“Paltry,” a man’s rich, yet hoarse voice breathed, thrusting Angela out of her thoughts and making the others stop moving. They looked to the cage, the prisoner inside still blanketed by shadows.
“So you can talk?” Nathan asked. The silhouetted figure turned his head from Angela to him, but gave no response. Nathan looked at Chrissie, shrugging at what to do.
“What’s so paltry?” Chrissie asked, hoping the question would encourage the person to speak again. Getting what she wanted, the person’s head turned from Nathan to Chrissie.
“A heart’s bisection of clemency.”
Chrissie blinked and then nodded. “I see…. Okay, well thank you for explaining…. Um, could you say it one more time, only this time without the fancy words?”
“Forgiveness,” the person started, turning his head from Chrissie back to Angela, “is worthless when only half given.”
Angela narrowed her eyes. “You read my thoughts while I was blocking them. You’re a demon, aren’t you?”
The person huffed in dry amusement. “I am not.”
Angela rolled her eyes. “Uh huh, sure.”
There was a distinctive pause, and everyone could feel the person’s eyes was burrowing into Angela. He then stood, though only slightly within the limited space he was hunched into. “Do not deride my words. I am not a demon.”
The friends blinked in surprise when a gargoyle stepped out from the shadows. It was like watching a masterfully carved statue come to life, only to have it glare down at them in contempt. The carving of its face was as hard as the stone itself, though its marbled wings somehow draped over its shoulders like cloth.
“Well, demon or not, stay out of my head,” Angela said, pushing past her surprise.
“I have yet to learn to how. Keep your mind quiet if you wish not to be heard,” the gargoyle remarked.
“Don’t tell me what to do with my own mi—”
“What do you mean, you haven’t learned how?” Nathan asked, interrupting Angela.
The gargoyle’s grey eyes looked to Nathan. “My kind do not possess an aptitude for weaving our consciousness into the minds of mortals. We have not even the power to speak. The General forced changes within me that altered my hereditary construction so that I may have instruction of speech, as well as clairvoyant insight. She had yet instructed me how to control it.”
“Yet I see she wasn’t cheap with your vocabulary,” Chrissie commented.
For centuries, the vampire has been the subject of myth and legend. There are actually various types of vampires, but the most well-known is the undead creature that rises from its coffin at night to feast on the blood of the living.
The most famous vampire has to be Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The character of Dracula is believed to be based on the real-life Prince Vlad Tepes III (1431-1476), though many may know him as Vlad the Impaler. Vlad was the second son of Vlad Dracul, and is known in Romania for having battled the invading Ottoman Turks. Vlad’s name holds a mixture of history and lore, and (for some) even fear. He is believed to be responsible for more than 80,000 deaths, and to have performed torturous executions upon his enemies. The most famous of Vlad’s executions was the of impaled prisoners on the ends of stakes.
“The end of the stake was usually oiled, and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp; else the victim might die too rapidly from shock. Normally the stake was inserted into the body through the anus and was often forced through the body until it emerged from the mouth. However, there were many instances where victims were impaled through other bodily orifices or through the abdomen or chest. Infants were sometimes impaled on the stake forced through their mother’s chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake.”
Today, Vlad’s history is intertwined with Dracula’s, who has become a pivotal figure in both literature and film. But what other vampires are there besides Dracula in history, film and literature?
Here is my list of the top 10 most memorable vampires from history, literature, and film/TV!
10) Peter Plogojowitz – History
If you looked up “Real Vampires in History” (or similar verbiage), you’d notice this particular name keeps popping up. Peter Plogojowitz was a Serbian peasant who died in 1725, and was thought to be a vampire by the villagers. Not long after he was buried, people claimed Peter visited them at night, with some of them dying not too long after. Even Peter’s own son died from massive blood loss days after he claimed to have been visited. Peter quickly became the subject of one of the most extreme cases of vampire hysteria, as well as one of the first recorded cases of vampirism. It didn’t take long before the villagers demanded the vampire be stopped, and got authorities to dig up Peter.
The body of Plogojowitzwas exhumed, and when examined, signs of vampirism were present: the hair and nails appeared to have grown, and there were signs of blood in the mouth. The villagers drove a stake through Plogojowitz’s heart, and fresh blood spurted from the corpse. They then burned the body.
9) Arnold Paole – History
Just like Peter Plogojowitz, Arnold Paole is a historical vampire whose name keeps appearing in the history books. Paole (also like Peter Plogojowitz) was Serbian, and before his death in 1726, he claimed to have been bitten by a vampire—an event that left him feeling cursed. After his death from a farming accident a short time later, people in the village began dying, and all fingers pointed to the recently deceased Paole. When the people dug up Paole, they saw proof that he was indeed a vampire. His hair and nails were longer, and had blood on his mouth. Like something from a modern Dracula movie, the villagers drove a stake through Paole’s heart, cut off his head, and burned his body. Little did they know that four years later, 17 more deaths would occur, supposedly at the hands of a vampire.
Maybe it was one of Paole’s victims, come back from the dead?…
8) Lord Ruthven – Literature
If you think Dracula is the first fictional vampire to be written in classic Gothic Literature, think again! That title actually goes to Lord Ruthven, from the short story The Vampyre. First published in 1819 (Dracula was published in 1897), The Vampyre’s vampire is Lord Ruthven. Lord Ruthven is an aristocratic, and suave nobleman who can capture women’s attention—which is a pity for them since his preference for victims are pure and innocent women. Lord Ruthven also has a desire to worsen humanity, yet unlike most vampires we’ve come to know, he is not weakened by crosses or sunlight. He is, however, able to be harmed by mortal weapons.
Lord Ruthven is memorable because he is the first true vampire in English literature, and anyone who meets him ends up suffering, or dead.
Illustration by F Gilbert (People’s edition), 1884.
7) Carmilla – Literature
Did you know there was another vampire novel printed before Dracula? Carmilla (1872) is one of the most influential books of vampire horror, and has the vampire not be a male, but a female named (you guessed it), Carmilla. Carmilla is hypnotic, alluring, and quickly becomes friends with the book’s narrator, Laura. However, Laura is soon tormented by nightmares of a cat-like creature that comes to her room at night and bites her above the chest. Simultaneously, women throughout the neighborhood mysteriously die.
What sets Carmilla apart from others is the fact that she does not just take a victim and drain their blood in one sitting. She first earns their trust, and even shows signs love—but it’s the type of love becomes possessive, which turns to obsession, and eventually kills the one she is focused on.
Carmilla is memorable not solely for the fact she is the first female vampire to be given a lead antagonist role, but also for how she sets the standard for future vampires’ sensuality and M.O. In fact, if you were to read Carmilla, you’d see how it quite possibly influenced Bram’s Dracula.
Illustration from The Dark Blue, by David Henry Friston, 1872.
6) Jerry Dandridge – Film
Okay, it is time to jump to the modern era! Let’s talk film vampires. If you haven’t seen Fright Night (the one from 1985), then go see it. The vampire for this film is Jerry Dandridge. Jerry is, much like his vampire predecessors, charming and handsome—at least while in his human form. What makes Jerry memorable is because…well, there’s no other way to say this. It’s freaking Fright Night! It’s a badass movie.
Don’t believe me? Then you must have never seen it—or you only saw the remake.
Here, watch a clip:
5) David – Film
David is a fictional character from the movie The Lost Boys. Played by Kiefer Sutherland, David is a bleach blonde, blue eyed vampire, and the leader of motorcycle gang of vampires. Though he is not the Head Vampire, David is still a force to be reckoned with. In The Lost Boys, David and his gang terrorizes the town of Santa Carla, “the Murder Capitol of the World”.
What makes David stand out from other vampires is the fact he makes being a vampire seem cool, freeing, and with no one to answer to (except for the Head Vampire, of course). However, alongside that freedom, he fully embraces his evilness, and takes upon a demonic visage whenever he goes into a vampiric frenzy. When it comes to dealing with someone like David, no one is safe from his bloodlust.
6) Angel/Angelus – Television
Angel, the vampire with a soul. Angel’s character first came to life on the popular TV show, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and is one of the first well known vampires to have a soul. Before Angel, all vampires were seen solely as blood thirsty monsters, with no sense of humanity in their actions. After Angel, it somehow became the popular norm for vampires to have souls…and feelings. Of course, if Angel were to ever lose his soul, he would revert to his evil ways, and be known as Angelus. Angelus is someone you’d never want to meet.
Here is a wonderful fan-made “trailer” that wonderfully summarizes Angel when he became a vampire with a soul:
Angel is memorable because he set in stone the idea of a vampire with a soul. He opened the doors for stories where, “he’s a something, she’s a human, and they have a forbidden love”. Many people may say it’s Anne Rice who started that theme with Louie, but you can’t deny it was Joss Whedon’s character, Angel, who cemented it. And speaking of Anne Rice…
3) Lestat de Lioncourt – Literature
Anyone who’s a fan of vampires knows the characters from Anne Rice’s novels. From Armand to Louis, and the Queen of the Damned, Akasha, these vampires have left a hard imprint on the vampire world. However, the most memorable vampire has to be Anne Rice’s Lestat de Lioncourt. Lestat is bold, stubborn, and engaging. He is also very manipulative, which is shown in Interview With the Vampire. He is the sire of Louis de Pointe du Lac, and Claudia, who Lestat uses in order to keep Louis with him.
Lestat was first brought to film in 1994, and portrayed by Tom Cruise (which is probably the only role I truly think he was meant to play). Even Anne Rice came out enjoying his portrayal. In an open letter, she wrote:
From the moment he appeared Tom was Lestat for me. He has the immense physical and moral presence; he was defiant and yet never without conscience; he was beautiful beyond description yet compelled to do cruel things. The sheer beauty of Tom was dazzling, but the polish of his acting, his flawless plunge into the Lestat persona, his ability to speak rather boldly poetic lines, and speak them with seeming ease and conviction were exhilarating and uplifting. The guy is great.
It is perhaps because of Tom’s performance that Lestat became such a memorable character in the history of vampires. After all, film (if done right) helps us to see things in person, rather than what we interpret with our minds. It’s exactly that use of visual artistry that makes the next vampire #2 on my list…
2) Count Orlok – Film
Count Orlok, played by Max Shreck, was the vampire in the 1922 silent film, Nosferatu. You could say Nosferatu was Dracula with copyright issues. Bram Stoker’s widow tried keeping the movie from being released due to its unauthorized use of Bram’s novel. To side-step the lawsuit, the producers sold the film to Deutsche Film Produktion. Though Deutsche Film Produktion heavily edited the film, it is through this action that we were given the most visually-memorable vampire in film—one who can never be confused for Dracula if you stood them side-by-side.
Count Orlok is not a sexy vampire. He is frightening, creepy, and definitely not human looking. He has long, talonlike fingers, visible fangs, large eyes, and bat-like ears. He is also thin, taller than most men, and with equally long arms—which only adds to his creepiness as he stalks his victims through the shadows.
You know who Count Orlok is when you look at him. I doubt anyone will argue the fact that he is one of the most visually striking vampires, but he is not the most memorable vampire on this list. That title goes to…
1) Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed – History
The #1 most memorable vampire has to be Elizabeth Báthory. Elizabeth (1560-1604) was a countess from Hungary, who was born into one of the oldest and most powerful families in Transylvania. Elizabeth was educated, ran various estates (her husband was often away, leaving her in charge), and bore many children—all while reportedly killing young women, and bathing in their blood.
Elizabeth Báthory is attributed with torturing and murdering young servant and peasant women (most of whom went to her castle in hopes of a better life, and employment). Elizabeth’s tortures included jamming needles under fingernails, stabbing, biting areas of the body, burning with hot-irons (or other metals, like coins), beatings, starvation, and more. She would reportedly bathe in her victims’ blood so to keep her youthful features and prolong her life. The total body count of Elizabeth’s victims comes to an estimated 175 to over 200.
With a track record like Elizabeth’s, it’s no wonder she is referred to as the Blood Countess, or Countess Dracula.
What do you think of my list?
Is there someone you think I should have mentioned (or not)? Let me know in the comments section! Who knows? Maybe I will make another list in the future.
Let me know what else you’d like me to write about—other than the sequels of my books. I promise, I will finish them! :). Whether it’s vampires, werewolves, ghosts, religion, history, etc, let me know what you’d like to see.
Hey guys, check out this in depth evaluation of my short story THIRST! It’s from a contest I entered to possibly transform the story into a movie.
The writer has created a frightening story of a MAN, now a VAMPIRE, who has left his wife and child for their own survival, as he has been fantasizing about seeing the blood pour from his child’s neck. There is a visceral quality to the writing…an emotional immediacy…that immediately hooks the reader and encourages vicarious identification with the protagonist. We feel his emotional pain and soul-‐searching, and he writing is so assured that it allows us to identify with a man who has monstrous urges and perhaps has already done or been about to do monstrous things. This is no small feat.
The reader is both intrigued and fascinated with his inability to overcome his desire to hunt, though he has already killed a few times that day. Once he spots a couple, the vampire stalks them, wondering exactly how he will attack, and his razor sharp focus is on the WOMAN. Her companion, a MAN, valiantly fights by holding a cross and praying but he is no match. This very short story is terrifying and interesting and, from an adaptation standpoint, offers very mineable internal conflict for he central character. But to be truly viable for short film or pilot adaptation, the plot also needs to be far more developed. The author notes that Thirst is a prequel to a book series, but judging the material on its own merits, without that knowledge, it’s unclear that the contained narrative here is setting up a larger story and/or building the origin and mythology of a serialized character.
Certainly, an accomplished filmmaker and strong performers could come together to create a contained horror short out of this material, but its success would rely exclusively on translating the emotional immediacy and vicarious nature of the writing to create a heightened emotional experience for the audience; there is nothing on a plot or character level that would sustain. But given how well-‐crafted the writing is here on a craft level, it seems clear that the writer could easily imbue the narrative with more distinctive and developed plot points and character beats.Certainly, it might be interesting to actually see firsthand the wife and daughter the protagonist forlornly mentions.
The prologue to the material makes an interesting dichotomy between ancient and modern vampires, specifically noting that, originally, only the Pure Vampires could change forms. It’s clear that the writer is well-‐ versed in vampire lore and has assembled a detailed mythology that could quite conceivably gain and sustain reader and audience interest on a baseline level. Again, more development could and should be done here.
In terms of market potential, the obvious has to be stated: vampire narratives have saturated the landscape, often to iconic and hugely profitable results (e.g. Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, etcetera). As such, it’s imperative to bring fresh elements and/or a point-‐ of-‐view to the table in order to really be in a position to compete on a meaningful and wide-‐ranging level. The material in its current incarnation doesn’t fulfill that mandate, but further development could certainly change that.
Have you read THIRST? Let me know what YOU thought of it! Just leave a review either onAmazon, Goodreads, or evenFacebook!
I just finished reading A Demon’s Prize by Jennifer Maimone and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t dive too deep into the storyline without giving much away but it is about vampires and werewolves and before you say, “Oh another vampire book”, let me say this one is really cool. Angela is a wolf/vampire hybrid and her friends are werewolves. They seem to be just a normal group of people who move to the city for a new start (and they are in a band… which I wish there was more of in the book). They quickly meet Brent who is a “pure” werewolf. (Kinda like the Originals) and they eventually join forces to battle an evil demon who wants to steal their souls and make them his slaves in Hell. I must say I developed a slight crush for Brent. He’s rugged and fierce and mysterious. Angela and Brent start out hating each other but end up developing feelings for each other which I found to be a little cliché but Jennifer did a really good job at not letting it consume the entire storyline. The demon who is after Brent is evil and nasty… and flat out gave me the creeps! I just wanted him to die!!!!! One minor thing that I didn’t really like was how a lot of the dialogue was dragged out. Some parts I just found myself wanting the conversation to hurry up and end so I could find out what was going to happen, but that’s just my personal preference. Jennifer displays true writing talent. For me, it is rather difficult to find a book that keeps my interest until the end and A Demon’s Prize did just that. She also did a great job with the ending because it left a cliffhanger so the reader is going to want to immediately buy the next book. I know I can’t wait to read the next book.
If you like supernatural suspense books, you will enjoy this book. It has sweet moments, scary moments and even made me laugh a few times. If you want to check out this book, please visit Jennifer’s site.www.alphawolfseries.com
Thank you, Bri, for your review, and everyone else who has read the Alpha Wolf Series! I read every single review I get, so if you want to make one yourself, you can for Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and even the Nook! 🙂 Night, everyone!
I was honored to be a guest on the Writer’s Online Network (WON) radio this past week, and I had a great time being on it! Be sure to check it out, and stay tuned in the next month for I shall be back and be part of the segment Ask the Editors!
Click on the link below to listen to the interview!
If you’re a new writer, and are thinking of finally writing a book, then that’s awesome! If you’ve even planning to go so far as to formally publish it (whether with a publishing house or on your own), even more power to you. However, while you’re writing your book, I would like to suggest that you ask yourself something. Ask: what makes my story stand out from the others? What makes my story different and unique?
Seriously, there are hundreds upon hundreds of stories out there that are just waiting to be read; some published, some not. Still, there are so many out there that if you’re planning to write and then to sell a book, you may discover that you can’t just write “something” and hope it will catch wind. After all, you aren’t the only person who is writing a fiction/horror/sci-fi/YA/nonfiction/etc. There are many others out there who are just like you. They’re also trying to write their story read and sell it to the public (whether it be for the glory and money, or for their love of their craft is a different matter we won’t go into right now).
You’ll be surprised how knowing the answer to the question “what makes my story different?” will benefit you — both with your writing efforts, and when it comes to promoting and selling your story. If you go to an event (let’s say a book fair), and are trying to get people interested enough to want to buy your book, then you should tell them why YOUR book is different from all others. Tell them why it is unique, and how it offers them something new.
So, while you’re writing, or trying to sell your book, make sure you know the answer to the question “what makes my story different?”
But what if you don’t know?…Well, don’t you think you should?
But what if you can’t find anything in your story that truly makes it different?…Well, then perhaps you may want to find a way to write it so that it does.
I know it isn’t related to Demon’s Prize…but it sure is related to monsters and demons and all things horror.
This is an amazing, creative company in California. They are AWESOME with what they do at the Great Horror Campout, and if you are looking for a job, they are now hiring! They are ALSO doing a Contest!! Design a creature, and submit it before 10 days from now!
It is now the second month of 2015. Demon’s Prize is taking people by storm, and I couldn’t be happier (well, maybe a little happier. I can only hope that more and more people continue to enjoy the book, and that soon A Cursed Soul will be finished, and added to the series). However, as time moves on, I keep getting asked, “when is the next book coming out? Is it done yet? WHY AREN’T YOU WRITING IT RIGHT NOW?!”
<– My reaction sometimes
Soooo, I am willing to bet some readers, fans, or even aspiring writers think that being an author of a book (or a series) means you are only supposed to worry about writing the next book (and then the one after that, and the one after that). Yeah, not so much. Don’t get me wrong! Writing is very crucial. Heck, you cannot really be a writer unless you actually DO some writing. However, once you author a story, your responsibilities extend beyond just your writing skills. If you want to get out there, you have to roll up your sleeves and be willing to get to work on things you didn’t think you’d have to.
You’ve Got to Market Your Book!
Did you know that there’s a lot of marketing that goes into a book? You aren’t going to get into a bookstore by just walking in, books in hand and say, “Can you sell these?” Sure, there are some independent bookstores that do consignments and will take any book that looks properly published, but there are also those who won’t want to take a chance unless: (1) they’ve read the book and feel it is properly edited/proofread, (2) it matches their clients’ tastes, (3) has a fan base already around it, and (4) has a strong marketing team that will make sure to get the word out that the book is for sell at theirstore. There’s more, but I figured I’d just bring the top 4 that I’ve come across.
So, you already have #1 down, since (I assume) the book has been published after an editor already combed through it. You most likely only have to worry about #2 if you are catering to a specific store [Ex: a New Age or even a magick store would want to sell paranormal fiction moreso than a cook book). If the store accepts all types of books, then all you have to worry about is making sure to get it in the appropriate section. As for #3 and #4…Well, how are you going to get the word out to the world, get a fan base, and showcase your popularity unless you market your book? Trust me, your book isn’t going to become famous overnight by just letting it sit on Kindle, collecting electronic dust. You got to get the word out there!
With that being said, when people ask me, “Is the book done yet?”, I tell them that I expect to finish and print A Cursed Soul in 2016. Then, they ask me why it is taking so long. It’s because I am marketing my first book!
How I am Marketing My Book
I am no marketing expert, but I know there’s a lot I can do to market myself. Between writing, my regular 8-5 job, sleeping, and spending time with my loved ones (don’t become a work-aholic!), I scheduled my marketing time in between everything else.
1) I go to events. I go to conventions, attractions, etc. It costs a pretty penny to reserve a table to each event, but I make back what I spend in sales. I don’t sit back, waiting for people to come up to my booth. I talk to those walking by. I offer to personally sign the book to them. I hold a special $1 raffle for something I made relating to the book. I have friends pass the news to people in the crowd that there’s an AWESOME book over at section ____. I even do a few interviews to the press that are wandering around. Anything to get the name out there, and to get people interested in purchasing my book. If they aren’t sure they want to buy now, I give them an awesome, free bookmark that has information on the back of where they can buy online. To see what events I will be doing for 2015, go to my Upcoming Eventspage!
Here’s an interview I did at Comikaze, 2014!
2) I do podcast interviews. This one I found to be a little harder to do, since I am not a podcast listener. I am not sure who is hot, and who is not. I am not sure who would be up for doing an interview about a horror series, or how to get in touch with the shows to ask for an interview…At least not YET. I know podcasts are a great place to get people aware of my book, so I am now listening to podcasts. I am searching for ones that gear towards my targeted audience, while also seeing what they like to have in an interview. Then, I research on how to get in touch with them and propose an interview. I have now done two podcasts, and with a third one coming up in the next few months!
3) I do online book events and giveaways. These are mainly on Facebook, but are a lot of fun. I do teasers, mini contests, and market my book for a full hour at each event.
4) I write a blog. You’re reading it right now! 😀 Thanks for reading!
This gets out to the bloggers of the world, and also gives your fans something to read while they are waiting for your next book. They want to know what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, and what you have to say! Talk to them through your blog!
5) I use Facebook. I have a fan page for my series that I update on a daily basis. It is where I tell people to go to get the 1st scoop on any giveaways, teasers, events or whatever! I don’t ignore my fans, and you shouldn’t either.
6) I bring my book with me EVERYWHERE I go. Seriously, you’d be surprised how many times a conversation went from, “What do you do for a living?” to “Oh, what’s your book about?”
“What’s my book about? Well, here, let me show you!”
7) I research other ways I can market my book. Like I said before, I am no expert. There are times when I wonder what ELSE I could do to get people to buy my book. When that happens, I research what others do, or what they recommend. You’ll be surprised how much researching you’ll be doing before you realize, “Oh…Wait…Maybe I should do some writing.”
So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing between my personal life and writing. I hope this helps you out! Until then, keep your chin up, remember to get some time in to write, market, and to spend time with your loved ones.
Alpha Wolf Series is going to participate in the Authors Supporting Our Troops #ASOT2015 event, and we would love it if you did as well!
From January 1st until April 30th, there will be a collection of author-signed print books for soldiers in remote areas (like Afghanistan or Kuwait). This is not an event just for authors, either. Readers can show their support, as well! There is a need for donations towards the huge shipping bill when they get sent out!
Click on the links below to learn more and to show your participation!
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4 Production Quality and Cover Design: 5 Plot and Story Appeal:4 Character Appeal and Development: 4 Voice and Writing Style: 4
First impression: I was absolutely blown away by this cover art. They always say not to judge a book by its cover, but this one was off to a great start here! I would have loved to have seen a little better cover blurb. It didn’t totally sell me. Be sure your genre and target audience is reflected here. Is it a romance, mystery, paranormal fantasy? I just wasn’t sure at first glance.
The author has a nice voice for the paranormal genre and she’s well versed in world building. I wasn’t put off by yet another werewolf themed novel. I would caution to some things that continually distracted me. Things such as improper dialogue tags. For example, you can’t snicker words. You can say words and then snicker. That sort of thing. All in all, it was enjoyable. The characters were well drawn and their motivations were realistic. The plot held my attention throughout and it all wrapped up with a satisfying ending.