Jaz Primo is an author, history aficionado, pun-master, and all-around fan of things vampire and urban fantasy. Fueled by an active imagination, cold Coca-Cola, and chocolate, Jaz brings a new voice with a fresh approach to today's array of paranormal and urban fantasy literature via the compelling Sunset Vampire Series. Jaz lives in central Oklahoma with his wife and a talkative, long-lived cat.
SUMMIT AT SUNSET is the third novel in my Sunset Vampire Series that is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, January 31st. Here's the teaser:
Powerful vampire Katrina Rawlings and her human mate, Caleb Taylor, are once more drawn into dangerous circumstances. Representatives of the most powerful and influential vampires from around the world converge upon a scenic mountain retreat located in Slovenia's Upper Bohinj Valley for a summit of historic proportion. Mystery leads to treachery, and events quickly spiral out of control. With the fates of both vampires and humans in jeopardy, Katrina desperately struggles to reconcile the balance of worldwide vampire power against honoring her commitment to the love of her life. Unwilling to be rendered helpless, Caleb initiates a desperate gamble that leads to a mortal decision. Meanwhile, the sexy and sassy vampire, Paige Turner, spearheads her own mission involving both surprising revelations of heart and grave circumstances for those around her.
In Summit at Sunset, unlikely alliances will be sought, eternal bonds of friendship will be tested, unrequited love will be unleashed, blood will be shed, and one pivotal person's fate will collide with destiny.
And onto Jaz's fabulous post:
The Kristie Cook Show
Today's Topic: Where Are Vampires Going in 2012?
** "Paradise" by Coldplay plays **
Happy Wednesday, everyone! Welcome to another enchanting episode of The Kristie Cook Show. I'm your guest host, Jaz Primo, author of the Sunset Vampire Series. It's such a pleasure to be with you. My sincere thanks to Kristie for the opportunity to appear here today.
We've got a full docket scheduled for you, so let's get started, shall we?
If you're like me, you probably love nothing better than an excellent and engaging vampire novel or film. However, have you noticed that in the past few years there has been a trend in vampire literature to make vampires softer-than-expected protagonists? That's not to say that vampires haven't been edgy at times. But the vestiges that were once merely an occasional respite from darker, more evil vampires, has instead become the predominant standard for today's vampire characters. And it goes well beyond the preference of sparkly daytime dwellers versus sunlight-repelling night lurkers. Let's consider for just a moment the recent hallmark examples of popular, marketable vampire storylines and characters.
** "From Now On" by The Features plays **
"I held your hand and I felt complete...as you turned and said to me..."
When the first novel in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series was released in 2005, most people were stunned to find a group of vampire protagonists that not only tried to get along with humans, but deliberately avoided consuming human blood. They were the dawning of the vampire vegetarians of a new era in vampire literature. Nevermind that L.J. Smith had technically already begun that journey with The Vampire Diaries in the 90s. Anyone recall Stefan and his attempt to avoid human blood? *wink*
Granted, you might claim that we already had the lovable Muppet vampire, The Count, on Sesame Street. Frankly, I feel that the jury is still out on him. Granted, nobody has found any bodies, but he never actually SAID that he didn't drink blood, either. Maybe he just played nice around the kids. *shrugging*
But I digress. Moving on...
Then there's Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries. Okay, yes, the vampires in that series run the spectrum of good-to-evil vampire tendencies, and they can be angsty and dark. Yet, the central vampires were also engendered with the desire to actually court and fulfill the love life of the central heroine, all the while attempting to normalize themselves among their human counterparts. Vampire voting rights, anyone? Another excellent, and popular, example is Amanda Hocking's 2010 YA vampire My Blood Approves Series.
** "I'm Coming to Get You" by The Winners plays **
"By the pricking in my thumbs, something wicked this way comes..."
In the past year or so, a number of more traditionally-themed films and storylines have appeared that might signal that a shift in the approach to vampires is coming soon. Despite the integration of darker comedy, the 2009 horror film, Suck, resurrected the darker side of vampires. In 2010, we also saw the release of Justin Cronin's The Passage, which returned to a popular anti-government conspiracy theme in which a vampire bat virus was adapted to create super soldiers that nearly brought an end to the human race. Again, very evil vampires were presented in the novel. (Incidentally, a sequel titled The Twelve is due out later this year.) Of course, in 2010 we had the vampire films Daybreakers, Stake Land, and Let Me In, each of which embraced the darker, more bloodthirsty sides of vampires.
In 2011, we had the dark, dystopian vampire-thriller film, Priest, starring Paul Bettany. Nobody could argue that those vampires weren't wholly human-craving, evil beings through-and-through. And let's not forget the vampire remake of the same name as its 1985 predecessor, Fright Night, starring a very handsome-yet-lethal Colin Farrell. (Did anyone else appreciate David Tennant in that movie as much as I did? *grin*)
Now, to be fair, the Twilight films were still in their hey-day in 2010 and 2011, but I could already sense a waning in the era of the "friendly, pro-human" vampire by that time. (Had the sparkle gone out on that theme already? *wink*) In the interest of full disclosure, my own Sunset Vampire Series which debuted in late 2010 features a blending of both "good" and "evil" vampires. However, I'd like to believe that I brought something new to the vampire genre in that my vampires are not the reanimated undead, and I introduced very strong female vampire heroines versus the traditional "helpless human female with robust alpha male vampire" pairing that has become the gold standard in the past twenty years in vampire literature.
** "If I Had A Gun..." by Noel Gallagher plays **
"Excuse me if I spoke to soon...My eyes have always followed you around the room..."
I believe that we're in a transitory period with vampires beginning this year. This March will see the release of the Underworld: Awakening vampire film with Kate Beckinsale, which promises to be another dark, vampires-are-bad theme. Oh, and Dario Argento's remake of the classic Dracula is due out in 3D later this year, as well. Finally, this November, we have the final Twilight installment with Breaking Dawn, Part 2. Will that be the end of cuddly, sparkling and humanity-tolerant vampires?
In 2012 literature, we have vampire novel releases by Kresley Cole and Lara Adrian that continue their long-standing and popular vampire series. However, I sense that, like upcoming films, there will be an increase in the number of "vampires are evil" themed novels to match the trend seen in the film industry. Who knows? Maybe I'll throw my name into the hat for that, as well. *chuckling*
So, the million-dollar question really does seem to be: Where are vampires going in 2012?
Well, if I knew the accurate answer to that question, I would probably be busy typing away at the next vampire best-seller for the marketplace masses. Alas, I'm just shooting in the dark with my third Sunset Vampire novel, Summit at Sunset, which is due for release on Wednesday, January 31st.
However, there's one thing that I can assure you...the trends in vampire literature and film are fluid and dynamic. They will ebb and flow in whatever direction is required to grab and momentarily hold the attentions of us vampire fans who constantly crave to be bitten by the next great book or movie. *wink*
The one thing that I can assure you is this: Vampires aren't going away anytime soon. And that's something that I think we can all sink our teeth into. *evil grin*
** "Paradise" by Coldplay plays **
"Every night, the stormy night, away she flied...and dreamed of Paradise..."
Well, folks, that's the cue that our time together has come to an end. Once again, my thanks to Kristie Cook for allowing me to chat with you today. I hope that you've enjoyed today's presentation. And hey, perhaps the vampire lovers in the audience who have been waiting for something a little different will consider giving my Sunset Vampire novels a try.
Have a great day, and please tune in again very soon on this blog channel for the next satisfying episode of The Kristie Cook Show! *smile*
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