Series: From the Vampire’s Angel universe
Author: Damian Serbu
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 21
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Genre: Horror, paranormal, abduction, action, blood and gore, cisgender, contemporary, crime, dark, death, gay, paranormal, vampires
A sinister vampire offers Charon a choice he can’t refuse: play a deadly game of winner takes all, losers die.
Charon relishes the competition and molds himself into a sexy vampire who defies vampire law, savoring his power and embracing the role of villain. He also loves surrounding himself with hot young men. But when an alluring vampire stalks him and threatens to turn him into the Vampire Council unless he helps with a seemingly impossible task, will Charon risk his perfectly narcissistic life on the challenge? Does he have any other choice?
The creation of my vampire world
The creation of my vampire world happened over several years, even before I started putting any of the stories to paper. Since college, I have loved vampire stories, especially Anne Rice. Then, when gay authors started writing horror literature and included vampires, it only heightened my curiosity and interest. This was in the 90s, so there wasn’t a lot of gay vampire stuff out there. Not like today, where stories with gay characters are everywhere! You had to hunt and hope for gay horror stories, and then relish every page because it could always be a while before something new came down the road.
But I digress. Amidst that love affair with vampires and longing for gay vampires in particular I created fantasies in my head. At first, they were just daydreams, about books I wanted to exist or movies I wished that I could see. But over time, the stories and context grew. Often, it happened while I was jogging or sitting around doing something, and out of nowhere some scene would land in my head about a world of gay vampires. Then, that world began having more structure. I wondered how the vampires governed themselves, and suddenly a Vampire Council materialized. I wondered what rules they established, and slowly a set of rules, that they called the Ethic, came into shape.
Again, this entire evolution occurred just as a fun diversion in my mind. At the time, I was a history major and then in graduate school for history, so I never envisioned writing fiction, let alone publishing a novel. Yet there in my mind I had a complete universe of vampires. When the fiction bug hit me, then, it was lurking and waiting to come to fruition.
Even then, I wrote a ghost story and fantasy set in the distant past before I got around to vampires. When the vampires demanded that I tell their story, the next step in creating their world came forth. I decided to set the story during the French Revolution, a period of time I studied a great deal and was quite interested in. So I outlined the story – the plot, created the characters, sketched out the basic trajectory that it would take, and then I had my preliminary idea. That structure had to merge with something, and I never even thought about it or wondered how it happened, I just merged it with that vampire world I had fanaticized about and created over all those years.
Now, as I wrote that story, and the next four stories, including the recent release of The Vampire’s Protégé, the rules, guidelines, and universe of the vampires took greater shape. Various parts of the plot our outline needed better explanation about what governed vampires, what they could or could not do, and who was in charge of that entire thing. Again, though, I seldom had to deliberately think through it or agonize over what it would look like. It was as if that imaginary vampire universe really existed, and even though it wasn’t directly in my consciousness, the answer to whatever dilemma or issue was there waiting to come out. (No pun intended.) 🙂
The other thing that really fascinates me, and I don’t think I would have put this into words without contributing to this blog, is that there are still aspects of that universe and how it works that I don’t know. I only get to learn what either my characters learns or knows, or what certain characters want for me to learn and know. The Vampire Council wants a lot of mystery and secrets, and they manage to keep it from me! In some ways, it contributes one of the motivations to keep this universe alive with new stories, because even I still have so much to learn!
I know. This can start to make me sound like a lunatic. 🙂 But I love it!!
The Vampire’s Protege
Damian Serbu © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Everyone thinks they adore the Vampire Council with its rules and regulations that allegedly govern all vampires and thereby ensure the safety of virtuous humans. People want to lose themselves in the tales of the Council members: Xavier and Thomas and their love; Anthony and Jaret and their guarding of humanity; Catherine and Harriet and their whims within a righteous vampiric empire. Most of all, the Vampire Ethic provides comfort with its guarantee that goodness protects an individual from a vampire attack, with its promise that all vampires defend innocence.
Vampires accept this reality because it gives them a collective soul. The ethic protects them from the stereotype of evil incarnate preying upon humanity. Or, in the least, obedience to it keeps them alive, lest the Council hunt them down and murder them for transgressions against it.
Humans desire the Council’s laws to maintain their fantasy of security from the supernatural realms. Who would dismiss a hidden force of vampire police that might swoop in at any sign of danger and annihilate the perpetrator?
Yet deep inside, so many long for something different, something that avoids this utopian trope and perfect world, all tied up in a pretty bow. Part of everyone, that piece so desperately stamped down and derided, seeks an alternative story.
To be sure, many will deny it. Fight against these words and honorably cast them out as the devil’s temptations. Yet no proof of Satan or such demonic forces presents itself. Because even those thoughts really stem from the inner being in everyone, that secretly locked-up atom inside a person that pines for freedom and seeks release, even as the goodness scolds it.
Still people contest these words. Deny them.
Yet a fascination with villains thrives in America. Think of the great antiheroes of history and their legendary fame. The Wicked Witch of the West. Darth Vader. Hannibal Lecter. The Joker. The infamy of historic figures such as Adolf Hitler or Ted Bundy or the Son of Sam. The people who don the costumes at Halloween of Lord Voldemort, Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler because it empowers them for a night with beautiful wickedness. People laugh at Scar, Ursula, and even Mr. Potter. They read the tales of Lex Luther and Cujo, privately wishing they would eventually triumph over the heroes of the story and bring a bit of destruction to the globe.
Jack the Ripper lives through the ages because he successfully hid himself, true. But also because his perfect malevolence went unpunished. People want that for themselves. His legend draws them back again and again to that story with the hope of their own misdeeds going unchallenged.
Thus, whether admitted or not, people long to meet Charon. Yes, so many cry out for Charon and his story. People want him. Readers desire him, need him, really. The world will have no choice but to love him. All will embrace him as they have these other villains of history. They will celebrate his perfect treachery.
Unlike those obedient to the Vampire Council, Charon hardly worries about a bit of notoriety from time to time. Fear of retribution never enters his vocabulary. He need not concern himself with the Vampire Council and its regulations. Nor does Charon often fret over any other person or entity cracking down on his masterful empire.
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Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He previously authored several novels now out of print, and is excited to reignite his writing with Ninestar Press!
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