Monday, 30 April 2012

100Things #10 Top 3 Favourite Vampire TV Series

I know that many people can't think of 3 vampire themed TV shows, but choosing just 3 for me was actually really hard. They have their own section on my DVD/Blu-Ray shelves. I'm not saying these are the epitome of the vampire TV show, but these three are my favourites.

Now this is of the era of the colon shows (Poltergeist: The Legacy, Highlander: The Series etc), i.e. the mid to late 1990s. By some it was known as Kindred: The Embarrassed, but I always loved it, still do. I am still looking for the pilot that originally aired in the UK, I am sure it was longer and had more footage than the one on the DVD.

This show is based on Whitewolf's Vampire the Masquerade, well know to many role playing fans. I myself once role played a Malkavian vampire who thought she was a Jedi, but who had an alternative personality that thought she was a Sith. It was so much fun :).

Okay, back to the show. I am a huge fan of C.Thomas Howell to start with so having him in a lead role was brilliant and Mark Frankel was superb as Julian Luna. I really think the show could have gone somewhere given a chance, but alas, it was before vampires were really popular. Thinking about it, now would be a really good time to relaunch it :).

It's set in San Francisco, where Julian is the Prince of the City, i.e. he's the head vampire. There are different clans of vampire all represented on the Primogen council that Julian rules: Ventrue, Nosferatu, Brujah, Gangrel and Toreador. Different clans have different traits, in the series this boils down to:

  • Ventrue = bankers, lawers, accountants, big bosses
  • Nosferatu = look like monsters, keep to the shadows, are the sage like characters
  • Brujah = the mob
  • Gangrel = street gangs
  • Toreador = artists, musicians and everything enterainment

The Masquerade is the most important thing to all vampires; the way they pretend to be human. Breaking the Masquerade and allowing humans to find out is the worst crime.

The series follows Frank Kohanek, a detective in the police department as he finds out and comes to understand Kindred. He ends up mixed up in Kindred politics as there is a struggle between the Ventrue and the Brujah to rule the city. I love this series because it has layers. The Kindred are all out to play their own game and they are thinking several moves ahead and yet they all have their failings too. I wish there had been more episodes.

This is one of those British shows that should have had a second series and never got one. It starts with Mike (Jack Davenport) uncovering and being recruited by a secret government organisation after his best friend Jack (Stephen Moyer) disappears the night before his wedding in mysterious circumstances. This organisation deals with all things vampire.

The organisation is run by Pearse (Philip Quast), a Roman Catholic priest and on the same team are Angela (Susannah Harker), a scientist and Rice (Idris Elba), a soldier. They hunt vampires using scientific methods and specially developed weaponry.

Jack has been turned into a vampire and the vampires are also interested in Kirsty, Jack's fiance, who Mike's more than a little bit in love with and who the vampires want to use to get to him. The series is full of relationships and interaction, but it never loses sight of the whole vampire mess either.

I love it because Jack Davenport is sexy as hell, the whole vampire idea is looked at in a different, scientific way, and it's beautifully encapsulated in a dramatic, exciting series. Well worth watching.

Forever Knight

This was made at the same time as the colon series (see above) and I never did get to see more than a handful of episodes while it was actually airing. This did not stop me from being part of the fandom any more than not being able to see Highlander stopped me. I was never as into it as Highlander, but I watched the fandom and read the fic.

These were the days when entire fandoms consisted of a couple of mailing lists and the odd web page :).

I first saw this in made for TV movie form called Midnight Cop in 1991. Rick Springfield played Nick Knight, the vampire turned cop, trying to become human and make up for his previous life of killing. I loved that film to pieces and when they made the series I so wanted to see it. Mostly I could only devour episode write ups and fanfic. In those days some very dedicated individuals would describe whole eps scene by scene for those of us who couldn't get our hands on it.

You have not lived until you have tried to watch an episode of a vampire show that is dark to begin with when it has been converted from NTSC to PAL and then copied three times. You youngsters have no idea how good you have it ;P.

The first episode is basically all about Nick's maker LaCroix trying to turn him back to being a proper vampire, while Nick tries to find out who is killing homeless people in the city. Along with this we meet Janette, another of LaCroix's children who runs a nightclub in the city and Natalie Lambert, the pathologist who is trying to help Nick become human again.

Nick does get a little whiny at times, but there are three series of eps and lots of fun to be had with this show. It has a special place in my heart. Just, word of advice, never, ever, ever watch the last ep of series 3. If there was a how to on how not to end a series, this would be the example. I think they were hoping for renewal, unfortunately then never got it so the blasphemy remains unfixed.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

100Things #9 Top 5 Silliest Vampire Things That Make Me Laugh

As the title suggest this is a set of things that from the vampire genre that make me laugh.  Some make me laugh for the right reasons, some for the wrong, but I love to laugh, so I'm still happy. They aren't in any order and are by no means the only vampire things that make me laugh, but these are what came to me off the top of my head.

#1 Once Bitten is a vampire movie with Jim Carey, now I won't go into detail, but the bit I find hilarious every time is the fact the female vampire has to take blood 3 times from a virgin from as close to the source of that virginity as possible (they went for inside thigh - its not 18 rated ;)). It made me laugh the first time I saw it and every time since :), because Jim Carey reacts so beautifully each time.

#2 Vampire cats. My husband Rob loves Christopher Moore books and in CM's new book Bite Me there are vampire cats. Vampire cats that turn into mist and hunt together and create more vampire cats. They're just so absurd they're brilliant and when Rob decided to tell me all about them as he read the book, they made me laugh, lots.

P.S. Christopher Moore writes hilarious books.

#3 Sparkly vampires. I watched the Twilight movie and I actually kind of enjoyed it, but I fell out of my chair laughing at sparkly vampires. I can't help it, I find the idea utterly hilarious.

#4 The curse in Rockula. Now if a movie about a vampire who creates his own band so that he can get to his long lost girlfriend isn't silly enough, the curse in this film is brilliant. It's very funny and superbly done. Every century Ralph (our vampire lead) re-finds his long lost love, but she is curse to be killed by a pirate, wearing a rhinestone peg leg, wielding a ham bone. It is as ridiculous as it sounds.

This movie is brilliant, BTW, and I am sure I will revisit it in a later post. I feel one about comedy vampire movies coming on :).

#5 The double topped straws from Sundown The Vampire In Retreat. They make me giggle every time I watch the movie because they're just so silly, but so right for the movie.

So this is my list, tell me yours :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

100Things #8 My Perfect Vampire

So I've done the post about what a vampire has to have for me to really enjoy them as a character, now I'm going to describe my perfect vampire. Now, I'm not saying this would make him a great character, just listing what pushes all my buttons :). Hence this is likely to be a very shallow post and I regret nothing.

First of all, he has to be nice to look at. I want my vampire to be a pretty boy. What is the point in having supernatural powers if you can't make yourself look good? ;) I'm thinking Tom Hiddleston's cheek bones and smile (now there's a man who could carry off a vampire snarl *points left*), James McAvoy's eyes, things like that.

I also want him to have a nice body. Not Chris Hemsworth sculpted (that's for the werewolves ;)), but lean and gently muscled rather than being ripped. When the while poet's shirt falls open as he steps off the balcony I want something to see, but there should be quiet strength, not in your face BAMF even though his supernatural nature means he could squash most people like a bug.

He should also be tall. I have nothing against short vampires; if James McAvoy ever plays a vampire I will be an incredibly happy bunny, but for this exercise he should be tall. He needs to be able to loom and look down his aristocratic nose at people.

His hair should be medium length; long enough to run fingers through and tie back into a short ponytail where wisps can fall out around his lovely cheekbones. It should also be dark, but not black.

He should have a hint of fangs all the time so that when he smiles it's just a little dangerous and those fangs should lengthen when he's hungry or horny. His beautiful blue eyes should change colour as he lets the vampire out, gaining an unearthly golden glow. There should also be levels of vamped out;
  • seduction level (human with short fangs and gently glowing eyes)
  • feeding level (human with long fangs and brightly glowing eyes)
  • you have just pissed me off prepare to die level. (slightly demonic with really vicious fangs)

The sun should bother him, but without the whole spontaneously combusting thing. Midday is not his favourite time, but he can go outside as long as he's not sunbathing.

Now to his character :)

He should have a brain; no dumb vampires please. He needs to be at least a couple of hundred years old and no one stupid is going to survive that long on his own. Manners would be a plus too. If he's been seducing his way into beds for nightly feeding, manners are required. A man of sophistication and wit with a dry sense of humour.

I'd like him to be slightly totured. Not all whiny and oh woe is me, but a little out of time and with heavy memories of those he has lost. He's almost at peace with what he is and he recognises that his 'victims' are mostly willing, they just don't expect the bite after sex. Occasionally his conscience gets the better of him, but he's practical, so not often.

He doesn't go around killing people for the hell of it, but he's not above doing it if necessary. He does his best to live within modern law, but if you put him or his in danger all bets are off. He's not a gung ho hero though, he'd rather stay in the shadows, but he's not afraid of doing what needs to be done.

So, there you go, my perfect vampire (he's probably be insufferable :)), tell me about yours. Share with me your idea of the perfect gentleman/lady of the night.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

100Things #7 More about fangs

Yup, picked an odd topic today ;). I did try to warn you that you would be seeing my obsession. Yes I notice things like this; it's kind of a hobby :P.

So, fangs, had you noticed that not all vampires are equal in the fang department? Fangs are as many and varied as the vampires that go with them.

Let's start at the beginning with Nosferatu. This piccie is from the remake, but they did a good job of recreating the look. This critter is no bedroom stalking, sleep watching hottie; he's ugly as sin and has the fangs to prove it.

His teeth are rodent like, right in the front, although they are pointy not flat and chisel like. It's actually a very sensible place for fangs if you think about it, but let's be honest, fangs in the front just aren't sexy. Nosfeatu was designed to horrify and frighten, just like finding a rat in your bed. In traditional folk lore vampires spread disease, just like rodents and these fangs mirror that very well.

Next we have the traditional Dracula fangs. I think these are my favourite simply because they're a classic and they go on the natural fangs in the human mouth.

There are very few people who can make a vampire snarl look attractive and with these kind of fangs you have to snarl really wide. I've never actually found Christopher Lee hot, but he knew how to work a snarl.

I always think of big cats hissing and growling when I see Dracula fangs employed in a snarl.

However, even when it comes to Dracula fangs all vampires are not of the same styling. To the left is Valik from John Carpenter's Vampires and he's clearly compensating for something with those fangs.

Somehow he seems to make it work, I'm impressed. Wonder if he can actually close his mouth with those in?

Valik is sexy as hell, while at the same time being an insane, evil bastard, so I supposed he needed to fangs to go with it. Kind of like a snake waiting to strike and given that his bite is infectious without anything else, it's a good analogy.

Now, we're back to the Lost Boys again and this was probably the first movie where I realised that not all vampires are the same. I remember sitting in the cinema, seeing David on screen and actually thinking 'his fangs are in the wrong place'.

This may see a little irrelevant, but I'm all for experiences that broaden the mind. Even if it is only about vampires.

The vamps in The Lost Boys also have two sets of fangs, just like the lady to the left from Bordello of Blood. However, the designers have gone different ways with that simple idea as well.

David has longs fangs in the front and short fangs where you'd normally expect the fangs to be. Lilith has shorter fangs towards the front and longer ones where you'd expect them to be.

I'm not sure which would actually be more practical. For tearing I suspect David's fangs would work better (as shown by the scene with the Surf Nazi's demise in the movie), where as Lilith's would be more suited to a more refined nibble.

After the two sets of fangs, things can become a little more over the top. Some special effects people seem to think more is better.

For example this young lady to the right has a hell of a lot of teeth. Now I haven't seen the episode, but I believe she is a Supernatural vampire. She has way more teeth than entirely necessary. I would have thought that that many teeth would be a hindrance unless you were a flesh eating vampire.

If you're going for blood you want a decent hole, but you don't want a huge one or you're going to lose half your dinner. It seems somewhat impractical to me.

Then we go from impractical to just plain silly. This is an iconic image from Fright Night (the original 1980s version) and that's a lot of teeth and a very big mouth. They definitely weren't going for sexy with this shot, but then again that was the point. The vamps in Fright Night have a range of vampire versions from human, through human with fangs, through  monster right up to animal form.

Nothing subtle about the fangs on this vampire and since she was going for the kill it made perfect sense. When I first saw Fright Night, that image scared the crap out of me.

As I have said before, I like vampires to have fangs and special effects artists all over the globe go out of their way to produce interesting versions of these blood sucking weapons. I love the lengths they will go to to make their vampires a little different.

Of course fangs don't just look different, they react differently too. You have three basic types in my experience:
  • Vampires who look completely human and gain their fangs only when they vamp out.
  • Vampires who have tiny fangs they can pass off as human that grow significantly when they're hungry.
  • Vampires that always have fangs that are much longer than anything within human norms, that sometimes lengthen when they are hungry and annoyed.
I actually have no preference for which I like best, just so long as they have them :).

So now I have given you way more information that you ever wanted about vampire fangs and my views on them. Please tell me, what are you favourite fangs and if you feel like it, share with me your favourite vampire with fangs image :).

Monday, 23 April 2012

100Things #6 Favourite Vampire Movie Ever (so far)

So I've talked about the vampire movie that started my obsession with those of a fangy disposition. Today I want to talk about my fav vampire movie. The Lost Boys almost had it and it's definitely right there near the top, but it was pushed off the number one spot by another movie. There's not much in it, but there is a vampire movie I love just a little bit more.

Many people seemed to agree with me when it came to The Lost Boys, but I don't expect as many to agree with me on this one. It's all to do with my own personal loves when it comes to tropes.

My favourite vampire movie is *drum roll* (please be aware there are spoilers below the cut):

Sunday, 22 April 2012

TW: 100Things #5 How I create a vampire chatacter

So a more personal vampire post today. I was lying in bed last night thinking about vampires, as you do ;), and I decide to analyse how I create a vampire character. Firstly I would like to make the disclaimer, I don't think this is a magic formula, I just have fun taking a look at my creative process. Secondly, truth be told, sometimes the creative process has no form, it just happens :).

The first question I usually ask myself is what is my character:
  • day walker
  • night walker
This might seem like an odd place to start, but actually it underlines many needs of the character. It helps to give the character a place. Night dwelling vampires are much more traditional, but if you're dealing with a story setting that isn't nocturnal it's a royal pain. It can be done, but it depends what you want from the character.

Anyone who reads a lot of my work will have noticed that I often go for day walkers. This is for a couple of reasons:
  • it's so much easy for character interaction
  • it's a hell of a lot of fun to have the character able to walk around in the day, but still be affected by it (not that I enjoy putting my characters in awkward situations or anything ;)). If they combust at the first sign of daylight it's nowhere near as much fun to torture them with it.
As I mentioned in post #3 fangs and blood drinking are a must for me, so those are a given. I do have a type of vampire in the works that isn't a blood drinker and doesn't have fangs, but then I don't really look on her as a vampire. It's more of just a useful term, rather than describing her specifically.

As for the mythology that goes with my vampires, I have been asked in the past what universe I based them on, especially in fanfic. The answer is very simple, unless they are a specific kind of vampire that fits directly in a universe, like Blood Ties or Anita Blake, I don't base my vampires on any particular vampire. I have read many, many books on vampire law and vampire fiction and seen many, many documentaries and movies, and unlike anything useful the information sticks. I take some bits from all over the place and then, half the time I just make stuff up :).

I'll give you an example, in Out With the Old, In With the New (Tokio Hotel RPS) I took the name Strigoi from Eastern European vampire law. There are various uses of the word, but I went with the vampire one. The rest of the vampire lore in the story I just made up. For example, Bill's hair going blonder if he needed to feed. That was a simple matter of wanting him not to be recognised when he was first picked up and explaining away the blond highlights in his hair. Nothing more complicated than that.

Another example in my original novel Advent the vampires have alpha's and spawn. Not a new idea, I could have called them master vampires or lead vampires or anything along those lines. What I wanted was a structure where not all vampires were as dangerous, but I didn't want it all to be about age. It didn't make sense to me that vampires could only be alpha vampires with age, I wanted something more, so it's the link between maker and made, alpha and spawn that suppresses the personality of the spawn. 

I wanted a kind of honey bee like idea where the queen is in charge, but if the queen dies one of the worker bees steps up to take her place. It also made it much more interesting for my infected characters because there was the chance an alpha could get into their heads.

There is no such thing as a completely original vampire. Ever since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, if your vampire drinks blood, it's not completely original, but the wonderful thing about vampires is there are infinite combinations of lore and traits. For that matter, your vampire might be a direct Dracula clone and that doesn't matter either, it's what you do with them that counts. As with all other writing, it's how you do it, not exactly what you do that matters.

With the increase in the vampire genre in recent years you might think they're getting old, but I just say, go forward and create. Vampires are brilliant and if you use them well there is no hiding how brilliant.

Just please, simply because I write about vampires, do not accuse me of copying Twilight. Vampire fiction existed way before Twilight and it will still exist after the hysteria has died down. Just as I'm not trying to rewrite Dracula, I'm not trying to rewrite Twilight either. I have problems with Twilight that have nothing to do with the vampire lore in it, but if you love it, yay! I'm all for people loving vampire fiction even if I do fall off my chair laughing at the whole sparkling thing.

Writers, how do you go about conceiving a vampire character?

Readers, what draws you about vampire characters. How do you judge if a writer has succeeded?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

TW: 100Things #4 Review Dead Cert

So for today's entry I'm bringing you a review of a film I bought on DVD a couple of weeks ago.

Title: Dead Cert
Rating: 18
Cast: Dexter Fletcher, Danny Midwinter, Steven Berkoff, Lisa McAllister, Craig Fairbrass, Billy Murray
Synopsis: Freddie Frankham is opening a nightclub in London's East End. He used to be a big part of the London underworld and still has contacts in it, but it's not London mobsters he has to worry about. The Russians are moving in and these Russians have fangs.

I'd give it 3 our of 5 stars - not hideous, but not stunning either.

Okay, so how shall I put this? Dead Cert is what I would call a very British film. It's gritty and down right nasty in places, more like a London gangster movie than a vampire piece and yet still managed to make me believe vampires were invading London.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this film and the end, but I have to say the middle was deadly slow. We watched some of it in fast forward because we couldn't be bothered to sit through it, but we wanted to know what happened. This boils down to the fact the plot's good enough to keep a viewer interested, but the execution isn't always stellar.

The effects are good, the script not bad, the acting is good, but the overall plot has issues. If you're a vampire fan then you'll probably enjoy it, especially the end, but be ready with the remote to skip the boring bits.

Thus ends my spoiler free review and read on only if you want to know details of the plot.


Friday, 20 April 2012

TW: 100Things #3 What Makes a Vampire

Okay, so what makes a vampire as far as I am concerned?

Well there are many kinds of vampire:
  • blood sucking
  • youth draining 
  • life force eating 
  • flesh eating 
but I have to say that, for me, when I think of vampires I always immediately think blood.

All the others are a valid form of vampire, but in my head it's all about the drinking the blood of young virgins :). If they're not sucking on an artery then they might be a kind of vampire, but they're not a Vampire with a capital V. Blood drinking monsters or misunderstood angst bunnies swigging it from the bag, I don't really care, as long as they're drinking it.

Which draws me to my next point: fangs. I did love it in Blade when to humiliate the vampire leader before killing him they removed his fangs because I'm so there. I really, really dislike it when books or movies defang their vampires. It's that extra edge of the predator; that thing that takes the person from human to something not human that I adore. I'm really not overly interested in the human who now just seems to have an aversion to sunlight and an interest in razors and cutting people's throats. I'm in this genre for the supernatural.

Give me fangs every time and if you throw in glowing eyes I'll be your friend forever :).

I really don't like my vampires too human and that's not to say they don't have human emotions. I can go either way with that, cold hearted killer who looks on humans as cattle, or the vampire who desperately desires to share human life again, or anything in between.
  • They can live in a castle or in a terrace in Bristol, don't care, I just want them to be supernatural and show it from time to time.
  • They can be day walkers or combust at the first touch of sun; totally not bothered.
  • They can need blood nightly, killing a swathe across a country, or just require a nibble on a willing victim every few days; doesn't bother me either way.
  • Crosses can cause them the flinch or laugh at the ridiculousness; really don't give two hoots.
BUT ...

Take away the fangs and I'm suddenly all meh about it. My brain works like this:


A book or film has to do a hell of a lot to make up for that one point and I know it's ridiculous, but I can't help it.

Fangs maketh the vampire!
So, what makes a vampire for you?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

100Things #2 Queen of the Damned, Book vs Movie

Okay, so a few weeks ago I finished re-reading "Queen of the Damned" by Anne Rice and, while I am not so fond of her later work and cannot condone some of her online behaviour, I think this book is a triumph. In my infinite wisdom I decided that having just reread the book, watching the film would be fun. This was a BAD PLAN!

"Queen of the Damned" the movie is not a bad vampire film, except for the unused, totally irrelevant characters that litter it, but it is a very, very bad adaption of the book. The mistake the film makes is trying to be too like the book while not actually being enough like the book at all. "Interview with the Vampire" is a superb example of an adaption from a book, "Queen of the Damned" is the opposite end of the spectrum.

The first fatal mistake they made when making "Queen of the Damned" was casting. Aaliyah, while being stunningly beautiful and sensual could not act her way out of a paper bag IMHO. I just didn't feel anything from her at all. Stuart Townsend wasn't so bad as Lestat, although he was just a little bit too tortured for my liking. Let's not talk about Armand or any of the other vampires they tried to use as background without actually introducing them at all.
Where they did get it spot on was Marguerite Moreau as Jesse and Paul McGann as David. They were both superb.

Their second moronic decision was to try and do "The Vampire Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned" in one film. "Queen of the Damned" has more than enough plot for two movies all by itself and Lestat came off as a whiny little brat with little to no depth. Lestat may be a brat prince, but he definitely has depth.

This meant they left out the story of the twins, which is pretty fundamental to the whole book. Removing the story of the twins removes the whole underlying plot and leaves you with exactly what we were given: a scary arse vampire on the rampage, a vampire who likes to sing and a bunch of vamps we know nothing about trying to stop her for no reason we have been clued in on.
Let's also not forget that the Great Family has been reduced to one badly done wall.
They diminished everything so the story went from a great book to an average vampire film with some huge plot holes, because they relied on the fact the audience would know the book.

Shall we consider what they left out?

Firstly, important characters: let's start with Louis, you know, the vampire that started it all by telling his story in "Interview with the Vampire". He's not even worth a virtually nameless cameo. Gabrielle: Lestat's mother, one of the most important people in Lestat's life. Daniel: the reporter from "Interview with the Vampire" who has become Armand's human and is turned by him after nearly managing to kill himself with neglect. He is incredibly important as the human element in the book. Mekare: Maharet's twin and the reason for half the plot actually happening. You might not even remember Maharet's name either from the movie, even though in the book she's probably the fourth most important character for plot development.

Then there are the characters they did decide to put in, but never actually named or gave any background in the film: Armand, Pandora, Khayman, Mael. With no explanation as to why they came together or why they were fighting Akasha they were pointless and may as well have been written out. They were only there to die, which was incredibly over dramatic and unnecessary.

I've already mentioned they left out the tale of the twins, they also left out the fact that Jesse is psychic, which is why she was with the Talamasca in the first place. They missed out Akasha's crusade against her own kind, nearly wiping them off the face of the planet. It's why all these really powerful vampires ended up in the same place: survival. Of course if they'd mentioned that they would have had to put in her deeper reasons for doing it, rather than deciding she was just a mindless psychopath who liked killing. Akasha had reasons for everything she did, high ideals that were clearly insane, but very real to her; that was what made her so dangerous and why Lestat's rejection of her was so important. She was trying to make the world a better place even if she was totally psychotic about the way she did it.

Oh and I of course have to mention the pinnacle of the whole idiocy: the turning into a statue part. What?! Why would Akasha's blood make Maharet turn into a statue? That was not the point. The point was if Akasha died they all died, because she held the force that made them all vampires. That was the danger, not turning into alabaster. Also, why did their clothes change when they were statues? Do we have vampire clothes now? Did the vampire power possess cloth too? I cannot begin to express how stupid I thought the end of the film was, even by vampire movie standards. If cannibalism was too icky to put in a movie about blood-drinking monsters, come up with something else, something sensible along the same lines, it's not hard! Let's face it, the easiest out would have been everyone to think they were dying, but because Lestat had taken so much of Akasha into himself he became the source.

How such a beautifully crafted story could have been reduced so badly I will never know. I wish Hollywood would realise that if you want to do a book adaption you should do it properly a la Lord of the Rings (they took out all the what-the-hell parts, e.g. Tom Bombadil, updated it a bit so the girls had something to do and left all the important bits in). If you want to do a film like "Queen of the Damned" turned out, call it 'inspired by' and then write out all the bits that are entirely unnecessary.

Marius, Lestat, Jesse and Akasha could have carried the whole film, the others didn't need to be in it as it was written. Their presence was plain annoying.

So to sum up: "Queen of the Damned" is a great book, I thoroughly recommend it. "Queen of the Damned" the movie is an average vampire film, but only if you haven't read the book in the last, probably three years to be safe, and you don't care that the end is very silly. My husband rolled his eyes at me as we watched the movie and commented, "You know, every time we watch this you spend the whole time yelling at the screen about what's wrong with it."

Please feel free to counter my opinions, because they are just that, opinions :). I may possibly be a little too invested in the book - LOL.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

100Things #1 My 'In' to the Love of Vampires

So there is a new meme over on Livejournal (another blogging platform for those unfamiliar with it) and it is called  "100 Things A Blogging Challenge". The idea is to make 100 posts about a chosen subject and mine is "100 Vampire Things I Love (or Not)". I decided to post it over here as well, because I love to share my obsession with the vampire genre.

So vampires are undead creatures who drink blood - not an overly appealing initial description, right? When I was little vampires terrified me just like all other horror tropes. I enjoyed the odd Hammer Horror film with Dracula, but I could take or leave vampires as much as any other girl.

Then "The Lost Boys" happened.
The Lost Boys
It was the mid 80s and suddenly vampires were sexy - bad, but still sexy. That was it, I was hooked and I have never looked back. I had never heard the term fanfiction, but I was definitely writing it at the time. I have notepads full of it and no, you can't see it, although I do have to proudly report - no Mary Sue ;) (that came later in my Star Trek writing :P).

I'm not sure what about this film so caught me, or why it sparked a life long obsession. Maybe it spoke to a spark of teenage rebellion (I hate to admit it, I was a terribly nice, conformist teenager). Maybe it was the cool supernatural stuff going on. Or maybe it was that Kiefer Sutherland, Brooke McCarter, Billy Wirth and Alex Winter were incredibly hot with glowing eyes and teeth. I was also totally down with their fashion sense :).

Whatever it was, I rooted for Michael and Star while watching to movie, but all of my fanfic is about bringing back David and the boys. The vampires were my obsession and I was quite disappointed Michael wasn't one any more, okay, make that a lot disappointed. I do have to admit, I always brought them back not so bad, just wild ;).

If you have not seen "The Lost Boys" you are a) missing out on a classic and b) missing out on pure 80s. It is a must see for every vampire fan. I have seen this movie in all it's forms, cinema cut, VHS cut, TV cut and DVD extra scenes. I can quote it :). If you haven't seen it, add it to your 'to watch' list now.

As for the 2 sequels:

The second movie "Lost Boys: The Tribe" is pure drivel. It's terrible and is ultimately boring. If you have to watch the beginning to get the characters and then skip to the end just to watch the big climax (which is more of a meh than a bang). The only good things about it are Corey Feldman and some of the background characters. This film should be buried and forgotten.

The third film Lost Boys: The Thirst is back on form and vampire fans should definitely watch it. Lots of fun with lots of vampire action. Not as good as the original, but well on the way :).

So, now you know what my "in" to the vampire genre was, tell me, if you are a vampire fan, what is yours. If you're not a vampire fan, tell me why not and let me convince you otherwise ;P.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Free books on Amazon sales analysis - Month 3

I'm not really sure anyone is interested any more, but I shall carry on regardless :).

For those wondering what on earth I'm going on about, I have been analysing my sales figures after having Amazon price match one of my free titles and hence upping my profile on their site.

An interesting result this month

My overall sales are up by 5%.
The sales of the book in the same series as the free book were down 14%.
My sales not counting the series with the free book were up 87%.

So it's still looking like a very worthwhile endeavour. We're still not talking huge numbers here, but while it's going up I'm ecstatic :).

I have just added a new book which I'm going to do the same thing with, i.e. it's the first in the series and I will attempt to have Amazon price match it to free just in time for when I put the second book up.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New Novelette: Me, Myself and I (Dark Reflections #1) by Tasha D-Drake

I have a new novelette out. It's free to entice you into the new series :) and the second book will be out after I manage to convince Amazon to price match this one.

NEW From Wittegen Press FREE eBook Dark Reflections Series Book 1: Me, Myself and I by Tasha D-Drake Available 03 April 2012
 Me, Myself and I by Tasha D-Drake
Genre:  Science Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Male/Male Length:  Novelette (~15.5K words)
Date Pub:  03 April 2012, Available NOW from: Smashwords FREE, Amazon $0.99, £0.77, EUR0.99 (working on the price match)
Coming Soon from: Barnes and Noble, Diesel, Sony, Kobo, WH Smith, Google Books
Link to full listing with all download/buying options for Me, Myself and I
ISBN:  ISBN 978-1-908333-32-2, ISBN 978-1-908333-33-9

Description:  Book 1 of the Dark Reflections Series

Tristan is an actor and he plays a supervillain in the movies. At least he thought he did, but then he has an accident and he wakes up surrounded by the world of the films. Now he has to figure out if he's hallucinating, if somehow the movies are real and he's been transplanted to another world or if he is actually Devon, a supervillain having a psychotic break. Whatever the answer: it's frighteningly crazy.

"Me, Myself and I" is a sci-fi/fantasy novelette (~15.5Kwds), with a heavy side of male/male romance.

You do not need an eReader to view this publication; there are Kindle aps available for most devices as well as formats for other eReaders, devices and PC.


Choose an item."Oh shit," he heard and turned, "Trist, look out."

He had just enough time to see the champagne cork flying towards him and then it hit him right between the eyes. He stumbled backwards, slipped, his head hit the wall and everything went black.

When he came to, his skull felt like it was splitting.

"Ow," he said and tried to lift his hand to rub something to ease the pain and came up short.

That got his attention and suddenly he was awake. He could barely move. He was strapped down at ankles, wrists, chest and pelvis and when he opened his eyes he was in a well lit white room with mirrored windows along two sides. At first he panicked, thinking spine injury and other horrible things, but then he realised the room looked familiar.

For a second he just lay there and stared.

"What the hell?" he asked no one in particular.

The room looked like the set, only the set of the room he appeared to be in hadn't had all four walls or a ceiling, or, for that matter, surveillance cameras in all four corners.

Looking down at himself, he found he was wearing some white pyjama pants and nothing else, which explained why he was a little chilly. The straps holding him down were large and black. It all looked like the set, just more real and not Hollywood. The only conclusion he could reach was that it was someone's idea of a joke.

It wasn't very funny, because his head hurt quite a lot and he was pretty sure you weren't supposed to play jokes on people with concussion.

"Hello," he said, trying not to sound too pissed off.

Everyone at the party had had quite a bit to drink and he didn't want to make too much fuss out of harmless fun.

"Can someone come and let me out please?" he asked, hoping that someone was actually listening. "I'm sure the joke's hilarious, but I have a headache from hell and would really like an aspirin."

If you read and enjoy this title, please consider reviewing it at Amazon, or Smashwords, or one of the other eBook shops. Thank you.
And if you'd like to help a small, independent publisher: NothingWays you can help us to up the profile of the book. Thank you! :) There are many and varied ways to help raised the profile of this book, we've listed a selection below.
  1. Tag Me, Myself and I on your local Amazon site (US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES) Just below the product details on each Amazon page is the tag section. Please tick the boxes next to the tags you agree with (please DO NOT click the agree with all tags option, because it does not help the book).
  2. Like Me, Myself and I on your local Amazon site (US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES) At the top of every page there is a like link which you can click if you are logged in.
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