I made a Guest Blog Post on Simply Infatuated.
Here’s a peek:
In Communion, the group has to get Lester to drink human blood in order to awaken his dhampir abilities. Getting someone to drink blood at random is pretty tough, so the group puts it in his drink. Here’s the scene:
“So, Lester, Roman makes this drink called a Bloody Stake. I normally don’t take mine with alcohol. But if alcohol’s your thing, his dad has a wide selection.”
I saw the chance Gwynn gave me and took it. “How about I take my first one without and— depending on where the night goes—we’ll see.”
“But…” I began.
I tried to think of a graceful way to say I’d prefer to be around Roman when he made the drinks.
Gwynn laughed. “You still don’t trust us?”
“I never said that.”
“But you felt it.”
I shrugged. I wasn’t sure what to think of her knowing how I felt.
“Let’s head to the kitchen so you can watch Roman work.”
Roman reached into the freezer and pulled out a pre-made Bloody Mary mix with a TGI Friday’s
“Better rinse out the glasses in case Lester suspects there’s some roofie residue at the bottom.”
Roman shot Brent an annoyed glance but did so.
I sat down at the kitchen table, deciding that my presence would be enough to dissuade any mischief. And just in case, I still glanced over at Roman making the drinks every now and then. When he added some tabasco sauce, I figured maybe it was better I didn’t know the ingredients.
Gwynn and Brent were talking easily amongst themselves. They’d broken up months ago, but I wondered if there were still lingering feelings.
“Here you go.”
Roman passed me a cup. Its contents looked like cherry Kool-Aid. The four of us toasted to nothing in particular. I sipped. Then my eyebrows jumped from the sweetness hitting my tongue and I quickly downed the rest.
“That was great!”
Want to make your on Bloody Stake? Check out the recipe on Simply Infatuated.
Back to our main question: How do authors get us to root for these malicious creatures of the night who feed on human blood?
Well, what if they don’t feed on human blood?
Below is a list of alternate food sources vampires have used in popular vampires book and television series.
Human blood (but from a blood bank): Damon in Vampire Diaries (the TV version) does this.
Animal blood: In Twilight and in Vampire Diaries (book and TV series). In Vampire Diaries, animal blood can sustain vampires but isn’t as gratifying or empowering as human blood.
Synthetic Blood: Bill Compton in True Blood.
Symbiotic feeding: Shori in Fledgling by Octavia Butler. This one in particular is rather interesting. The “vampires” (called “Ina”) in this novel need human blood for nourishment. However, humans feel an intense euphoric sensation when they are fed on. Being bitten by a Moroi or Strigoi in Vampire Academy is similar, but in Fledgling the feedings heal human wounds and increase their lifespan.
No Alternatives in Communion
Sorry, but my dhampir don’t get to cop out. In Communion, my dhampir are powered by something inside of them called vampiric essence. They still eat regular food for the sake of the human part of them. But their vampiric essence requires human blood. Feeding on goats and rabbits won’t give them their superhuman abilities, which is what most of my characters are after.
Those are all my notes on Vampire Morality. Let me know if there’s any other alternatives to human blood I left out or if there’s any other aspects of Vampire Morality I should explore.
Thanks for reading.
Also see: Vampire Morality: The Need to Feed
Very few people want to cheer for a villain. And that’s how bloodsucking vampires are traditionally seen.
But somewhere in the literary evolution of the monster, vampires have become heroes. But how can a creature who feeds on innocent people be seen as heroic?
It’s not so bad if they don’t feed on the innocent, right?
Lestat, the central character of Anne Rice’s novels, one day decides he’s only gonna feed on criminals. In the readers mind, this isn’t so bad. Why, it’s even heroic! Good for Lestat for taking the law into his own hand and making those fiends suffer. Ever see the show Dexter? Dexter Morgan, the homicidal murderer with a sense of justice primarily kills other criminals, and we all love him.
I’ve mentioned before Anne Rice’s vampires even save the world in Queen of the Damned. But as soon as the threat is over, Lestat and the others return to murdering at least one human a night, reclaiming their status as the top predator of the human race. These vampires even create an island for themselves filled with high art and luxury shopping centers to draw humans in. But as long as their only feeding on criminals, who cares right?
One of the most consistent traits of a vampire, regardless of who is writing them is “the thirst.” The penalty for disobeying this ranges from fatigue to psychotic episodes. With an urge so powerful, it’s almost noble for a vampire to limit their diet to the people we don’t want in society.
What if the vampires don’t have a thirst?
In Communion, I play around with morality a lot. For one, I remove the THIRST for human blood. My Dhampir still require human blood to use their superhuman abilities. But, rather than having a thirst that would constantly drives them to feed, each of my Dhampir makes a conscious choice rather or not they will feed on a human.
As I mentioned in the previous post, some authors escape this problem by having their vampires not feed on human blood at all. In my next post, I look at other alternate food sources authors have used.
(P.S. In this post, I refer to criminals in a sarcastic, crass manner. Let’s remember everybody, vampires aren’t real. And, if they were, any lives they take (whether innocent or criminal) would be a problem.)