Thank you to Sue Vincent for letting me be a guest on her blog and helping to promote my newest book, War of Nytefall: Rivalry. This is the 3rd volume of my vampire fantasy action-adventure series . . . I really should cut down on those genre descriptors. In my defense, vampire fantasy sounds more like erotica than sword & sorcery. Maybe Fangs & Sorcery? What? Oh, I went off-topic. Since my story shows the events of Windemere’s Vampire Civil War, all of my characters are vampires. That means they’re standing in the role of heroes as well as villains, which can throw people off. Even with the existence of Angel, Forever Night, Alucard in Castlevania, and other protagonist vampires, many people jump to the conclusion that they have to be evil and will turn villain. So, what are some ways to prove that you are working with real heroes?
- Don’t overdo it with the heroes being nice and heroic. This might seem to contradict what I’m saying before and after, but you can come on too thick. It could make people expect a twist towards evil since it will feel disingenuous. More than likely, it will bring up the question of why you made the character a vampire in the first place. These are monsters, so there has to be an edge to them or they end up feeling like a contrived gimmick that hasn’t been thought out.
- Depending on the world, you need to have the heroes be violent to some extent. It can be killing of bad guys only or hurting them badly. The reason I say it depends on the world is because you don’t want your hero to go only killing sprees that would make them be seen as a villain. Unless you’re going for a hated vigilante or hero on the outskirts of mortal society thing. Still, a big difference between heroes and villains is that the hero has moral limits when it comes to killing.
- What’s one of the biggest defining characteristics of vampires? No, not stalking high schools for jailbait. They drink blood. Your hero can’t go around draining innocent people for dinner. There can be a struggle against the inner monster that puts them at a reduced strength because they aren’t eating. Maybe they have a friend who works at a blood bank or they are settling for animal blood. Another option is that they only feast on the bad guys. Much like the killing limits, you need to decide how they view eating since humans are their prey.
- As much fun as it is to have a loner, you can get a lot of mileage out of giving your vampire some relationships. Doesn’t have to be a lover, but friends who are both mortal and vampire can reveal a non-monstrous side of their personality. Pursing social and emotional connections are a sign of an organism fearing loneliness and desiring a place to belong. It also provides a weakness for a creature that tends to be depicted as incredibly powerful.
- Speaking of the strength of a vampire, you can have your hero purposely hold themselves back. Demonstrate that they are strong enough to rip through metal, but also show that they fight with restraint. This depends a lot on what they think about killing. Another plus side to this tactic is you can have ‘berserker’ scenes when your hero has been pushed too far. If they’re always running at 100% then there’s never a point where they seem scarier or stronger, which can make them a tad boring.
- While it might not work for every genre, adding a little comedy to your vampire can make them more relatable. Nothing over the top, but the occasional misunderstanding of human culture or a criticism that reveals their age. Maybe they get introduced to video games and become addicted for a story. They could have a strong opinion about the depiction of vampires in fiction. It shows a hint of the humanity they once had since kvetching and obsession are truly human traits.
- An enemy that is trying to bring the hero back to the evil side can be used to demonstrate how he or she is different. Witnessing the savagery of a vampire in contrast to one who is holding the desires will enhance the attempts to be good. It’s proven that a great villain can bring out the best in their hero too. This can also give you an opportunity to let the protagonist cut loose since they will be facing someone on equal footing in terms of powers.
Well, those are my seven tips that do push mostly for action adventure stories. That’s kind of my thing, so I tend to stick to what I know here. If I wrote romance, I guess I’d mention something about not having the vampire give a human heart for Valentine’s Day. Hope you enjoyed the post and it’s stirred some interest in seeing how I put my tips into action. See you in the comments and feel free to pick up a copy of War of Nytefall: Rivalry.
About the Author
Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. Truthfully, his tales of adventure are much more interesting than his real life, so skip the bio and dive into the action.
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The War of Nytefall Series
Charles E. Yallowitz
In the wake of the Great Cataclysm, a new predator will emerge from within Windemere’s shadow.
For fifty years, Clyde has been trapped beneath the earth while the vampire kingdom has been gradually losing its war against the Sun God’s followers. Only Mab believes that her partner survived his holy execution and is determined to bring him back to the city of Nyte. Retrieving the vampiric thief is only the beginning as he comes out of the ground stronger, faster, and possessing abilities that their kind have never witnessed throughout their ancient history. Thrown into the war, Clyde must be careful to hide his true nature while fighting alongside his old friends. Too bad he is having so much fun being free that keeping his secret might be the furthest thing from his mind.
Will anyone be ready for the inevitable rise of the Dawn Fangs?
As the Vampire Civil War of Windemere rages on in the shadows, a mysterious girl appears to deliver mayhem to both sides.
Rumors of old-world vampires disappearing and mortals being attacked by an army of humanoid monsters have reached Clyde’s ears. Still learning how to rule the city of Nytefall as a strong, but fair leader instead of a vicious warlord, the former thief assumes he has rogue agents on his hands. Instead, his people stumble upon Lost, a teenage Dawn Fang looking for her father and aided by a decrepit bunny that might be an animated corpse. Bounding from one side of the Vampire Civil War to another, this carefree girl will turn out to be more trouble than she looks as all of the demons of her past emerge to get what they have been promised. Yet, her chaotic actions are nothing compared to the secret of her creation, which will change the very fabric of the Dawn Fangs’ world.
It is time for the womb-born to be revealed.
Seeking the pleasure of revenge, an ancient rumor will reveal herself to be a deadly legend.
Lurking within the shadows for centuries, the Vampire Queen has been drawn to the conflict that surrounds Clyde. Only whispers have been spread about this elusive figure, who has amassed a kingdom that can rival Nyte and Nytefall. All that she is missing is the strongest vampire to crown as her king. In one fell swoop, she has taken the most powerful of her kind, including Clyde and Xavier Tempest. Hosting a tournament where the rules seem to change at her whim, the Vampire Queen threatens to shatter the already strained world that lurks beneath Windemere’s surface. Yet, there is more to her desires, which seep from a soul that is pulsing with fury. For her kingdom can never be complete until she holds the head of the one who wronged her centuries ago.
Can Mab stand against her ancient rival and save her beloved partner?
For these and other books by Charles E. Yallowitz,
please visit his Amazon author page
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