Jane Toombs, born in California, raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has returned “home” to live in the beautiful Upper Peninsula on the shore of Lake Superior–with the Viking from her past. Jane has five children, two stepchildren, seven grandchildren, a calico cat named Kinko and two computers.
She’s the author of over eighty published books, both in paper and electronic. These include the various romance genres–gothic, suspense, contemporary, historical, Regency and paranormal–as well as other genres such as mystery, fantasy and horror. Jane has used pseudonyms–Ellen Jamison, Diana Stuart, Olivia Sumner–but is now writing under her own name except for her Zebra/Pinnacle romances for which she uses Jane Anderson.
Yes, I‘m one of “those.” No, not a villainous vampire, but an author whose vampires are never heroes because they’re dead. Don’t try to confuse me with undead. To me, dead is dead. Perhaps because I‘m a nurse, who knows? So if they’re dead and up walking (or flying ) around, they have to be a villain in any of my books.
Even though I write a lot in the paranormal genre, I have yet to make a vampire a hero. Although in one of my Witch Series books–that I haven’t started writing, yet–one of my witches is trying to help a vampire whose only wish is to die–only not painfully with a stake in his heart. So possibly he could be classified as a hero.
I have never felt any desire to have a dead person suck blood from one of the veins in my neck. No matter how erotic some books make it out to be, my reaction is–ugh. I definitely am not putting down any reader who loves this idea–it’s just not a turn-on for me.
I have tried to read some vampire-as-hero books just to understand what about a vampire could make him a hero, I did finish several that were very well written. But never once did I bond with the heroine, because I couldn’t. Which was not the author’s fault because she was writing for those who do like vampires as heroes. Again, I have no quarrel with either readers or writers of this genre because I understands it’s just me.
In my vampire-as-villain books I have created some really vicious vampires–some in the Dracula mode–suave and appealing. Some more like Nosferatu who would never appeal to any living women as sexy. If you haven’t seen the movie by that name, you should. Even as an adult I found it scary.
I happened to see the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi when I was quite young and loved it, even if scared me. What an elegant vampire, cape and all, yet still exuding evil.
I have used vampires in my book, but can‘t easily remember where or what book. One time I recall was in Moonrunner Three, Dark Sunrise. I looked it up and it was in Chapter Eighteen. This vampire had an agenda–to kill the woman who’d accidentally forced him to become one. Plus anyone who stood in his way–in this case a young boy. Another I remember was in Turquoise Twilight, a Jewels of the Quill novella and one of the stories in my North Of Nonesuch collection. This was a vampire who’s first choice was random, but when the victim survived, he deliberately set out to kill him–and the woman who’d saved the man’s’ life. .
Another I recall was a Shadows I did for Silhouette–The Abandoned Bride. This villain was a very dangerous psychic vampire, who took the soul as well as the life of his victims. Had a lot of fun writing that book.
Sometimes, as Jacqueline Lichtenberg, has done, the vampire can be portrayed as an alien from elsewhere. In another series she split an alien species into two parts–the taker and the provider, who needed each other, so neither one was either victim or villain. I enjoyed those books.
So, though I have trouble seeing the vampire as hero, I certainly agree that the vampire has a universal appeal no matter how he or she is portrayed.
Web site: http://www.janetoombs.com/