Today I’d like to share my inspiration for my new short story Unforgiven.
It’s a dark fantasy love story, set in a quasi-French Revolution world, where people die of the plague as easily as at the point of a sword, and you can be a hero one day and an enemy of the state the next. It’s in an anthology of short stories called My Bloody Valentine. I’m giving a copy away at the end, so just skip to that part if you’ve left the gas on or something.
The antho theme? Every story had to start with the words ‘Love hurts’. That’s it. We took it. We ran with it. We fed it after midnight… and, well, Unforgiven was what happened.
So, you might well ask: how is this story ‘Paranormal Unbound’? Is it, you ask, breaking rules? Does it redefine genre? Is it, in fact, stuffed full of awesome?
Well, I’d like to think it at least offers something a little different. Not exactly a ‘new take’ on the vampire myth – but an aspect of it that perhaps isn’t often explored. Which is this:
If vampires really were these super-powerful predators, who could kill you with a flick of one finger, deploy evil powers of hypnosis and seduction to bend your will to their every whim, and then skip home for hot sex and bloodsucking?
There is no way in hell that they would be slinking about in some greasy hidden underworld, running dodgy nightclubs, drinking French vodka neat and holding private dick-measuring contests with the local were-raccoon pack, or whatever. Vampires – if they truly were this super-human master race? – would own the world. End of story.
So why don’t they?
Enter Unforgiven. I like to read history books, and revolutions fascinate me—the new-world-order, history-is-fiction, off-with-their-heads kind. Often they start with squabbles over money. The king imposes a new tax, people don’t like it. They protest. And it puts the idea into their heads that they might protest about other things. Things that matter more, like liberty, life, freedom from oppression, being able to feed their children and do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. The freedom to be who they are.
And then, things get out of hand. Often with tragic consequences.
Hmm, I thought. Supernatural creatures—monsters—are often portrayed as a persecuted underclass. What if it was the vampires who decided they’d had a gutful of being treated like scum, and started a revolution? And what if things got out of hand?
There’d be blood, that’s what.
Lisette, my heroine in Unforgiven is a vampire, living in the hell of counter-revolution. Her people had their chance, but they pissed it away in a bloody reign of terror, and now the revolution is over. With her only choice to collaborate with her enemies or be executed, she’s joined the new regime as a hunter, exterminating the last remnants of her own defeated race.
And then, an old flame she believed to be dead returns. The vampire responsible for the terror. Can she resist returning to her old ways? Are her ideals forever tarnished? Does she really want freedom, or just revenge? And can a super-powerful, inhuman creature ever really resign herself to life as a second-class citizen?
Anyway. This is what happens when authors think too much 🙂 Rest assured, there’s blood drinking, violence and lyrical gore. Everything you’ve come to expect from me.
Want to win a Kindle copy? Of course you do. Just leave me a comment here to enter (contest closes Thursday) and answer this question: if you were running the revolution, who’d be the first to lose their head?
I vote for Justin Bieber. But I’m cruel like that.
**Edit: Contest winner… The winner of a Kindle copy of MY BLOODY VALENTINE is… Angiey1974! Yippeeee! Drop us a msg and I’ll get the book out to you.**