Okay, I asked about my SF book and got some decent feedback. Now to ask about my other book, a little piece of dark fantasy. “Dark Fantasy” being the industry term to differentiate stories that hinge around vampires and werewolves and such but aren’t really horror.
It’s about a werewolf who kills a vampire’s minions who are going to eat a girl, thus making the vampire his (im)mortal enemy, and the ramifications of this essentially minor act. There’s also a girl whose mother (a living vampire) he killed in a misunderstanding, who’s taken to killing werewolves.
There are four factions in the book:
Werewolves. Werewolves are born not made, they can transform whenever they like, and they are organized as something along the lines of warrior-societies in Indo European cultures. There are some (including the protagonist) who are especially powerful, requiring iron and silver to be wounded, because of a fluke involved in how werewolfery was created. There aren’t just wolves, either; there are also foxes (one of the other characters) and bears, tigers, and, in the New World, jaguars (only mentioned). They generally avoid vampires, but don’t like them.
Vampires. Vampires are strictly self-created, by hatred and resentment at the moment of death, like what the Japanese call onryou. As such their society is pure social contract with no natural affections (no sires or clans, in other words). I have several kinds, including Romanian strigoi, nosferatu, and moroi (who are living vampires, basically witches that gain vampire powers by drinking blood), Polish upiri, Jamaican loogaroo, Japanese kasha, and Aztec ciuateteo and tlaciques (who are also alive). Each kind has different powers. They generally avoid werewolves, and don’t like them.
The Order of St. Roch. A secret Catholic order that hunts vampires, named after the French saint who was prayed to in Poland to ward off vampire attacks. They understand that vampires are supernatural, and so use supernatural means to defeat them.
and The Vampire Hunting Society, nicknamed the Van Helsing Society, which is a secular order founded by the (fictional) original of Dr. Van Helsing, who defeated but didn’t kill one of the antagonists, the (fictional) original of Count Dracula (who was, fictionally, an ancestor of Vlad the Impaler, that’s why he used the name and Stoker picked up on it). They try to hunt vampires based on the pseudo-scientific theories you see in bad movies (vampirism’s a disease, UV instead of sunlight, garlic bullets), and so get eaten a lot.
The POV characters include the werewolf, a tenderhearted albino; a member of the Vampire Hunting Society who is assigned to investigate the possible existence of werewolves; the girl whose mother got killed by the werewolf and who’s hunting them as a result; the vampire whose minions the werewolf killed; and a Catholic priest from the Order of Roch best, although somewhat simply, described as a cross between Brock Sampson and Dr. Gregory House. Other characters include the girl the vampires were going to eat; a vampire alchemist who was the original of Carmilla; a little werewolf girl; a Japanese were-fox boy; another priest who’s practically a saint and yet is really creepy, mostly because of his job; and another VHS member, a ditzy-but-smart woman who’s a better fighter than the guy.
Themes include redemption, loving the good wrongly, and what Chesterton called “loyalty to the flag of the Universe”. Features include lots of gun and martial-arts action, and shop-talk; western and Japanese alchemy (onmyodo); demonology; the philosophy of being a werewolf; and a version of the Novus Ordo rite of exorcism for when one has to exorcise a vampire possessed by a devil. Has little dribs and drabs of dialog, mostly unimportant, in Czech, Polish, Japanese, and Romanian, and also spells in Japanese and Nahuatl (the Aztec language).
Quite violent, and rather frank about sex (vampires in folklore are frequently succubus-like creatures), but not terribly explicit in either case. Does feature some language, though. I’m quite proud of some of my ideas here, since I tried to reconcile pop culture vampires and werewolves with those in folklore.
So, would y’all read it?