Chatting with NO Vampires ~ Part 1.

5 April 2012

Presented by: Tim

All of us who are a part of the vampire community, either on or offline, have our own perceptions and prejudices when it comes to “the community”. We have our own ideas about what’s right in it and what’s wrong in it and we have our own ideas about what needs to be done to improve things.

We spend a good deal of time exchanging information within our “subculture” and we spend a good deal of time “discussing” the different aspects of it. We also spend an inordinate amount of time disagreeing about things.

Many times there has been talk and discussion, often at great length, about how to make the concept of the community more palatable to those not in it. Rather than thinking about how to make vampires more popular; we’ll leave that to Hollywood, there is a tendency to consider how to make the community more acceptable.

In some quarters it is believed that the way to do this is to give ourselves some sort of presence in an academic manner and thereby instead of drawing a reaction something like, “Oh, another book about crazies” we can possibly engender the response, “Oh, look, someone important has written another book about crazies”, in the hope that the reputation of the author will lend credibility to the community through the content of their work.

 

While the “academic” approach is undoubtedly a useful item in the toolbox it can’t be expected to make a large enough impact with a large enough group of people who are already jaundiced in their view of people who make claims of being modern real vampires.

RVN decided to make contact with a number of people and ask some questions to gauge what their reactions to them would be as people who are not real vampires, connected to “the community” in an observational way, in a remote way and not directly connected at all except perhaps through some small interest in research.

Accordingly, for this special edition of “Chatting with Vampires” we decided to change the recipe ~ we left out the vampires!

In part one of this two part article we would like to welcome our first guests, C. Michael Forsyth, Darren Mann and Nadine.

C. Michael Forsyth is a Yale graduate and former writer for Weekly World News. He is the author of the critically acclaimed horror novel Hour of the Beast and writes a weekly blog The Best and Worst of Horror (http://freedomshammer.wordpress.com) featuring movie reviews and bizarre news. As a WWN reporter, he investigated many stories related to vampires and continues to be fascinated by them.

Darren Mann runs the Paranormal Database, collecting both contemporary stories of the supernatural and myths & legends across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Although his interest in vampires started while writing a paper on the creatures as metaphor in cinema for his degree during the 1990s, Darren current interest lies in the handful of legendary vampire reports scattered across the isles.

Nadine tells us, of herself; “I was born in 1981 in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa’s City of Gold. A variety of influencing factors and individuals has helped shape my journey towards writing my first novel of a series.

I grew up during the apartheid era and was exposed to numerous cultural influences within South Africa. In my youth I participated in and excelled at various cultural and creative activities at school. I have always loved reading and writing, and made the leap into novel-writing in my late twenties while juggling a full-time career in the property industry, marriage and the parenting of my children. Writing became an important part of my “me-time” or when I needed time to escape reality in the end it became an addiction which I endeavour to thrive on daily.

“My Addiction – My Gift; My Curse” originated during a period in my life when I wanted to create a legacy.

I am told that I am a creative, candid woman, who relies on my emotions and experiences to create memorable fiction. I trust my gut (and my very demanding editor) for inspiration.”

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RVN: Good evening and welcome to Real Vampire News.

CMF: It’s a real honor to be included.

DM: Thank you for inviting me.

N: Thanks again for requesting my participation I am honoured to be part of your interviewing process.

 

RVN: Ok, just to break the ice and before we get into the good stuff, who’s your favourite vampire?

CMF: Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Before he arrived on the scene, British vampires were typically stuffy aristocrats in capes.  Suddenly this badass dude with a Cockney accent, withering sarcasm and a Billy Idol hairdo takes Sunnydale by storm.

DM: Christopher Walken’s Peina from The Addiction (but I’m a big Walken fan, so I’m bias!).

N: Ha ha ha – this is one of those questions that might actually make or break my writing career. But, here it goes.

I loved Lestat (he was the ultimate persona that hovered in between being angelically perfect and deviously devilish); I also had a small liking towards Count Dracula. And, then … I hate to admit it but I relate to Edward. I am guessing it is due to the fact that he reminds me of the idea of first love. Usually in a girls mind (the girls I know) everything about that is perfect. (I can absolutely hear the cringing sounds of teeth being clenched by female writers around the globe at me uttering that sentence).

Louis (Interview with a vampire) and Edward (Twilight) are actually very much the same types of characters when you get to the bottom of things. Love and sparkle are the only things that separate their defined traits. (In my opinion)

 

RVN: When you think of the word “Vampire” what, immediately, comes to mind?

DM: The classic creature from myth; a dead person who rises from the grave to feed on the living. Not particularly nice to look at, and pretty removed from the modern romantic portrayal in film and TV.

N: Powerful, angelic type being that has existed since the beginning of time.

CMF: A being that feeds on others in one form or another, whether it is taking blood or psychic energy.

 

RVN: If we use the term “Real Living Vampire”, what, immediately, comes to mind?

N: For me, it refers to people that struggle with a disease which over time, might ultimately have led humanity to believe in them as special or different.  From what I have discovered in my research there are a couple of occurrences that could have created the vampire as we know it today.

There is porphyria which has been around for many years. Porphyria is I’m sure you know is a rare genetic disorder in which the production of haemoglobin is impaired.

Then there are parts within the bible and scroll readings from monks that date back to the early six hundreds in England. Monks had a notorious reputation for adding God and his works into things they wrote.

It is my understanding that in the bible – vampires are referred to as the demons that range back to the time of Cain. These statements come to light if you read the legends of Lilith.  Lilith in Jewish tradition is known as the mother of demons. If you search the Vulgate and the Latin Bible for Cain’s reference it would seem as if Cain’s evil myth is eventually well obscured.

It leaves people to assume that the authors meant that the evil was born from Cain’s heart as he committed the first murder. His children were therefore born in sin as they had been fathered out of hate.

There are some readings that say that the vampire as a creature originated in the Balkans and it was mostly inspired by the older Sumerian myths.

These are just the basic ones that I am aware of I’m sure if one had to be a thorough researcher there would be plenty more detail to list.

CMF: A person who drinks human blood and doesn’t claim to be immortal.

DM: A person from a countercultural group. The stereotype is of someone who wears blacks, reds and purples, listens to heavy metal, partakes in bloodletting and sleeps in coffins or under headstones, although stereotypes and reality seldom complement each other.

 

RVN: What, if any, knowledge do you have of the subculture and community of persons that define themselves as modern living vampires?

CMF: I had the opportunity to interview a number of these folks for an article I wrote for Weekly World News. They were the real deal – most drank other people’s blood. Some sported porcelain fangs that had been bonded on by dentists at great expense. In most cases, this was an aesthetic choice; they actually used a razor blade to access the other party’s blood.

The article, which appeared in 1996, was among the first to cast light on the subculture and it deeply shocked readers at the time. Most of these individuals drank the blood of a willing donor, often a partner. Some admitted to getting a sexual charge from the act. A few claimed, rather, to be psychic vampires who drew life force from others.  None of them claimed to have supernatural powers like those portrayed in movies, although some said that drinking blood gave them heightened awareness.

The most interesting case was a rock performer whose stage name was Vlad and who incorporated the vampire theme into his act. He claimed to have lived before in the court of Prince Vlad, the 15th century historical Dracula — hastening to add that he was merely a henchman. He said that he knew this because blood-drinking gave him the power to recall past lives each time he was reincarnated. Hence the sense of Immortality enjoyed by him and his kind. Here’s a link to the article:

http://books.google.com/books?id=7uwDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA5&pg=PA24#v=onepage&q&f=false

What impressed me was how matter-of-fact Vlad was in relating all this. He was clearly sane and wasn’t straining to convince me of what he acknowledged “must sound crazy.”

Of the thousands of stories I reported for Weekly World News, this was only the second that made me think the supernatural might truly be at work.

N: There are different forms of humans that would classify themselves as vampires.

There are those that struggle with porphyria.

There are those that suffer from a type of depression that falls under this category.

There are those who are self-proclaimed and belong to a cult.

DM: I’m afraid I have little knowledge of the vampire community. I’ve caught fragments of the occasional documentary on television, but my cynicism of the mainstream media prevails – I would much prefer to talk to someone from the community and carry out my own research then be spoon-fed advertisement driven programmes.

 

RVN: What, in your opinion, are the key factors that would attract people to this “community”?

N: I think that humanity is drawn to issues that hold mystery and profound beauty – therefore the infatuation towards such beings. It’s the same type of infatuation that one gets when you hear of things like aliens and being able to survive on other planets. Whilst it doesn’t totally seem possible it doesn’t mean that it’s not probable.

DM: The same set of beliefs that attract and bind most other communities – shared tastes in music and other arts, clothing and styles, political goals and philosophical views.

CMF: The forbidden has always held an allure. Society – and the Bible, for that matter – certainly forbids blood-drinking.  Also, the thrill of belonging to a secret society of “special” people is intoxicating. Vampires are the aristocrats of monsters. While some of us might dread the prospect of “joining the ranks of the undead,” others feel they’re being admitted to a very elite club.

 

RVN: If you were approached by a person who introduced themselves and said “I am a real vampire” what would your first reaction be?

DM: ‘I’ve never met one before, how do you do?’. Okay, perhaps not with such a clichéd British greeting, but I would be curious to know why the line is used as an opening gambit. Ultimately I would like to know what makes them a vampire, but I wouldn’t be that blunt when asking.

CMF: I certainly wouldn’t dismiss them as a wacko. I’d politely probe a bit . If the person claimed to have supernatural powers, to be able to morph into a bat or be invulnerable to bullets, I’d be skeptical. If they say they drink the blood of “donors,” I’d take them at their word that they truly are real vampires.

N: Well, I’d most probably think that the person lost his marbles.

Having said that , we live in a world that holds tons of mystery – maybe if that person got into more detail with me I’d come around. I’m very open to different perceptions. (Not gullible, understanding towards others opinions)

RVN: There have been a number of books written by, and about, modern vampires, such as,

The Psychic Vampires Guide: To Subtle Body Language and Psionics

~ Lono Fructus Vespertilio

Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today

~ Katherine Ramsland

The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work

~ Michelle A. Belanger

Vampyre Sanguinomicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire

~ Father Sebastiaan

Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism

~ Dr. Joseph Laycock

Have you heard of, or read, any of these titles? Would you be interested in reading them? Why or Why not?

CMF: I’m embarrassed to admit that none of them sound familiar. I’ve clearly got to catch up on my reading! I would certainly like to read more about psychic vampires. If you can accept the notion of ESP, psychic vampirism makes a lot of sense. In fact, the paranormal rules governing it are a good deal more logical than those regarding

traditional, animated-corpse-type vampires.

N: I have never come across these titles in my general research. If I had I would most probably have read them for the sake of exploration. Whether I would believe them would be another question.

DM: I haven’t read any of them – I think the last book on vampires I read was by folklorist Paul Barber. I would likely read something authored by an academic or expert in the field rather than someone who is a self-professed vampire, but that preference spans my reading habit; I would rather flick through a book by a parapsychologist over that by someone being haunted.

 

RVN: If you received a V.I.P. invitation to attend an “Endless Night Vampire Ball” how likely would you be to attend and why, or why not?

N: If I was younger and I didn’t have a family I would most probably have been the impulsive girl on the block, which would have jumped at the opportunity.

However, since I’m all grown up (sounds like a cliché), I’d have to decline for the sake of responsibility. I like my vampires to remain where they are – in my mind.

DM: (Just had to look the Ball up online!) If I could escape my desk job for a while, absolutely – I’m a semi-professional photographer, and the opportunity to shoot such a diverse group of people would be too good to miss. I imagine it would also be the perfect introduction to the community, and possibly a bit of a culture shock for me.

CMF: I’d probably chance it, though I’d bring along a crucifix “just in case.” I attended the Theater of the Vampires Ball hosted by the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club in New Orleans last Halloween Weekend and had a blast. The attendees were 100 % into it, renting expensive costume and donning custom-made fangs forged by an onsite “fangsmith.” But they didn’t take themselves over-seriously.

 

RVN: Despite there being no medical evidence currently available there are those who claim that they need to ingest blood in order to remain fit and healthy. How would you react to these claims?

CMF: As you undoubtedly know, it’s been suggested that the disease porphyria is the source of the vampire legend. It’s caused by the body’s inability to produce heme, the main ingredient of red blood cells. Today porphyria can be treated with injections of blood products. Some researchers have proposed that long ago, porphyria sufferers self-medicated by drinking blood. And so the thinking goes that maybe some modern-day real vampires are really undiagnosed porphyria victims doing the same thing. Problem is that you can’t replenish heme by ingesting blood.

DM: My gut reaction would be to believe the need is psychological rather than physiological, although as you can imagine, after collecting, reading and hearing over 10,000 stories relating to paranormal occurrences, I’m unconvinced science can answer everything.

N: I would accept it. Medically it has been stated to be true. However in today’s time, medicines have advanced to such a degree that I’m sure it would no longer be required.  But then again, anything is possible.

 

RVN: If you come across a story in the media wherein a person makes a claim that they are “a vampire” what is your first thought?

DM: ‘Does it matter?’ The context is important to me – if I read an interview which stated ‘this is Gerry, a vampire, who is suing acme chemical company after they poisoned his land’, I would be all for Gerry, regardless of his vampire identity, although I would be left wondering why his vampirism is a factor in the story – its rather like a media report highlighting the race of someone when it has no relevance. Do discrimination laws apply to vampires?

N: That he is most probably using it as an excuse to get attention drawn to what he has done.

If it happens here in Africa I’d most probably assume that it had something to do with African witchcraft and some or other weird and whacky culture.

CMF: Most of these people are nuts or frauds. Real vampires, natural or supernatural, would try to keep a low profile for obvious reasons. When self-proclaimed vamps make headlines, it’s usually for doing something illegal and/or crazy. I recall a case where an air-conditioner repairman convinced a group of underage high school girls that he was a “high-ranking” vampire lord and could convert them if they had sex with him. (Apparently a part of “Dracula” I skipped right over!)

 

RVN: When you think about the term “community”, in a general sense, what do you understand the term to mean?

DM: I touched on this above, so don’t really want to repeat myself. I will add that I’m a member of a local community radio station – over a hundred people from all nationalities volunteer every week, producing 24/7 content in six languages. Although we all have different tastes in music, clothing and politics, the fact we all believe everyone should have a voice in the media has ensured the radio station has run since the late 1980s. That one shared belief is strong enough to keep us going.

CMF: I see a community as a group of people who share a common world view, communicate with and to some degree support each other. Certainly real vampires have that. Nowadays they meet largely through the Internet, but there are many face-to-face gatherings as well in Meccas such as New Orleans (thank you, Anne Rice).

N: For me “community” would refer to a bunch of people that share the same interests and strive for the same types of goals.

 

RVN: In your opinion, what are the vital ingredients that a “community” needs to be able to exist and function effectively?

CMF: In the context of a subculture like vampires, I’d say a common cosmology – or at least a tolerance of differing views. When groups fracture into camps – for example those who insist they have supernatural powers and those who deny that’s possible – and go to war with each other, those communities tend to dissolve and disband.

N: They need basic stuff – food, water etc. They need to be comfortable with the environment they are in and they need to share each other’s perception towards life and spirituality.

DM: Good communication, a place to meet (either real or cyberspace) and shared objectives – take away one of these and problems arise.

 

RVN: Do you have any general comments that you would like to make on the matter of modern real vampires and their community?

N: I think that everyone has a place on this earth. I feel that over time our ancestors have created boundaries towards humanity in the form of politics, religion and general perception. Sometimes we need to see people for whom or what they are -Each different within themselves. Who are we to judge?

CMF: Real-life vampires are a mix of ordinary and extraordinary people, the lucid and the lunatic, devotees of the carnal and devotees of the spiritual. As many permutations as there are of the vampire legend, there are varieties of members of this fascinating subculture.

DM: Only to apologise if I come across a little naïve – after this I’ll be reading through RVN to ensure I haven’t made a fool out of myself!

 

RVN: Thank you very much for your time in answering these questions, we are grateful for your insights.

DM: No, thank you for posing such interesting questions.

N: Thanks for having me.

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This special feature is, without doubt, one of the most ambitious that we have put together at RVN and in part two we will present the insights, views and opinions of our other guests, J.V. Krakowski, Johan and Ric.

Copyright RVN, C. Michael Forsyth, Darren Mann, Nadine Maritz, J.V. Krakowski, Johan and Ric, 2012

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

 

 

 

Ageless ideas, new approaches ~ Two new vampire book authors

31 March 2012

Pic. Credit http://www.mylot.com/ ~ “Writing Poetry”

Presented by: Tim

Mythological, stereotypical vampires have taken a beating over the last few years becoming less the undead monster of nightmare and superstition and more the reflection of current social issues and the reflection of personal struggle against the id.

From the representations of Bram Stoker’s timeless classical vampire, Count Dracula to the socially acceptable ~ almost ~ though somewhat confused Edward Cullen, the vampire image has dramatically changed.

 

We are joined today by two authors, Mr. Ian Dewar whose new work has just been released, and Ms. Nadine Maritz whose work is in the final editing stages prior to publication, and who offer us further insights into the literary figure that the “new” vampires have become.

RVN: We would like to welcome Mr. Ian Dewar who maintains a website at Google.com and Ms. Nadine Maritz whose website can be found at My addiction books @ Blogspot to Real Vampire News.

ID: Good afternoon! I feel very honoured to be interviewed in such prestigious company.

NM: Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in this interview.

RVN: Good afternoon and thank you for your participation today. It is a pleasure to be able to spend some time with you. If we may, firstly, ask a little something about your background and your interest in vampires?

ID: My background? Heavens; that would certainly bore your readers! Briefly, I am now retired having run my own, international consultancy business for several decades. The urge to write has always been there and in the past, I have managed to do some short ghost stories and articles for various publications. My serious writing endeavours started with a series of monographs on military aircraft (I can hear the yawns now!!). The interest in vampirism stems from reading the ‘Collingwood’ novels many years ago, which I thought were very good for their time!! More sophisticated vampire reading came much later!

NM: I was born in 1981 in the heart of Johannesburg South Africa. There’s a variety of factors that led to me to writing this novel – it wasn’t something specific. I think in a way I was / am infatuated with vampires as an impression.

 

RVN: What made you decide to write about vampires?

ID: In truth it came about by accident. I’d been looking for suitable ‘subject matter’ for a thriller based in and around the City of Hull in England. I was visiting a well known church there and came across a worn, stone gargoyle, which at first sight, in the poor east coast light bore a striking resemblance to the stereotypical vampire. On closer examination, the ‘features’ were actually more due to a hundred years or so of weathering than the sculptor’s original conception. This find, coupled with reading about a (then) recent archaeological discovery in Israel, must have stimulated the thinking processes a bit as I began to consider a ‘what if’ scenario where evidence of a third humanoid species – the vampire – might suddenly prove the (vampire) species not only existed; but might possibly still exist! I guess that’s when the creative part of my mind went into overdrive!

NM: I think every story in life spurted from something real and original. I like the fact that something can be so angelically perfect yet horrifically devious at the same time. It’s very human. We struggle with what we should do and what we want to do daily.

 

RVN: Are you aware that there is a thriving community of people who self-identify as “vampires” in the world today?

ID: Oh yes! Even before this book’s plot was finalized, I was aware of one strong community and sought some opinion in the early days on the character of Felix for my book!

NM: I’m sure there are. I thoroughly believe that stories originate from something real even if it was most probably only real for that one specific individual at that time. So I guess my answer would be that if one looks at the history and findings within the vampire archives – definitely.

 

RVN: In your research for your book, how important was the history, myth and folklore about vampires?

ID: It wasn’t! That sounds harsh and arrogant but I was determined to make the reader step back from the commonly upheld profiling and consider a new vampire ‘concept’ from the very beginning. I just didn’t want my book to be another ‘vampire’ novel… but in effect, I soon realized it was inevitable it would be judged as just that! Most of my research proper, centered round that of the ‘Out of Africa’ evolution theories – and some curious, historical mysteries?

NM: It was partially important. Partially since I wanted it to have a touch of reality, yet since I stay in Africa I want it to be something new.

 

RVN: Did you have the opportunity to obtain factual information from the modern real vampire community, and did you have occasion to contact any members of the community?

ID: Yes, some! As I said I knew several individuals and drew on their knowledge and opinions to help me develop one (possibly two) of the central characters! When I think about it, most of the principal roles are in fact closely based on people I know?

NM: I try to stay active on some blogs; websites and chat rooms. I like shooting some ideas and getting opinions on them before I start creating something.

 

RVN: In approaching the subject of your book what was the basic definition of “vampire” that was uppermost in your mind?

ID: Taking cognizance of the fact that our intended, reading publics either accept the idea of vampires, or dismiss it as rubbish, I needed to create a plausible, workable theorem that would satisfy both, thereby allowing each to enjoy the storyline without compromising their individual integrity. I think I succeeded; and several people I’ve more or less bullied into reading ‘Orphans’, have admitted the scientific ‘evidence’ I prepared in support of my theorem worked for them. I think my most notable convert was the anaesthetist who looked after me during my knee replacement operations last year.

NM: Powerful, angelic being that has existed since the beginning of time. If you go into research and you look at the vampire timeline there is mention of these beings in the bible and scroll readings from monks which date back to the early six hundreds.

 

RVN: Have you been aware of the media reports into the “research” being done by academics into the modern vampire sub-culture and the reports of those who have committed “vampire” crimes?

ID: Yes indeed. In fact, I came across an interesting report on alleged ‘vampire’ crimes amongst the homeless or dispossessed populations of Paris. This made me think about how these crimes were viewed and/or investigated and eventually led to me relocating the majority of my novel to that wonderful city.

NM: I am aware of some. I even mention Borrini’s (1) findings in my novel. (http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/halloween/plague.html   http://www.restiumani.it/index.php?)- my novels are fiction though. So even though this was an actual event my characters aim is to meet with Borrini – she however doesn’t get that far. findings in my novel – it is part of the trail Snare follows towards self-discovery.

 

RVN: Have you had the opportunity to read any of the non-fiction material that deals with the modern, real vampire community?

ID: No.

NM: Again, I have read some – generally I try to stay away from what is known and cast in stone as my main objective is to create something new.

 

RVN: Please tell us a little about your own work? (Just a teaser)

ID: My pleasure. The basic premise is that for centuries, three humanoid species shared this world. One was finally eliminated, leaving two, ourselves and the vampires! Unlike those of legend, these vampires live for the most part unseen alongside their human counterparts, sharing their likes and dislikes, loves and tragedies, with their lust for blood in recent time controlled by a synthetic… until now!

Jonathan Owen is resigned to the prospect of compulsory retirement from the British intelligence services. Offered a new role, working for an organisation he knows nothing about, Owen is thrust into a nightmare maelstrom of a world facing disaster. Vampire scientists seek answers to their impending doom. A new synthetic must be found but meantime, for more and more of their number, the lust for blood is impossible to resist.

Owen finds himself in Paris, the City of Light! His mission, eliminate one rogue vampire! When he discovers the hunchbacked Albanian might hold the key to everyone’s survival, everything changes. In a race against time he suddenly finds he must form new alliances and use all his wits to prevent a descent into chaos; but a reactionary element within the vampire community itself, has very different plans for the future? For mankind, time is running out!

NM:My addiction – My Gift; My Curse” is a story written on two levels. The novel begins during the main character’s current existence and expands to include her review of the life she’s led since the day she was transformed. It is circular rather than linear and certain events alluded to or described at the beginning of the book gain a deeper significance once the entire novel has been read.

Readers glean an insight into Snare’s character and current state of mind and, separate to that – in the main story – the reader is taken on a journey of reflection.

This is the first novel of a series. It therefore also serves as an introduction to the different characters and gives the reader an insight into their backgrounds, emotions and circumstances, paving the way for the action to come in the rest of the series.

It’s a modern, contemporary story, told in a way that people can relate to easily.  The series is set predominantly in Africa yet it has universal appeal, and the plot takes one on richly rendered excursions to the Old World and other parts of the New.

It is an interesting bilingual read which is a feature that adds to rather than detracts from the theme. The first novel was created to be a compelling yet light read that allows the reader to escape into a completely new world.

It’s the start of a circle that has to be completed.

 

RVN: Is your work suitable for everyone then?

NM: I do think that it might not be fully fit for kids under the age of sixteen.

ID: I think I should say it does have some ‘unusual’ adult content, so…

RVN: Where can our readers find your work?

ID: The full title of my book is ‘ORPHANS – Time is running out…’ It is available as an eBook from Amazon (2)  (http://www.amazon.co.uk/ORPHANS-Time-running-out-ebook/dp/B006X7NKIS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327593953&sr=1-1 ) also ‘Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Waterstones and WH smiths (Kobo)

NM: http://my-addictionbooks.blogspot.com/ for now

 

RVN: Has your mindset changed from the basic premise of vampires that you set out with in approaching your writing?

ID: No, I don’t think so? It was necessary to divorce myself completely from the legendary vampire in order to create ‘my’ vampire during composition and imagining – but that in no way lessened the interest or respect I have for the traditional and much revered Vampyre!

NM: Changing what we know is my main objective.  To get there I had to start with the general knowledge that’s out there currently. Novel one is therefore written in a sense where African Vampire meets European Vampire. The other two novels will come back home. It will be open to more new and exciting adventure even though I will always try and touch on something real somewhere in the storyline.

 

RVN: Who do you feel is your target audience with your work?

ID: I would like to think anyone (adult) who enjoys a ‘good read’. I’m not claiming that this, my first novel is an outstanding piece of literary fiction (or fact?) – far from it!! But reviews so far have been very encouraging and I do hope your readers will give it a go!

NM: My aim is for it to vary. I don’t want it to be restricted even though I do think that it might not be fully fit for kids under the age of sixteen.

 

RVN: Do you have other works in the pipeline, along the same lines?

ID: No, I have two novels completed and one nearing completion; but this is the only ‘vampire’ work yet. I am being asked if a sequel to Orphans is forthcoming; but all I can say for the moment is, let’s wait and see!

NM: Absolutely. My story is very visual and therefore I am reaching for the moon. This novel will be the beginning of three, where after, I hope to take it to screen.

RVN: Do you have any general comments that you would like to make about the subject of vampires, especially the existence of real living modern self-identified vampires?

ID: Vampyres have and always will enjoy a prominent place in our diverse communities. Without the vampyre and those who self-identify as vampyres, our world would be much less vibrant and colourful… but maybe less frightening too?

NM: I think that humanity envisions vampires as a powerful image. We know them as being beautiful, immortal and mischievous. Possessing those characteristics makes them intriguing.

 

RVN: Thank you very much indeed for your time today; we are honoured to be able to introduce your work to the real vampire community.

ID: No, thank you. It really has been a pleasure; and I wish you and all your members the very best for future reading!

NM: Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to participate and share my story.

 ———————————————————————————–

There can be no doubt that the literary vampire is undergoing a metamorphosis just as the popular vampire in the movies has in recent times. The genre, once cut-and-dried, is becoming a playground of new explorations and new interpretations and it is the imagination of modern authors and screenwriters that is shaping the concept and image of the vampire for modern and future generations. Perhaps now is the time to take the opportunity to introduce the real, modern, vampire community through the new authors and show the real face of today’s vampire.

Copyright: RVN, Ian Dewar and Nadine Maritz 2012

 

  1. Matteo Borrini http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/halloween/plague.html   and http://www.restiumani.it/index.php?

2.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/ORPHANS-Time-running-out-ebook/dp/B006X7NKIS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327593953&sr=1-1

 

NB: The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

 


 

 

Crossroads ~ Playing with words

www.scrabble-word-finder.net/ & Hasbro Games

 A vampire walks into a bar…

Ouch..!

Three vampires walk into a bar and the bartender says, “What’ll it be Counts?”

First vampire says, “I’ll have a Bloody Mary.”

Second Vampire says, “Yeah, I’ll have a Bloody Mary too.”

Third Vampire says, “Whisky please.”

The first two Vampires and the Bartender look at him curiously.

“Yeah, I know, but the wife said if I go home smelling of another woman again she’ll divorce me and take the coffins..!”

 

Words… easy things to play with, I can make up a “rap” on the spot about pretty much anything you care to name, no big deal but when you look around at some of the chaos that occurs with words today is it any wonder that there are communications failures on so many levels.

As one of our readers noted in a comment on a previous article, “The devil is in the details.”

My word, if there were ever truer words spoken I’ve yet to hear or read them. Let’s take a look at some examples.

 

A word heard (read) around the communities for a newcomer is “Fledgling”. Now, I will admit that when I first came across the term I thought to myself, what have young vampires got to do with baby birds…? Seriously I did, and why? Because I’d only ever used, or heard the word Fledgling used in a particular context and to describe a certain thing. I went and looked the term up in a reputable lexicon in the OVC and I knew what it meant within the OVC, upon further investigation I discover that the word Fledgling can be defined as follows

Fledgling

Noun –

1. a young bird just fledged.

2. an inexperienced person.

Adjective –

3. young, new, or inexperienced.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.

There you go, I learned something, awesome.

Did I have a word for a young, new or inexperienced person before? Several actually, “fish”, “noob”, “newbie”, “newcomer”, “vampling”… I could go on. The fact is that words are appropriated, invented, re-invented and bastardized all the time to suit the particular needs of a person, or organization/group, who wants them to mean something specific.

 

Another example is “Twoofing”… now; I’m going to assume you all know what that means, if not I invite you to pop over to Sanguinarius.org and look it up. I promise you, it’s there. It’s a cute and interesting little word but I can’t divulge what I think of when I read it, I would end up in a bucket load of trouble with some folks that I don’t wish to upset. As much as I don’t agree with taking words and changing their meanings to fit circumstances or particular needs I like this word so much that I’ve made up my own definition to go with the word because the word is a wonderful word but, to me, only in a certain context.

 

The last example I’m going to write about is the word “Elder”. This is a word and term that has always had very clear and unambiguous meaning to me. If we take account of a dictionary we find the following:

Elder

Adjective a compar. of old with eldest as superl.

1. of greater age; older.

2. of higher rank; senior: an elder officer.

3. of or pertaining to former times; earlier:

Noun

4. a person who is older or higher in rank than oneself.

5. an aged person.

6. an influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler; a superior.

7. a presbyter.

8. (in certain Protestant churches) a lay member who is a governing officer, often assisting the pastor in services.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.

 

Let’s take a look, through my eyes, at each option as it relates to the VC/OVC:

1)    Very few people in the OVC, that I’ve come across, were older than me if any therefore I must have been an Elder.

2)    I wasn’t aware we ever had ranks in the OVC; in separate houses, certainly.

3)    Ummm… how far back are we talking?

4)    See 1&2

5)    Yup… definitely getting that way here.

6)    Here’s the tricky one, what’s influential? Someone who everybody listens to and then doesn’t slur behind their back? The person who gets the most posts in the most places in the shortest space of time? The person who gets complained about the most? – That’s still influencing people but in a negative way. This seems to be a wide open space that could accommodate so many different interpretations.

7)    In the early Christian church, an office bearer who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions. In hierarchical churches, a priest or, an elder in a Presbyterian church. None of that really fits what the VC/OVC is except perhaps in the various instances where the word “church” or “temple” is used in a group name and that would be a stretch…

8)    Whatever else it is the VC/OVC is not a Protestant church.

 

When contemplating it in this light I believe that I had as much right to declare myself an “Elder” as anyone but would that have washed with the majority? Or even a sizable minority? I think not. So, what on earth is an “Elder”?

I have read definitions that include words and phrases such as,

While there is no strict definition, one normally must be at least a century or two old and far removed from their mortal past to qualify” that’s courtesy of White Wolf Game Studio (http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Elder) and before you laugh remember, the original Black Veil Version 1 was originally written incorporating a number of White Wolf Game Studio terms quite simply because there wasn’t any other language around at the time.

 

Father Sebastiaan, one of the founding and pre-eminent figures of the early VC/OVC offered the following:

An individual who has been active in the Sanguinarium for 5 or more years…

http://books.google.com/books/about/Vampyre_Sanguinomicon.html?id=lUvSbvRAmDIC

 

At the web site Darkness Embraced, one of the premier OVC resources, we can find one of the best definitions that I have ever come across: **

Elder

1.)   A member in the community who is highly regarded by many due to their established consistency of helping others, sharing experiences, and bringing balance into the community. True elders are those who have earned respect, not demanded it.

2.)   White Wolf/Underworld/RPG term used to denote an older vampire of 100 years or more. Definition 2. is widely unacceptable in the real vampire community.

 

Some examples of other words that have been used in defining “Elder” are:

Prominent” person, “honoured”, “experienced”, “knowledgeable”, “willing to help”, and “devotion”. Fine words indeed, all of them, and I could lay claim to being able to fulfill the requirements of each and every one, so if I were a member of the VC/OVC would I be an “Elder”?

 

At the website of our respected colleague, and RVN contributor, SphynxcatVP there is another excellent definition. The main body of it reads:

When used with its proper definition, this is a member of the vampire community who is known and respected for their experience and knowledge. An elder is often a mentor, someone who’s willing to take the time to explain things to others so that they know what to expect or know how to behave in situations that come up. A wise elder is open to acquiring new knowledge, for the sake of being able to pass it on to those that need it, even if they don’t need the information themselves.” **

 

I believe that there is one missing ingredient in these recipes, one word that has not appeared and is, to my mind, one of the most important requirements of being an “Elder” and that is ~ Leadership.

I have held “leadership” roles throughout my working life, I have lead teams in workshops, offices and warehouses, I have trained people who have gone on to become team-leaders and in the course of those years I attended several “Leadership Development” training seminars. Let’s be straight, when I talk about “leadership” in that situation it is, naturally, somewhat different than “Leadership in the VC/OVC” however, in ANY leadership role, such as that implied by the term “Elder”, it is not leadership in the sense of having the biggest number of members at the board, site or social page, not leadership in a relatively localized confine and not leadership by simply being a member of a group that says it is a group of leaders but leadership in the following sense:

Be Trustworthy

People want to be assured that their trust, followed closely by their respect is being placed

If there is no trust there is no relationship, either working, social or personal. What you do and say is being watched by others; they are assessing you all the time, assessing your value system and your integrity. Their trust or mistrust of you will be based on your words and your actions, and on their perceptions of those words and actions.

Inspire People

You can’t force people to work toward the goal, the more you push and cajole the less likely people will be to participate effectively in the work.

Inspiring others is one of the most important qualities of good leadership.

Be aware of your impact on others

Extremely high in the “important qualities of good leadership” list is that the individual is aware of their abilities and the impact that they have on others.

Recognising how you affect things and anticipating how others will react to your decisions and personality is an important step in the process of leading toward a goal.

Accept responsibility for your actions

Those who have qualities of good leadership never pass the buck. In fact, the best leaders will not only take responsibility for their own mistakes, but also shield the people working for them from negative consequences of situations. As a leader, always remember that the buck stops with you.

We seem to be stuck in a society of people who prefer to blame others for their circumstances and lack of success; this unfortunately seems to be prevalent in the OVC as a microcosm of the world.

Self Esteem

You might not believe that your own sense of self has much to do with being able to lead but you would be wrong, very wrong. How you feel about yourself can, and does, lead to subconscious patterns of behaviour that, despite having many other fine leadership qualities, will defeat your efforts eventually. Self esteem is crucial to your success as a leader but beware of going overboard with the self esteem and “self-aggrandisement” for that will surely drive away the faithful.

Leading versus Managing

There is a fine line between these two and there is an old adage in business management that goes something like, “A leader can certainly manage, managers rarely lead.”

 

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) said:

What chance gathers she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.”

5 years ago Laura, from Australia, wrote:

I went to the pictures tomorrow,
I took a front seat in the back,
I fell from the floor to the ceiling
and I broke a front bone in my back
.”

 

It doesn’t matter what words you use, nor in the end how you “play” with them, what counts is what you do and how you do it. Leaders aren’t self-proclaimed, they aren’t cast in a mold and cracked out by the bushel, leaders, like Elders, have responsibilities and demands placed on them by people who feel they can trust them; the good leaders step up, do the right thing and reward that trust.

** Reproduced with permission of the website owner.

© RVN & TB 2011, 2012 (except where noted.)

NB: Quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer