Oh No! Not Another Vampire Story!

This was the response I got the last time I passed my promotional bookmark to a friend I hadn’t seen in forever.

Hmmm. Really?

When I told the secretary at my doctor’s office I was writing a book, she got all excited for me. She asked what the topic was. When I told her it was a vampire novel, her face fell. Her expression seemed to say, “Vampires? Really? You seemed like such a…nice…person.”

I just have to laugh at these responses.

Yes, vampires are the hot thing right now thanks to series like “Buffy” “True Blood” and “Twilight”. Some people get the vampire craze. Some do not. Many who do not are in my own family so its probably a given they will never read my stories. It is just not their ‘thing’.

And it’s okay. Really. My mother keeps passing me books on topics I have no interest in. It’s totally fine by me. She’s encouraging me to keep reading and that is always a good thing. It is always inspiring the way other writers weave their words. Writers get inspiration from all sorts of things. With me the words fluctuate so inconsistently I find I crave things to fire the spark of inspiration.

It certainly does not mean I live in “vampire world” twenty four seven!

But to many it seems that I am just jumping on the vampire bandwagon and trying to make a big splash with it financially.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As I have said before, I didn’t start out writing vampire stories. I wrote my first story when I was eleven and it was about a green horse. I was reading a lot of horse stories at the time mostly written by Walter Farley.

Then as a young teen, I was tricked into reading “The Lord of the Rings” by my father. (Thanks Dad!) I started playing Dungeons and Dragons and reading every fantasy novel I could get my hands on. My stories turned into fantasy hero quests with lots of pretty horses. More recently I have watched lots of movies on vampires. But I never read vampire stories. I do believe Mykhalo is my response to Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows”. Mykhalo was designed by my opinion of what a handsome guy should look like. (I like intelligent tall blonde men.)

Notice a pattern? My topics change as my life changes.

This is a natural progression.

What readers who do not write or create stories don’t realize is inspiration works best when you throw away the reins and let the “horse” take you where it wills. This means your mount may take you in directions you never planned to go. When I was a teen, I certainly never told people I was someday going to write vampire novels! Such a revelation would have blown me over.

Then there is the magic that happens from creating characters. This may all be a mystery to you if you are a writer or a reader of strictly true stories with characters that are actual living people. When it comes to creating characters, the writer sometimes has to willingly give themselves over to a kind of harmless possession. It’s their way of dealing with the stress of life in a beneficial way. The characters in your stories become your friends, your children, your pets so to say.

And as I’m writing this I’m also thinking about what fun a shrink would have in analyzing me!

Sometimes the characters need you to design them and sometimes they come already fleshed out. Mykhalo already had bones, skin and a fine Armani suit when I first met him. And he completely refused to have his appearance or his purpose altered by me in any way whatsoever. He had a full story to his life and his purpose was for me to tell it. Period. No wiggle room.

I had to go with it.

See? This is what characters do to you. You think you are designing the story and then they bolt to the right and expect you to stay with them. They start out making you think they are the adult version of your imaginary friend and then they turn into bratty kids! They refuse to be manipulated or controlled. If they have another idea for where the plot is going, you better listen or they will mutiny and all your glorious ideas will evaporate into the mist of forgetfulness. It’s very frustrating to have to deal with. I feel like I’m constantly playing chess with the characters I have created. And I’m an absolutely terrible chess player.

Yet when you do this, when you actually throw away the reins, and trust the horse to take you where it wills, literary magic is born. This is when the best stories walk into the light.

So I sigh, roll my eyes, and go with it knowing I will probably be very happy with the result.

I’m just thankful that I do not need a hospital when my story “horse” bucks me off its back!

D.C. McLaughlin


One Response to “Oh No! Not Another Vampire Story!”

  1. “Deadly Conversations” the book is coming! I am currently in negotiations with a publisher. Soon, very soon!

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