Changing the Persona of the Vampire by Ashlynne Laynne

Guest Bloggers on Amelia Curzon's blogWriting this week, we welcome author Ashlynne Laynne, giving us her purist views on penning  vampire fiction.

I am passionate about changing the persona of the vampire.

I’ve been obsessed with the horror genre since my grandmother took me to see Creepshow when I was very young. I’m a horror movie fanatic, and I watch everything—slasher, cheesy b rated, zombie, vampire, witches. You name it; I will or have already seen it. My movie library is more than half horror.

My Progeny Series is about a family of vampires and one within their family who is different, yet the same. Ascher is a half-bloodling (half-human and half vampire). His skin possesses the warmth of a human’s, yet he lives off blood and is immortal like his family.

New wave authors are bringing forth a new breed of vampire. The days of the cold-blooded, garlic fearing, cross-avoiding fiends of old are slowly giving way to a new type of warrior. The new blood is tougher, meaner, more human-like and fall deeper in love than any of their predecessors. These guys have the gentle touch of a feather but can tear an enemy apart with the same hands. They’re as passionate about their clan ties as they are about the women who stir their blood.

They’re bold, sexy warriors with hearts of gold and wills of steel. Their bodies are lean, sculpted immortal vessels of paranormal strength and ability. They’re devoted brothers, enemy slayers and erotic lovers capable of completely satisfying their chosen mate.

An author’s imagination dictates a character’s world and we empower ourselves to freely interpret our mythical beings—even if it goes against the grain of traditional vampire roles. For me, creating feeling and intense vampires that are outside the typical vampire box is important. My vampires love passionately, have a strong sense of brotherhood and feel the full gamut of human emotions.

While I’m not one to conform, I subscribe to the fact that vampires are pale and blood drinkers. I, however, don’t have mine running around draining the life out of poor, unsuspecting victims. I’m a purist in believing that they are cold-skinned and burn in sunlight, but I’m not one to believe that vampires are emotionless, evil fiends who sleep in coffins and plan the demise of us warm-blooded humans.

The humanization of the “undead” makes for more interesting and intense love stories with the ability to suck the reader in, while fueling the imagination.

And really…why is it so hard to believe that a vampire might have the emotional capacity to love as much as a human? They typically were human once and surely felt the full range of emotions during that time. So, why wouldn’t that carry over into immortality?

With the Twilight craze, True Blood and the Vampire Diaries (all of which I find fabulous) vampires have taken on a sexy, new persona becoming objects of longing and lust for young and older women alike. And who could blame us? I mean…if a vampire that looked like Ian Somerhalder wanted to bite me, I wouldn’t say no.

He wouldn’t need his vampire mind control for me to comply.<<<<>>>> 

About Ashlynne

Ashlynne Laynne has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny. The vampire/witch pairing is unique and different when most books pair vampires with werewolves.

Ashlynne loves writing on the edge and teetering between the erotica and romance genres, and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on books three and four of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Rocker Series, and an untitled novella WIP. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full-time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write full-time one day soon.

Ashlynne lives in North Carolina with her husband and teenage son.

Ashlynne’s Links

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Considering Fan Fiction by Emily Wheeler

A big welcome to my Guest Blogger, Emily Wheeler, and her thoughts on the ethical issues of reworking an existing novel! 

Guest Blogger Emily Wheeler on Amelia Curzon's Blog - "Curzon"

Fan fiction has been in the blogosphere a lot of late, due to the recent acquisition by a major publishing house of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, by EL James. This hugely popular erotic novel started out life as a Twilight fan fiction story. Apparently when it was on fanfiction.net, under another name, it had hundreds of thousands of hits and reviews. The author then removed it from that site, hosted it on her own site, and then re-wrote it as an original fiction story.

This has opened up the ubiquitous can of worms. While it cannot be denied that Fifty Shades of Grey was written entirely by the author and that she deserves any success coming her way, there has been discussion about ethics. Fan fiction itself is not unethical, people say (with the exception of some authors who do not authorise it on their works), but reworking a fan fiction novel as an original fiction, and then using its fan fiction origins –and therefore piggybacking off another fandom – as part of its promotion, whether publicly or privately, is another issue.

I should offer a disclaimer here. I come from the world of fan fiction myself, and while my fan fiction novel is nowhere near as popular as the original version of Fifty Shades of Grey was, it has its fair share of fans. Someone even suggested to me in a review that I should re-write it using original names for my characters, and it would be a best-seller. I’m under no illusions about that: the story itself isn’t bad, but if I was writing it as a commercial novel instead of a freely-available fan fiction story, about half of it would be cut and there would be significant changes made to the structure. But that’s by the by. Personally I doubt that my fan fiction could be successfully reworked into original fiction, and even if it could, I wouldn’t try. It was written for a fandom, and there it will stay.

Coming from this background, I’m inclined to side with EL James.  She wrote the whole thing herself , including two sequels, and is entitled to any success and accolades it receives. However, I can see the argument. While I’ve not read Fifty Shades or Twilight, I understand that there are several similarities in plot, structure and character development.

If Twilight was an older work of fiction and in the public domain, this wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Everyone knows that Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary is a modern reworking of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Clueless was a film adaptation of Emma. A quick look at Amazon will reveal any number of books based around Mr Darcy, Heathcliff or other famed heroes of classic novels; even the estate of Margaret Mitchell approved the release of sequels to the unsurpassable Gone with the Wind. What are these, if not fan fictions? In truth, I see little difference.

The main difference between those books and Fifty Shades of Grey seems to be the timing. Twilight is still under copyright and has an enormous fandom, many of whom would buy a book that was based on it even if it’s been redone as original fiction. In that sense EL James may be considered not a debut author, but an extension of Stephenie Meyer. And that is where the controversy lies.

Is it ethical to publish a fan fiction story as original fiction, if the original work is still under copyright? I’m not sure. In a sense it does seem to be cheating. But, it seems, the publishing world has spoken. If they’re willing to publish Fifty Shades of Grey, and give EL James a huge advance against it, then that’s their decision, and they will have to live with any consequences.

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Emily Wheeler is a former fan fiction author who is now concentrating on her first original fiction novel, when she has time between looking after her children and trying to live a normal adult life.

Her blog can be found at http://www.EmilysTeaLeaves.wordpress.com.