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Sunday, March 28, 2010


Tony-Paul de Vissage shines in the Moonlight

When I began writing the vampire series titled The Second Species, I wanted to tell a story of a people who, through circumstance and misunderstanding, became the basis for one of humanity's most enduring--oops, almost said endearing--legends: The Vampire. Going back over my collection of vampire novels, videos, and non-fiction by such writers as Bram Stoker, Montague Summers and Ornella Volta, I noticed how, in the '70's, a trend began concerning the vampiric hero. Around that time, the emphasis upon the vile, unearthly, bloodsucking demon began to give way to a more sympathetic view. Suddenly, the vampire was more to be pitied than censured, a being for whom one was allowed to feel sympathy, perhaps even a friendship--though prudently coupled with caution. After all, even the most well-controlled vamp will still be compelled to feast at midnight, and if you're his best-friend, no matter how tight the tie that binds--when the hunger pangs set in, you could up being the entree! A good many of these stories were actually disguised as Gothic romances, ending with the heroine accepted her demon lover's way of life rather than help in his destruction.

For the characters in Second Species, I wanted a difference--they, I decided weren't going to be the usual types of vampires, not Undead creatures brought back to life in their attacker's image, to continue to ravage the night only to be dispatched by a stake wielded by peasants with torches and pitchforks or a well-educated professor and his group of vigilante vampire-hunters. Yes, they would live longer than humans, not through supernatural means but simply because of their heredity. And it would be their heredity which would get them into this mess in the first place. My aventurieri--Transylvanian for vampire--would simply be a second species of Mankind, evolving on a different path at the time Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon vied for domination of the Earth. Becoming nocturnal hunters, they develop a sensitivity to the sun, a condition scientists in our time would diagnose by the names PMLE or XP, a genetic disturbanace in which an individual's DNA can't repair the damage done by ultraviolet rays and the victim must forever shun the daylight. They would also be allergic to certain herbs and spices such as garlic and sea salt. They can’t change into bats, don’t dissolve into mists, a stab wound or the infection from a lead bullet will kill them just as swifly as a stake through the heart. But here the difference begins. Though they eat food like their human half-brothers, they must consume blood, to supply the deficiencies in their bodies because of their avoidance of sunshine, and--they develop wings.

Can you imagine a cave man—or someone in the year 1100 or even the Fifteenth Century—coming across such a creature? Feared by superstitious early Man, persecuted and hated by those who can't understand, they take refuge in the mist-enshrouded cliffs of the Carpathians, raising their children, organizing their government, living out their lives with as little communication with Humans. Those who dare leave the mountains continue to live a masquerade, in continuous fear of discovery.

Though the majority of the aventurieri faithfully follow their kind’s strigent laws, there are rogues among them who are dangerously like the fabled vampire, They are dealt with by their Prince in a singularly cold-blooded fashion, and it is one of these rapitors who becomes the catalyst for my story when the Domnitor orders his assassin to punish an aventurieri who has broken the Law...and that single act begins a series of events which will send the assassin's eldest son on a journey of revenge and self-discovery...eventually changing the lives of every living aventurieri forever.

The Second Species is the story of Marek Strigoi and his family, their quest for revenge and how it affects not only them but the humans they meet on their journey from the Transylvania of 1794 to the wrought-iron balconies of post-Katrina New Orleans in 2010.

As the blurb states: “When both the hunter and the hunted are vampires, neither Love nor Hell can stand in the way.”

The Shadow Lord, first novel of The Second Species, is now under contract to Red Rose Press.

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4 Moonbeams (comments):

Gracen Miller said...

I looooove the concept of your story, Tony-Paul! Sounds very interesting and creative!! And I'm all for creative these days, something different and unique and not the ordinary vampire story. Kudos for coming up with one that sounds amazing!

It was a pleasure to have you with us today. Now...send all your friends and fans this way and I'll do the same!

And I wish you all the best success for your book(s).


Author Roast and Toast said...

What other differences are there I wonder.
Good luck!

Mary Marvella said...

Tony-Paul's imagination never ceases to amaze me. that man has a lot of stories in him. Can't believe I know him when.

Leigh M. Lane said...

An interesting take to a classic concept. Very creative!