I was in Louisiana studying in Baton Rouge. I was house sitting at the time and was surfing the internet. Well, the entire experience was going to be the prologue for the book, although I have been told many times since not to use a prologue. (That fact alone has made my writing experience much more difficult. lol) I’ll let Lilith tell the experience from her point of view. It was, to say the least, a shared experience. 🙂
I have watched the birth of mountains and seen their decay. I have witnessed the changing stories of the constellations in the sky. I hold the only remaining memories of verdant forests that once teemed with life where now there are only desert sands. I have lived long enough to see everything in existence change many times over. Including man. And yet with all his changes, it is man who has changed the least. Pity.
My decision to come out of the proverbial “coffin” happened a week ago. I was surfing the internet. I find it both educational and entertaining. I’ve always been amazed by Hollywood vampires because they seem to conveniently have managed to meet everyone who was ever anyone. Of course, that seems to have also been true about the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod (another television series that I must admit a guilty enjoyment of). Had “frequent coach miles” been around at that time, well… you get the idea. I, for one, found travel took a lot longer than television seems to allow for and I missed crossing paths with a great many fascinating people, mainly because I didn’t know they were such fascinating people until well after their deaths. (News didn’t travel much faster than people did back then.) So, I find the internet fills in the great void of all the history I lived through but never experienced. As far as entertainment goes, I admit to a wicked amusement at the botched up rewriting of the history I did experience. Always it is better than comic books. Of course, there are always my occasional perverse searches on “vampire” to pass the time. That might seem odd considering a vampire looking up mythological references on vampires but think of it this way: have you ever typed your name into Google just to see what comes up? It probably won’t be you, but you’re still curious about other people with your name. Which brings me back to last week…
As I said, I was browsing the internet and came across a site where people recorded goals they wanted to accomplish. I was only a little surprised to find numerous postings with the goal to “become a vampire”: not so much because of the goal – I am aware of the effect of Anne Rice’s mythology on hormones of the world’s youth; but rather because of their blatant admissions to the world and the lively enthusiasm expressed for the desire. Among these was one plea that caught my eye. The posting was from a very young mind:
I really really wanna be a vampire. Ive thout about it lot and it wuld be realy cool. I’ve done lots of reserch but cant find a reel vampire to do it. Can someone help me? If you can turn me, please write.
Despite the grating of the abysmal spelling and the obvious lack of any common sense, there was something that struck me with a force that refused to release my attention. Normally, I would have passed on to something else. These posting were after all, grocery store checkout rags to me. But this wasn’t a person who wanted to investigate an alternative lifestyle; this was someone actually seeking the metaphysical vampire – the immortal nightwalker – and he wanted to join our ranks – to give up everything that was mortal. Why? Because he had bought Hollywood’s bill of goods – that being a vampire was cool. I started looking at several of the other postings and was a little surprised at the intensity with which these souls were looking to become what, only one hundred years ago – even less – was believed monstrous – without sexuality or love or any embracing quality.
I also found some responses: a few interesting entries from one who claimed to have become a vampire and had originally been looking for someone to apprentice. He requested that interested parties do their research and be serious before contacting him. One young girl responded, stating that she had done her research and knew the vampire genealogies created by Anne Rice in a fictional work. Fiction/fantasy/fact – all confused.
For the first time in millennia, I felt haunted. I thought I had dealt with the guilt eons ago. I had dealt with the guilt. And yet, here I was, feeling it again, in my heart, in my veins, in my soul – and yes, I have a soul and it was in pain.
I finally decided to speak; I created a Logon name so that I could post a response to a series of comments in the hope of convincing even one of these to think: why would you trade your world for mine – why would you trade your pain for mine.
Why are we so quick to trade the pain we know for the one we don’t?
The one response I received was from the one who called himself Vampyres, not from the audience I hoped to reach. His response was a veiled challenge, an unasked question, and a parting blessing – I assume just in case I was actually what he instinctively sensed, even though I never intimated it. My immediate visceral response was “go ahead and fish. You’ll catch nothing here.” My next response a gentler, “pass on by in peace.” The more time passed, the more temptation gnawed at me demanding that I respond until finally I discover myself at this moment: staring at my screen, watching my fingers work against my will, seeing the words appear as they are pulled from my soul.
And so, I share my story. Believe it is just a story. Believe what you will. But when it is finished, believe that you will not find me living the Goth lifestyle, visiting the vampire clubs, blending with those that try to blend with us. Rather, I am circling myself about with the living, blending into the flow of humanity, clutching at the semblance of normalcy; for it is your humanity that I crave… as much as your blood.
So there it is. But I guess you probably need a little more information to understand why I felt such as need to write the book. There are three other pieces of the puzzle.
- Since childhood I have been fascinated by the vampire legend. Yes, I watched Jonathan Frid in his search for mortality and love in Dark Shadows. I saw Christopher Lee die only to mysteriously come back to life time after time. (Why do people insist on pulling out the stake? hmm?)
- I had studied to some extent the vampire legends and heard the legend of Lilith, the first wife of Adam. Being very religious I could not believe that God would curse her just because she wouldn’t assume the missionary position during sex. (Lilith made sure I understood that had nothing to do with it. 🙂 )
- While teaching college, I had a young girl that had belonged to a vampire coven. I have worried about her over the years and practically adopted her. I know how lost some of the youth are who are being pulled into these covens. I saw it in the young man I mentioned in the “no more” prologue. He was a loner so he wanted a life where he would be even more of a loner. He was in pain so he was choosing to seek a life where he would experience even more pain. It doesn’t make sense yet it is the seeming embodiment of what they already feel.
So, I wrote furiously. Or should I say Lilith wrote furiously. The first draft was done in a few weeks. Then other things got in my way and I had to set the book aside working on it only occasionally to keep from going nuts on other things. I was working on my doctorate and that had to take precedence. Unfortunately my health gave out. Long boring story. Now I have lots of time and I am going to get this book published. I have had tremendous support and encouragement from those who have read it. Now starts the descent into my own private Publishing Inferno.