About a month ago I was in a bit of a rut with the story I was working on, a science fiction tale set on a distant planet. In order to head off an approaching case of writer’s block I decided to take part in a few Twitter challenges, which resulted in the micro stories you can see on this blog.
The one image that stuck with me the longest during that couple of weeks was of Lucien and Aldous, my vampiric characters. It was enormous fun to come up with little vignettes for them and it got me to thinking about vampire fiction in more detail.
It’s not a genre I had ever considered tackling before, basically because every time I think about it I find myself rolling my eyes at all the old (and some new) Hollywood cliches I hate. But the idea that I could write a vampire story that bypassed all that baggage by returning to the pre-Stoker source material was intriguing. There are literally hundreds of mythical blood drinkers from around the globe. Even in Europe there is a staggering variety, ranging from vengeful fairies to zombie vikings and including a blood drinking German succubus called a Trude – something I really should take up with my parents at some point.
Anyway, a lifetime’s interest in folklore, myths and ghost stories, seems finally to have paid off, as a brand new plot idea bubbled up from my brain pretty quickly and within the space of a few days I had plots for not one, but four new stories, covering over 1000 years of history and detailing the relationship between two supernatural characters.
My science fiction tale is now definitely gathering dust on the shelf, as I tackle these new adventures, but I’m extremely excited to do so. Going back to the old myths, and bypassing all the modern concretions that vampires are saddled with has been a wonderfully cosy experience, like sitting by a roaring fire with a cherished book of ghost stories. I feel like I’m rediscovering horror.