Today I’m happy to be a part of the blog tour for Rhiannon Frater’s newest book, Pretty When She Kills, the sequel to the amazing novel Pretty When She Dies. Rhiannon was kind enough to provide a guest post for the tour, which also fits in with this week’s VAMPIRE theme!
Big thank you to Rhiannon for stopping by the blog today!
When Amaliya harnessed her necromancer powers to defeat her greatest enemy, she believed she had finally found a happy ending with Cian, her lover and the master of Austin. That happiness is short-lived when the vampire ruling over San Antonio attempts a takeover of Austin in order to capture Amaliya and use her power for his own devices.
To make matters worse, Samantha, Cian’s ex-fiancée, is seeing ghosts, the untested vampire hunters of Austin are running scared as a supernatural war looms, a mysterious man is hunting Amaliya with the help of her one time lover, Pete, and Rachoń, the Summoner’s favorite progeny, appears to be out for revenge.
When Amaliya’s grandmother, a powerful medium, experiences terrible visions that reveal there is another necromancer vampire and she is crying out for help, Amaliya realizes happy endings do not come easily…
The Vampires of PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS
Four years ago I was at one of the bigger horror conventions in Texas manning my half of the booth I was sharing with a friend who sells horror t-shirts. My books were proudly on display and I was pleased with how many copies I had sold of my zombie book. My newest novel, PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES, was on display, but it wasn’t selling at all. I was a bit disheartened by the amount of people walking up, reading the book description on the back, then walking away.
At last one of potential customers gave me a clue as to what was going on. He picked up the book, read the back, looked at the cover, then looked me straight in the eye and said, “So is this like Twilight?”
“No, it’s not. It’s an adult horror novel,” I answered. “My vampires actually kill people.”
“Oh, my daughter won’t like that,” he said with a sigh. He reluctantly put the book down. “It looks like a good book, but she likes nice vampires like Edward.”
After he departed, my friend looked at me and said, “Sorry, hon. Vampires who sparkle and go to high school are the thing now. Not real vampires.”
I was a bit crestfallen, but I knew she was right. I had made a bold choice in the creation of my vampires. I decided they were going to be traditional vampires: ruthless, dangerous, powerful, seductive, and cruel. Even my “nice” vampires are not so nice at times. Beyond that, I had decided to keep to all the old rules of vampirism: aversion to holy relics, death by sunlight, stakes through the heart, and blood thirst.
Vampires had already taken a big turn from the vampires in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the early horror movies. Over time, writers and filmmakers had stripped away most of their restrictions, reducing them to immortal beings with an occasional bloodlust. All the protections humans had against vampires had disappeared along with most of the vampires primary powers such as turning into animals and mist, hypnotism, controlling the weather, etc. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight only continued that trend, removing the last of the restrictions on vampires as they sparkled, not burned, in the sunlight.
The vampires of my childhood were the terrifying boogeymen of my nightmares. They were utterly horrific in their beauty and ability to feast on humans. The only hope humans had against such fearsome creatures were garlic, holy relics, and the occasional stalwart vampire hunter. I wanted to return to that vampire and the havoc they inflict upon their victims. I also wanted to enter the mind of one of the new vampires as she struggles to understand her new nature.
It has taken four long years for PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES to find its audience, but it now has a solid following. It was at their prompting that I wrote the sequel, PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS, and have plans to complete the trilogy with PRETTY WHEN SHE DESTROYS.
After the initial disappointment of having my book rejected by potential readers because it wasn’t like Twilight, I’ve been pleased to see people now drawn to it for just that reason. Though I enjoyed Twilight and other vampire books in that vein (*evil grin*), I’m relieved that people are once again embracing the more frightening traditional vampires that lurk in the pages of my book.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
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