Rules of the Undead

Posted in Romance on February 15th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Okay…recently on one of my groups, a big discussion ensued regarding “Vampire Rules.” Personally, I like to think that there are only a few hard and fast rules about vampires:

1. They drink blood. I mean, come on, vampires have to drink blood–that’s what their fangs are for! It’s not like they can go around slurping slushies.
2. They don’t age. Once a vampire turns, he stays at the age he was at his “death.” So, if he was twenty when he turned, he’ll be forever twenty. And if he was ninety, well, you get the idea…
3. They are super strong. Thus, they are able to seriously do damage to any enemies they have.

Now, there are lots of other rules about vampires that people often quote. Frankly, I feel if you cover the above three, you’re fine. But here are some of the other rules that people often mention:

1. A stake through the heart will kill a vampire. Hey, it worked for Buffy, and it generally works for me. Sometimes, though, I think a good decapitation is a necessary follow-up to this.
2. They have psychic powers. Specifically, vamps usually have mind-control. Oh, yeah, they can make you do their bidding.
3. They can’t go out in daylight. Okay…I actually don’t always follow this rule when I write about vamps. That’s why it’s on my “sometimes follow” list. Stoker let his vamps go out in the daytime, they were just weaker then. They didn’t instantly burst into flames. The bursting into flames thing, that’s another “sometimes” rule for me.
4. They sleep in coffins. Um…maybe back in the day, but I don’t think so–not anymore.

Have you heard any other vamp rules? “Sometimes” or “Always” facts that you want to list?

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Gift of Fire

Posted in Romance on February 14th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

One of my favorite paranormal romances of all time is Jayne Ann Krentz’s Gift of Fire (the sequel to Gift of Gold).

The hero of Gift of Fire was really unusual–he had the nice talent of being able to touch an object and know its history (actually, he could see the object’s history). The heroine was his channeler–she helped him to focus his powers. And, of course, every time they focused…well, let’s just say that things between them got very, very hot.

This story always sticks out in my mind because it is so different from everything else I’ve read. I really like it when stories deviate from the norm. So often, it seems that books follow some kind of standard formula, so when there is something new and fresh out there, I really take note.

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My Idea File

Posted in Romance on February 14th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

A few years ago, I started an idea file. What’s an idea file? Well, any time that I have even the faintest glimmer of a plot idea, I whip out my laptop and type in the story–before I can forget it.

I currently have about 13 pages of ideas. And, I can say, quite honestly, that some of those ideas suck. Ideas that come to me in the middle of the night aren’t always brilliant, but sometimes…sometimes, well, they can be pretty darn good. So, even if I just have a few good gems in those pages, at least I do have them, and it’s really nice to know they’re safe and snug in my computer…just waiting for me. (So take that, dreaded writer’s block!)

I love my idea file. I love having stories (um, the good ones) at my fingertips. Yep, an idea file…it sure is a handy thing to have.

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The Rise of the Anti-Hero…or Why I Like Spike

Posted in Romance on February 13th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Once upon a time, heroes were brave and true. They always did the right thing. They protected the weak. They never had any doubt about the difference between right and wrong. In fact, they always, always did the right thing. They were modern knights in shining armor.

In other words, they were boring.

Then, as if rising from the ashes, a new hero emerged. He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t always good (heck, sometimes, he’d been downright evil in his past). There was something dark about this guy. Something dangerous.

This man, this guy who doesn’t always do the right thing, he’s the Anti-Hero. The villain turned hero. He doesn’t want to save the day. He just wants to be left alone to do whatever it is that he does. But somehow, someway, he’s pushed into the limelight and becomes more than just a knight (because there are tons of those guys). He becomes a man you can care about–a man who lures you into his world, and doesn’t let go.

Spike’s an Anti-Hero. He spent decades killing and terrorizing the countryside. Then he met good old Buffy, and, because of her, Spike changed. The killer became a protector, and he became a whole hell of a lot more interesting (in my humble little opinion) than his nemesis Angel.

Another good Anti-Hero is Riddick from Pitch Black. (Wow–Vin Diesel did an excellent job playing this guy.) Riddick is a murderer who becomes the unlikely savior of a ragtag band of survivors on a planet that’s been thrown into darkness. The cool thing about Riddick is that you never really know if he’s on your side…he leaves you guessing, he leaves you on edge.

Definitely not boring. So, give me more Anti-Heroes. They make life interesting. And keep the good guys at home.

What about those of you out there in cyberland? Do you have a favorite Anti-Hero?

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The Strange and Unknown

Posted in Romance on February 13th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Have you ever seen a ghost? Can you give lessons on dream interpretation? Or have you ever gazed up into the night sky and seen a UFO? Well, if so, then Fate Magazine wants to hear from you.

Fate Magazine is a non-fiction (absolutely no fiction stories allowed!–per their website) magazine that anaylzes the supernatural. And they’re looking for writers. So, if you’ve got some experiences you want to share, check them out. Their features run between 1,500 and 3,000 words, and Fate pays 10 cents per word. For more info, check out their writing guidelines.

Now, I’ve never personally had a brush with the other side (despite the many times I played with a Ouija board as a kid), so I always like to hear other people’s stories. Anyone want to share? Hmmm???

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