Friday, December 2, 2011

Angelia Sparrow Power in the Blood

Thanks to Jadette for having me visit today and talk about my January release. (It's available for pre-order, at a discount)

You know, when someone asks why you're writing vampires, the right answer is not “Because you can't have a vampire apocalypse without vampires, duh!” Instead, the question made me think about about where vampires actually fit into the food chain, what purpose they would serve in a non-supernatural universe.

Vampires are getting a little passe, some people think. We've done the monstrous bloodsuckers. We've done the sexy, decadent, sometimes gay type. We've had bad boyfriends. We're down to teen angst and sparkling. So what's left?

I wrote Power in the Blood in this climate. Power in the Blood focuses more on the vampire hunters than the vampires themselves. In this one, vampirism is a virus, that takes ordinary humans into the next level of predator. They serve to keep the human population in check or they used to.

But, there is a catch to the eco system:  if a turning is interrupted and the turning man manages to sire a child before he dies of the vampire virus, then the child becomes Undying, a genetic vampire that requires no blood at all and cannot be killed. Most learn of their status when they wake up after dying violently. They come from all eras and all walks of life. Samil marched in the armies of King David in BCE 1000. Anne was hanged in Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600s. Marcus had his throat torn out two years ago by a vampire. The stress of living forever, and dying frequently, tends to make most Undying clinically insane within a century.

All this would be pretty standard—vampires and vampire hunters--if the vampires themselves weren't evangelical Christians. Yes, that's my “Our Vampires Are Different” trope. The vampirism, being a virus, does not make holy symbols have any ill effect. And one young televangelist discovered this and started the Tabernacle of the Firstfruits, or as I call them “Church of Christ, Vampire.” That idea wandered in when I was getting into a Vampyre: The Masquerade game. I wasn't able to play the character, since the local group was all Cainites, but the idea hung around.

When Storm Moon press approached me to a novel for them, the church was there as well as a little goofing around I had done with the characters of Oren, Blake and Pelton. They were sitting in my “Marinate” file and I knew the time had come. As I worked with them, Oren became more a tragic figure than an anti-hero, a loving father trying to do what's best for his children while he misses his dead wife, although he still retains some anti-hero aspects. It takes a bit of a bastard to steal his own son's boyfriend.

Blake and Peryton, who originally started as a useless layabout and scatterbrained twink, became more in the telling as well. Blake acquired five siblings as the drafts progressed, a pair of identical sociopathic twin brothers, a computer whiz sister and two teens who have to be guarded and protected.

I decided to set it in Memphis, because I know Memphis. And Memphis is a strategic transportation hub, home to Fed Ex, numerous trucking companies and guarding two of the bridges across the Mississippi. It's also home to a lot of itty bitty churches, some of which are fairly strange, so a new cult can take root here fairly easily and without much notice or opposition.

Take root the Firstfruits did, and they have flourished and grown. Now, it's time for their first annual conference, hopefully their last. They plan to hasten the Second Coming by converting the whole world. Converting or eating, whichever.

It's up to Oren, and his kids, and the Undying to stop the massacre.


Oren Stolt understands the natural order better than most people. Vampires prey on humans and Undying keep the vampires' numbers in check.

Until now.

Now, across the United States, vampire numbers are exploding, thanks to a new church. The Tabernacle of the Firstfruits preaches a Risen Lord and invites believers to follow Him in death and resurrection... quite literally.

In Memphis, the church is about to host its first conference, with an eye to converting the whole world to the vampiric gospel.

And all that stands between humanity and eternal night is Oren, his kids, and a thin line of insane immortals.

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Angelia Sparrow is a truck-driver who lives quietly in the Mid South. She perpetrates romance when not playing with her four kids or serving the two cats that own her and her long-suffering husband. Sometimes called the "Queen of Cross-Genre" she writes everything from Weird West (steampunk lesbian ranchers fighting zombies) to Dark Future Trucker Romance (a road trip across the Disunited States) to a popular Gay Christmas Werewolf short story series that included a Lovecraft pastiche. She has been writing for over 40 years and has eight novels and more than fifty short stories to her credit.

Thanks for having me!

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