Just Write Cat

One Writer, One Journey

Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies…Oh, My! Part One October 28, 2009

The first in a three-part commentary on Mythical Creatures.

Before I get into this, let me state that I love vampires.   Unequivocally, unabashedly, eternally.  And yes, I realize they’re not real.  Let’s move on.


My first novel, completed this year, is about vampires.  A tale of longing and hunger; of lust and regret.  My story introduces medical examiner Joe Cooper-a vampire with an insatiable appetite for booze, blood and women.  And a hunger for justice.  He represents many of the qualities I’ve always admired in (fictional) vampires.  Inhuman abilities-check.  Rugged good looks-oh, yeah.  A thirst for human blood-absolutely.  He’s dangerous when he has to be; charming when he wants to be.  He also has (forgive the pun) a heart.  Because one other thing that’s always drawn me to certain fictional vampires is their sense of loss.  Of what might be, of what can never be.  I’m a sucker for a sad story.  

Let me also say that I adore the Twilight Series.  Just like many others out there, I quickly found myself caught up in the story of Bella and Edward.  I felt like a teenager again, except only the good parts.  And while many have said that her vampires weren’t fierce enough, or that the love story wasn’t graphic enough – hey, it was intended for a young adult audience.  Just because those of us who are…um…not young adults, also fell in love with the story, does not mean we should judge it as if it was meant for us.  Don’t judge it at all.  Just enjoy the story.  Because it’s a great one.

But…my novel is for a more mature audience, and as such, brings vampires back to the darker side of their existence.  In other words, Joe ain’t a vegetarian.  And he likes sex.  Nothing smutty, mind you.  But I did worry about sending the first draft to my mom to read. 

I’ve heard the complaints – “if I have to see another vampire on t.v. or read about another vamp book, I’m gonna hurl” (or something to that effect).  O.k. – so you don’t like vampires.  Or maybe you’re just tired of them, you want something else to entertain you.  Fine, but you’ve got to admit that vampires are one type of mythical creature that’s not going anywhere.  There’s an allure there…the vampire mythos speaks to us (women and men, both).  For different reasons, and in different ways, but still–the appeal remains relatively constant. 

And there are so many ways for writers to explore this legend–to sculpt their characters and build their worlds in ways that reflect that which they find the most alluring/seductive/frightening.  Writers write about vampires to appease the multitude of readers out there who are clamoring for this genre.  But we also write about vampires to satisfy our own creative selves. 

Urban, paranormal, supernatural – call it what you will, but this genre of fantasy fiction is popular.  And for good reason. And while vampires are but one of the many creatures that can be given life in such fiction, to me–they’re the most beguiling.

My thoughts on Werewolves and Zombies later this week…

Happy Writing!



Listen to Those Voices… August 25, 2009

Filed under: Where Did That Come From??,Write — justwritecat @ 7:04 pm

It’s an odd thing, living with all those characters.  Sharing their joys, hoping for the best, understanding their tears…

I gave myself a day off from my manuscript.  Of course, it never quite works that way…and last night, around midnight this great opening scene popped in my head (for the next story).  Fortunately, I had my nifty voice recorder nearby.  I tip-toed (not really, does anyone actually tip-toe??) to the bathroom, gently closed the door and recorded the scene.  Back in bed, I thought I could rest easy knowing the idea would not be lost by morning.  Instead, I started to think about the manusript I’d just completed…possible changes to a few scenes, a loose thread or two.  Next think you know, it’s around 3:00 a.m.  That’s how it works, sometimes.  You live, breathe, dream your characters.  You can’t turn that off whenever you like, not always. 

I watched The Hours (again) about three weeks ago.  This time I focused on the character of Virginia Wolfe, portrayed by Nicole Kidman.  She did a fabulous job, from what I could tell.  Watching Wolfe share her waking hours with her characters was really something.  And for the first time, I got that.  I understood that your characters are always with you, you can’t really shut it down or take a break.  Sure, you can politely ask them to wait, hold up long enough for you to actually listen to your husband who has been waiting patiently for your attention all day (uh, all week)…and sometimes, they cut you some slack and keep things to a whisper.  But they’re always there, biding their time until they can take center stage.  I suppose it’s only fair, some of those characters have been waiting some time – from what I gather.  Waiting for me to finally shut up about writing and actually write, give them some breathing room because ‘it’s kinda stifling up there in your head, what with all of us sharing the space’.  Thanks for your patience, guys.  I only hope I can do you justice.


“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”  E.L. Doctorow