Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Memory of Blood and Lotuses by E.E. Ottoman

I am a rather reluctant author of vampire paranormal romance. I’ve never been a fan of romance stories about vampires. It was just never my thing. 

I have always been a fan of vampires in horror though. Awful, scary vampires who do terrible things.

Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. 
Count Orlok form Nosferatu 
Mr. Snow in the original UK Being Human 

These are the kind of vampires I like, but these kinds of vampires don’t make very good heroes for romance novels. There are very few chances for a Happily Ever After when your love interest is an actual monster after all. 

Some of the vampire tropes I’m the least fond of have been created specifically to solve this problem. Vampires not needing to kill people when they drink their blood for instance, or vampires getting all angsty about being vampires and spending the novel suffering from a bad case of self-loathing. Blood sucking being a quasi-sexual act that feels super pleasurable for the receiver, and vampires having “one true mate” like werewolves are also tropes designed to make vampires easier to write as romance heroes and heroines. 

In paranormal it is … well, normal for vampires to be able to walk in sunlight, to not sleep in coffins, to be incredibly physically attractive instead of looking like either blood drained or blood glutted corpses. 

These tropes are all find and great, but I’ve never particularly liked them. For as much as I was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan when I was in high school, I don’t like stories about vampires caught in abusive relationships with their sires. Or stories about the brooding, tormented vampire caught between their vampiric nature and their desire to be a good person.

So when I started writing The Memory of Blood and Lotuses I wanted to do something different. 

My vampire, Neferhotep, was an Egyptian prince who became a vampire through a curse laid on him. In my world vampires can’t turn others into vampires so I eliminated any possibility of him having a sire, all together. He also don’t have the option of turning his beloved into a vampire so doesn’t have to angst about it. 

He can’t go out into direct sunlight although he is old enough that a little bit doesn’t hurt him. 

I wanted to bring a little bit of the supernatural creepiness back to his physical appearance so I gave him the ability to elongate his nails into claws, and along gate his limbs like a spider. 

I also designed his mouth like that of a spider’s (to explain how he can suck blood) which means that he can’t eat food at all, his body just can’t accept it. He has to drink blood.

All of this means that he can’t pass as human even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t. Luckily though his love interest, Iunmet, is high priest to the Egyptian God Set and thus is used to weird things and supernatural creatures.

As the novel progresses Neferhotep slowly re-learns how to live among humans and co-exist with creatures he’s spent the past few centers hunting.

At the end of the day I think I managed to balance that fine line between having my vampire be creepy but also the hero of the story.

As it gets closer and closer to the 30th released I am becoming more nervous though. 

Will people like my unusual take on the vampire paranormal romance? 

Will they appreciate that mix between the creepy and the romance? 

Or will they miss all of the vampire tropes I’ve chosen not to write. 

Hopefully people who are looking for a different kind of vampire romance will enjoy reading it. 

You can pre-order The Memory of Blood and Lotuses At Less Than Three Press:

Or post over at my blog before the 30th to enter to win a free copy:

The Memory of Blood and Lotuses Title: The Memory of Blood and Lotuses by E.E. Ottoman
Genre: Paranormal Romance, M/M Romance
Expected publication: October 30th 2013 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Word Count: 43,500

Thousands of years ago Neferhotep was struck with a curse that turned him into a shroud eater, one who lives with the dead and devours the living. Fleeing to the desert, he preys upon the unsuspecting travelers who wander too close. Then one of them turns out to be seeking him in order to save a Pharoah. Neferhotep is intrigued enough to agree to go with him, returning to civilization he has not seen in centuries ...

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