Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vampire Zero: Zero Revives Monster Vampires

Horror author David Wellington told that in his latest novel, Vampire Zero, vampires exist--they're real, and everybody knows it.

"Except most people think they were driven to extinction years ago, and only a few cops remember how to fight them when they come back in a big way," Wellington said in an interview. "These aren't romantic vampires like you'll see on True Blood."

Rather, Wellington said, his vamps are monsters. "Definitely monsters," he said. "They don't want to read you poetry. They want to tear off your head and drink blood out of your stump. They're big, hairless and snowy white with red glowing eyes. They have triangular ears and mouths full of shark teeth. Nobody wants to have sex with my vampires. Well, except for one guy."

In the book, vampire hunter Laura Caxton has a vampire she needs to kill, but this one's different--his name is Arkeley, and he's the man who trained her how to kill vampires. "So he knows all of her tricks," Wellington said. "He invented them. What worries her most is that there are some things he never got around to teaching her. Then there's the threat that he'll become a Vampire Zero--that is, that he'll start creating new vampires and start up an army of the undead, forcing her to spend the rest of her life chasing down his progeny."

Vampire Zero has been percolating in Wellington's head since he first came up with the idea for Thirteen Bullets, the first book in the series. "I wanted to create a Van Helsing character who would go to any lengths to fight vampires, and I needed an example of just how far that would take him," Wellington said. "Obviously, he was willing to die if he could take a vampire with him. I toyed with the idea of having him tie up Laura Caxton and leave her as a snack for a vampire just so he could trap it. That didn't seem particularly compelling for either of them, though. It would make Arkeley a pure villain and leave Laura in a helpless, traditionally victimized role I didn't like. So then it occurred to me--would Arkeley go so far fighting monsters that he would become one himself? And the answer was yes, yes he would." --John Joseph Adams

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