Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Did I Write a Vampire Novel? by Neil Benson

It started the night I watched the movie Underworld on a DVD. The story begins with the lovely Kate Beckinsale jumping from a bell tower over sixty feet to the ground on a dark, rainy night. She's a vampire, so the long jump to the pavement below doesn't even jar her. She's wearing a black skintight vinyl outfit accentuating her slender figure. (Sigh.)

During the initial action she explains (in a voice over) the history of the war between the vampires and the Lycans (werewolves), which started hundreds of years before the scene takes place. Kate plays the character of Selene, the chief assassin for the vampires in the war against the werewolves. She is lovely, lethal, and answers to no one, not even the current head of her vampire clan. An alpha female if there ever was one.

The scene that led to my writing the vampire novel occurs later in the movie when Kate is searching the room of a doctor played by Scott Spedman. Naturally, she searches the room in total darkness. When the doctor enters, she grabs Spedman just under the throat and lifts him three feet off the ground as if he was a small sack of potatoes.

At that point, I moved the action backward and reran the scene several times. I was struck by the image of a slender, petite woman lifting a man so easily and questioning him in a manner recalling a time when the police could interrogate a suspect using physical as well as verbal means. I didn't know Kate Beckinsale was 5'8" tall. Small detail.

I wondered what it would be like for a mortal man to be in a relationship with a female vampire dominant in and out of the bedroom. First, I needed to create a vampire. Kate Beckinsale and the character she played had an impact on my thinking. However, I wanted a powerful female vampire that used violence only as a last resort, but when necessary killed without hesitation. Then I decided to create a mortal male lover who was tall dark and handsome, with no need to prove his masculinity. In essence, a man who could deal with a powerful female vampire.

I wrote a short story that received positive feedback from several editors. However, they wanted "more," something different from the hundreds of vampire stories they read. I imagined circumstances and events to make the story unique, but I couldn't say them in five thousand words or less. I had received feedback that the story could be expanded to a novel

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unholy Embrace vampire novel by Neil Benson - a life with a vampire

Frank considers a life with a vampire.

After leaving her apartment, I was outside walking toward Central Park within five minutes. If I took too long to decide, our relationship would end. Nessa had been lonely for over four hundred years. She made a choice about me, perhaps impulsively, but now I knew how much I meant to her. She would be devastated if I rejected her, and I had no wish to be the cause of such pain. But I also needed to consider the risks involved.

I walked along the outside of the park until I found myself in front of the Museum of Natural History. For all the information it contained, it didn't have displays about creatures the visitors were better off not knowing. Nessa, werewolves, and demons didn't exist in any of the museum's catalogs. However, she was also a woman, one that aroused the strongest feelings I had ever experienced. Should I make a commitment based mostly on feelings? I was always so rational. To go with her was to step into the unknown and far beyond my comfort zone.

When I looked at my watch, I saw five hours remained until dawn. For once in my life I decided to go where my heart led. I walked south until I hailed a cab, and in a few minutes I was back at her apartment. The strong need I felt to be with her contrasted with how I felt two hours ago. Time is not measured in minutes or hours but by the manner in which we experience our lives. When I stood in front of her door, I knew my decision.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Unholy Embrace vampire novel by Neil Benson - a journey beneath the streets of Manhattan

Strange creatures lurk beneath the streets of Manhattan where Nessa takes Frank on their quest to find the demon. ***********

In a few minutes, a train wheeled into the station, and everybody but us got on it. When the train pulled away, she checked to see if we were alone. Using her fingertips, she lifted the metal plate a couple of inches off the floor. Then she grabbed hold of it with both hands and set it two feet away from the hole.

I looked into the hole and saw the concrete platform twenty feet below us. “How do we get down there?”

“First I jump, then you jump, and I catch you.”

“What?” My heartburn got worse. I doubted there was any antacid in the backpack

“What did I say that you didn't understand?” She frowned.

“I understood what you said. It's the plan I’m wondering about.”

“There's a rope in the backpack, but nothing to tie it to. Besides, could you climb down the rope?”

“Point taken. I feel awkward about jumping and having you catch me.”

“Get over your male vanity. Please do what I ask you.” She rolled her eyes. “Put on your backpack and jump.” She turned and jumped through the hole, landing on her feet so as if she was a trained acrobat. She looked up and motioned for me.

I took a deep breath and jumped into her waiting arms. Nessa caught me and put me on my feet. I followed her when she walked toward the south end of the deserted platform. She walked on the balls of her feet, like a hunter tracking down her prey

Friday, June 4, 2010

Unholy Embrace vampire novel by Neil Benson - meeting at a vampire bar

Frank gets a surprise when he meets a beautiful woman at a wannabe vampire bar.
I made my way to the bar at the back of the room and ordered a Heineken. From there, I observed the people at the tables nearby when I first saw her. She caught the attention of one male admirer after another, each rebuffed until she sat alone. Her tight black sweater accentuated her full breasts. I studied her copper hair, framing her fine-boned, pale face. She was stunning, unattainable by any of the men who sought her.

A heavily muscled blond man sat down beside her without invitation. She shook her head before he had a chance to say anything. When he put his left hand on her shoulder, she grasped his forearm with her right hand and twisted. The force of her motion lifted him out of his chair and spun him on to the floor.

He landed on his back and slid a few feet. He shook his head, as if to clear his mind, and then rose. He rolled up his shirtsleeve and examined his forearm. Even from where I sat, I could see the marks of her fingers. The man backed away, and then walked quickly to the other side of the room. A few people looked over, but turned away. I couldn't imagine how a petite woman could generate such force.

As I gazed at her, she gave me a bemused smile. I hesitated, even when her smile widened. She beckoned me with her finger, and I walked to her table and sat down opposite her.

“Hello, I'm Frank Thornton.”

“Nessa Harcanu,” she said in a husky voice with a trace of an accent.

“I assume it's safe for me to sit here.”

“I invited you, but he made an unwanted boorish advance.” Her glinting eyes accentuated her message.