Today I am sharing with you a Guest Post by Jay Raven where he talks about the challenges of revamping the vampire. This is unscheduled and is something Jay wrote as a back up. I have just finished reading CRIMSON SIEGE and although I haven’t read Horror for many years I found I was totally gripped and couldn’t put it down. Having read it I thought It was important to share this with you.
Horror author Jay Raven whose novel Crimson Siege is launched by Junction Publishing this week talks about the challenges of revamping the vampire.
I’ve always wanted to write a chilling nosferatu series, pitting mankind against the most alluring, mysterious and deadly monsters to ever walk the Earth. I’ve been obsessed by vampires since sneaking out of school to watch Hammer Horror films at my local fleapit.
But when it came to actually planning the first of my Blood Riders books I came to a startling realisation. Vampires had been – if you’ll pardon the pun – done to death. A tidal wave of self-published horror novels had flooded the market with fang-filled fiends, so many that the bloodsuckers seemed hackneyed and dull.
Added to that, there was huge confusion about what a vampire was. Depending on who you spoke to, they wore tight leather cat suits and fired machine guns, acted like consumptive Victorian poets – all lace shirts and languor – or hung around with teenagers and twinkled.
My mission was to make these creatures of the night genuinely scary again – and original, offering elements and twists that would surprise and intrigue. So I tackled the problem from two directions. Firstly, a back to basics make-over.
My monsters were going to be… well, monstrous – vicious, cold, amoral predators with supernatural speed, strength and intelligence. They’d view humans as playthings, “fruit to be plucked from the trees” to satisfy any whim or desire. And to up the ante, they’d be able to communicate telepathically over short distances.
These would not be the kind of creatures to give you a playful nip on the neck, they’d rip your entire throat out in a single visceral gulp and go on to devour half your face.
Secondly, I wanted them to have a new context, a new environment in which to hunt and slay, so I made my 19th century Transylvania a mirror of the American wild west – lawless, violent, desolate and unpredictable. A decade on from a war between mortals and monsters, the vanquished aristocratic vampire families are holed up on reservations. To stray from their safe havens makes them fair game for bounty hunters.
Crimson Siege charts the horrifying consequences when the favourite son of the feared Modjeski vampire house is kidnapped and held in a small town jail. His kin invade the town but rescuing their leader leads to death, terror and destruction for both sides, as the small community is defended by the only man vampire-kind has good reason to fear…
I hope I’ve injected a dose of newness and awe into the genre. My fingers are crossed horror fans will think so too.
Blood Riders – Book One: Crimson Siege by Jay Raven
Available from: Amazon
In the Godforsaken badlands of Transylvania the fragile truce between mankind and monsters is about to explode…
When bounty hunters target one of 19th century Europe’s most feared vampire clans, the last place any lawman wants to be is caught in the middle…
But for Anton Yoska, Lord Marshal of the Imperial lands south of the Carpathian Mountains, fate has trapped him in a supernatural stand-off that can end only in a bloodbath.
A gang of mercenaries led by Anton’s former army comrade Milosh Drubrick have captured vampire aristocrat Stefan Modjeski, wanted for a string of frenzied murders, and have come to Anton to claim the reward. And as Stefan’s predatory undead kin lay siege to the jailhouse, Anton is faced with an agonising choice – hand over his prisoner and abandon the bounty hunters to their unspeakable fate, or stand and fight.
The jailhouse defenders are outnumbered and out of options. It’s a battle that can’t be won, certain slaughter for them all, and Anton can’t trust his scheming allies. But Lord Marshal Yoska isn’t about to surrender.
For he’s an experienced vampire hunter, a dangerous man when cornered, and a single minded warrior who knows there are worse things to fear than death…
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men.
He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.