Happy Tuesday, and welcome to Live to Read! Today's blog posting appreciates that time is short, and that you likely have a lot of web surfing left to do, so grab your favorite beverage, perhaps a snack, and settle back on your comfy couch or in your favorite chair. We're scant seconds away from kicking off today's post!
*Cut to music track -- "Time" by London Music Works featuring Steve Mazzaro plays*
*And we're live in three . . . two . . . one*
Hello, Everyone. I'm your guest blog host, Jaz Primo; author of the paranormal/urban fantasy Sunset Vampire Series. Thank you for joining me on Live to Read, where today's topic is fresh themes for vampires in paranormal and urban fantasy literature.
If you're a vampire fan, then you've likely read some of the hottest-selling titles in today's vampire fiction: Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, and L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries series. When you look at these, and other popular, vampire-centric titles, you'll notice two common character structures in each of them: (1) strong, sexy alpha male vampires and/or werewolves who vie for the attentions of the central heroine, who is (2) a sensitive and slightly-vulnerable human female. In each of these series, the female lead is headstrong and relatively independent in her own right, but leans heavily on their male heroes to protect them and keep them safe. Often, some misleading bravado and veiled attempts at self-sufficiency are employed by the female leads to counter the subtle point that they wouldn't necessarily fare very well against the antagonists without the intervention and assistance of the central male heroes. These are common character structures in the vast majority of vampire fiction today, and are quite popular with readers.
But don't worry, I'm not at all trying to knock that. In fact, I found both the Twilight series and the Sookie Stackhouse novels quite enjoyable to read. And I'm a huge fan of the Twilight films, and True Blood and Vampire Diaries television franchises. Even if I weren't an ardent fan of these series, who am I to argue with resounding commercial success? Rather, as a writer, I've attempted to bring something fresh and different to the paranormal and urban fantasy genres. The result is the Sunset Vampire Series, of which there are currently three completed novels: Sunrise at Sunset, A Bloody London Sunset, and Summit at Sunset (to be released this October).
*Cut to music track -- "Container Park" by The Chemical Brothers plays*
The Sunset Vampire Series is my heartfelt tribute to the irrefutable idea that some of the best, kick-ass, and sexy vampires are, in fact, heroines! Oh, sure, there's a respectable share of strong, sexy male vampires in the series, but the focus celebrates women; the underrepresented niche in vampire literature today. Granted, in both Chloe Neil's Chicagoland Vampires Series and Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series the central heroine is independent and either a part or newly-turned female vampire. Yet, still the fact remains that they must be supported by strong alpha-males. In my series, I celebrate the appeal of the alpha female in conjunction with a capable beta male. Despite strong writing and character development, this nuance in the foundation of my series has left me with a bit of a bad reputation in about twenty percent of readers, and I've taken my share of punches to the chin in a handful of scathing reviews for it.
*Cut to music track -- "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett plays*
(Face it, this song's my anthem now. I don't just embrace it . . . I live it! *grin*)
In my Sunset Vampire Series, the role of the central human character is a twenty-something beta male named Caleb Taylor. No, being beta doesn't mean that he's a wimp; he's not a male version of "Isabella Swan" for goodness sake. However, he's also not a borderline misogynist, as some of the alpha males in popular vampire fiction tend to be. As with the alpha female, I find that the beta male is a highly underexplored and underrepresented niche today. The central heroine, initially as Amber Simmons and then as Katrina Rawlings (you'll understand why when you read the first novel's prologue), is a centuries-old vampire who's life history has left her with a string of failed relationships and bit of a hardened heart. Caleb, by contrast, is a community college history professor who's a bit of a good-natured "everyman," and who remains slightly haunted by life-altering events from his childhood. I guarantee that the storyline premise for Sunrise at Sunset is unlike anything presented in modern paranormal or urban fantasy vampire literature. In fact, my veteran editor, Julia, suggested that in her assessment of the novel.
Despite what may be argued as unorthodox selections for character structure, the Sunset Vampire Series honors and embraces sound tenets of successful storytelling. The main characters are sincere, though slightly wounded and seeking to find balance in their lives. In Sunrise at Sunset, Caleb and Katrina find infusions of healing and personal redemption that come from unexpected and unlikely sources. The primary characters are supported by a supporting cast of intriguing and enjoyable secondary characters who have also become fan favorites in their own right. Finally, let's not forget that my novels include some undeniably worthy antagonists, as well as personal challenges, for the primary characters to overcome. Fortunately, my novels are well-received by the vast majority of fans who rate them.
*Cut to music track -- "Strobe (Adagio in D minor)" by London Music Works plays*
Sadly, it appears that my time with you has almost come to a end, so I must close. I hope that you'll consider giving my Sunset Vampire Series a try. It's available in trade paperback, as well as multiple eBook formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple iBookstore. My sincere thanks to Krystal for the opportunity to be here today and to you for taking the time to tune in to today's guest blog posting. It's certainly been a sincere pleasure for me! Once again, I'm Jaz Primo, wishing you happy reading and safe web surfing. Peace.
*Credits rolling as music continues to play*
[Today's guest posting was brought to you by Krystal at Live to Read and the mysterious, unnamed beings (perhaps highly-technical Keebler elves?) who continue to make the Internet possible. Jaz's refreshments were provided by Lipton. The soundtrack is available on iTunes. This has been a Romancing Your Dark Side Paranormal Blog Tour production. Please check out Jaz's blog at http://primovampires.blogspot.com or his website at http://www.jazprimo.com!]
Find this author at Goodreads
This giveaway is for either a paperback or ebook copy of Sunrise at Sunset (depending on the location of the reader). To enter, become a GFC follower and leave a comment for Jaz as well as your GFC name and country. Good luck and thank you for stopping by; giveaway will end August 26th!