Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guest Post: Derek Clendening

    Of all the classic monsters, vampires have the most visibility and staying power, because they also offer the most opportunity. Zombies seem to be gaining speed, but for the time being vampires are still on top of the heap. Indeed, vampires have often been noted for being attractive, sensual creatures. Edward Cullen has continued that notion. But there are so many more possibilities.

    I once read a vampire titled Blood Road by Edo Van Belkom, which was the first I’d read in which the ugly vampire was tackled. He was the antithesis of the attractive vampire as played by Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Robert Pattinson. His teeth were so broken and sensitive that he had to suck blood through a straw. This vampire might not be breaking any hearts, but he was an interesting change of pace.

    I recently wrote a short vampire story (to be published in a forthcoming collection) in which the vampire fed on human fat rather than blood. In this case, the vampire is symbolic. I wrote the story because I’ve decided to put an end to my weight and eating issues and this is my way of symbolically driving a stake through the heart of those problems once and for all. In this case, the vampire represents the proverbial monkey that’s been on my back for a long time.

    Damien Masonite in The Vampire Way kind of embodies a number of the aforementioned. He’s an attractive teen vampire. However, he isn’t the kind variety. Still, there’s plenty of reason to care about him. He has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders between grieving for the father he’s had to euthanize, and rebuild his family at the age of eighteen. This character is a return to the scary vampire in YA, you could say, but I think it’s a welcome return. Vampires, at their core, are supposed to be scary. Still, there is no question that vampires will always be multi-dimensional. I know Damien Masonite is.

Derek Clendening is the author of The Vampire Way (2011). He also writes paranormal and dark novels and short story collections for adults, as well as YA vampire novels for younger readers.

Read Derek Clendening's blog here
Eighteen year old Rick Thompson is a marked man. When Damien Masonite comes to his school, he knows something is up. And when his friends start falling to vampire attacks, he knows that he and his girlfriend Laura are next. The quest to understand immortality, true love and undying friendship compromise his safety even more. Can he keep his best friends, his true love and keep his mortal life?

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