for danger…I hope there are no more muggers lurking in the bushes.”

“…and that accent….”  She shivered slightly.  Marek wondered if he should have lost his own so easily.  “I mean, any woman would be swept off her feet by a rich, handsome man who acted as if she were the only woman in the world.”

“Rich.”  He snapped up that one word.  “According to Hollywood, every vampire in the world is rich…and noble.  Have you ever noticed how none of them ever have to work for a living?”  His mouth twisted ironically.  “But then I guess a vampire who’s a shoe salesman or was a street sweeper wouldn’t be quite as romantic, would he?”

“I suppose when you’re immortal, you’ve time to amass a fortune.”  She was laughing now, though still seriously plowing along with her explanation. 

“There’s that,” he agreed.  “But what about the rest?”  She looked at him questioningly.  “The bloodsucking, I mean.  From what I understand, that’s portrayed pretty graphically nowadays.  Not just…”  Here he affected a Bela Lugosian accent, “…I vant to drink your blood…and cut to the next scene!”

“I guess.”  She looked unconvinced.  “But it’s all so sexy beforehand.”

“Sexy?”  The word was almost whispered.

“Yes!  That’s the whole thing right there.”  She looked excited as if she’d just discovered the answer to a very difficult riddle.  “You see, a vampire might bite, but that’s all.” She leaned forward, totally serious, dropping her voice slightly. 

“They can’t have real sex, you know…”

“No?”  Marek appeared fascinated.  God, if only she knew how much sex a real vampire could have!

“No.  They’re impotent…so all they can do is kiss…and bite…”  She gestured as if offering him the solution.   He didn’t bother reminding her of her cousin’s novels, and hundreds of others like them. which contained vampires who spent half the story shagging one female or another, sometimes at the same time! “It’s the ultimate way to have sex without losing your virginity…and gaining immortality in the bargain!”

“I see.”  So that was it, spelled out very plainly, a woman wanted to get laid without actually getting laid, with everlasting life as a dividend.  Hmmm.

 

            Little Maggie is in for a big surprise when she gets to know Marek better!

…and there we have it:

Vampires are mysterious, exude sex, and—contrary to what Maggie thinks—can make love very passionately.

They’ve actually seen history happen, been an eyewitness to things we mortals can only read about or see in newsreels.

But most importantly of all, they want, and desire, companionship and the love of someone who will want them in spite of what they are—and, in the end, isn’t that what we all wish?  And if the one with whom we find that companionship and love also offers us the bonus of immortality—of being with him/her forever—that would be the icing on the cake.  That, in my opinion, is the vampire’s lure…and appeal.

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Reviews for The Night Man Cometh, Death in the Blood, and Shadow Lord:

The Night Man Cometh:  “…this is a masterpiece of work…I give this 5 Stars because I cannot think of anything to compare it to.”  Douglas C. Meeks, Books Reviews at Large.

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Death in the Blood:  “…The writing style is superb, and because of that unique voice of his, I am finding Tony-Paul De Vissage’s novels are the most anticipated reads on my list.”—AN Meade review.

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Shadow Lord:  “Even though I’ve not had much familiarity with vampire stories, I was more than hooked on this novel, and I can tell that the author has mastered the genre to the point of being able to take it in new directions even as he honors its conventions…. Shadow Lord, has a robust, epic quality which I feel sure will be deftly extended into the next books of this series. The novel’s shocking conclusion effortlessly conjures up the need for Book 2, which I’m definitely looking forward to.”—Michael D. Smith, Author of The Martian Marauders.

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Buy Links:

The Night Man Cometh: https://www.amazon.com/Night-Man-Cometh-Tony-Paul-Vissage-ebook/dp/B00G7B87RY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473440645&sr=8-2&keywords=the+night+man+cometh

Death in the Blood: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Blood-Tony-Paul-Vissage/dp/1938703189/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473440740&sr=1-1&keywords=Death+in+the+blood+by+Tony-Paul+de+Vissage

Shadow Lord: https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Lord-Second-Species-Book-ebook/dp/B00UPN872A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471479573&sr=8-1&keywords=shadow+lord+by+Tony-Paul+de+Vissage

 

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Bio:

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless—and he’s now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the Undead.

Find out more about Tony-Paul at:

Twitter:  @tpvissage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonypaul.devissage?fref=ts

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/tony-paul-de-vissage

Amazon author’s page: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile