Ariesgrl’s review of Vampire Syndrome

Thank you for your thorough and insightful review, Ariesgrl!

Ariesgrl Book Reviews

By: Daven Anderson. Format: eBook. Read: January 2013.

 

Jack Wendell has led a rough life after being born with Down’s Syndrome. However with the help of Coach Ron and his wife Diane, he has become a star athlete competing in the Special Olympics. Unfortunately for Jack, all of this is about to change when he gets bitten by a rabid vampire one afternoon. As he searches for fellow vampires to help teach him about being a vampire, he learns that not all vampires are friendly. In fact, Jack learns that many vampires feel that he needs to be put down due to his previous diagnosis. Enter Lilith Morrigan, the President of all the human vampires, who tries to hide Jack and protect him. Enter her husband, Damien Tepesh, Chief Venator and the man that is hunting Jack. Will Jack ever be safe, or is he just a pawn in…

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Breaking Dawn Part 2: Better than the novel?!

Ah, what blasphemies I bring forth unto you! How can such be? The mere thought of a moving picture surpassing the printed word! The canes of discipline beg to strike my posterior in a most aggressive repetition.

Alas, dear readers, it has happened before. Who among us would dare to differ that even Peter Benchley’s sterling work in Jaws lacked a certain instinctual impact that one could only achieve from the witness of a mechanical shark named Bruce? ‘Twas so nice to savor quiet reposes in the deserted waters of the Los Angeles beaches circa 1975 a.d., the would-be throngs of bathers held at bay by the recall of the emerging fin and its ominous tone of accompaniment.

In the darkened twilight of the theatre, the vortex of energy from adolescent hormones would sate the most thirsty of psychic-energy vampires, leaving them full as ticks. 😈

The paid broadcasts before the feature presentation bought forth a most odd twist of what their purchasers suppose to be “demographics”. Who among the adolescent assemblance would know of these painted minstrels of generations past, or for that matter the mechanized magnetic reels used to relay their fortissimo fortitude to the common folk?

After such miscues, it was of most welcome relief to sight the fine lass Mrs. Bella Cullen finally released from her weakened state of servitude to the human condition. Verisimilitude via vampirism, the most dramatic allegory of maturation to the adult state.

And for we, dear readers, the moving picture form releases us from seeing the tale through Bella’s limitations. Differences thereof most readily apparent even years before, guided to ultimate form in the saga’s ultimate film. The screen affixed us in the clairvoyance of Alice, allowing us to visualize the visceral version of a future path not taken. A future surpassing the peaceful forever of the Cullen clan, many would propose. A future satiating the audience’s primordial lust for combat, the ghostly apparitions of gladiators embedded in our collective consciousness, springing forth once more to entertain generations anew.

But let us not forget that it is the printed word that lays the foundation for the visions that we seek.

My blog turns two

Today, Oct. 16th, is the two-year anniversary of my Vampire Syndrome blog. And thanks to the magic of YouTube, I can invite Beth Gibbons to sing at my blog’s “birthday party.” 😎

“For time is but a memory”

I am thrilled to announce that Vampire Syndrome will be a featured title during Fangs And Hearts Week, October 24-31 on Emily Guido.com 😀

This is my blog’s birthday, but you get a present. Click here, log in (or register for free first), enter code RC29W and pick up your free copy of Vampire Syndrome. This promo code is good now through November 4th. 🙂

A big thank you to all my readers!

Music Soothes the Savage Characters

Music Soothes the Savage Characters
©April 6, 2011 by Daven Anderson

I’ve been using music (and song lyrics) for my “character building” exercises. Choose three songs that you think represent a particular character. The songs you pick can give you insights into your characters (and even yourself! ) that would not be obvious from any other approach.

Here’s a sample lyric from Devo’s Peek-A-Boo (©1982 Casale/Mothersbaugh), a song I picked for my character Jack:

If you cannot see it, you think it’s not there. It doesn’t work that way.

Jack is a vampire. When you consider that vampires are “hidden” from the normal world, this ostensibly simple lyric takes on a whole new relevance. Jack has become something the normal world “cannot see” and thinks is “not there.” Thus, the quoted lyric has far more meaning to Jack (and his kindred) than to the normal people Devo was admonishing for their lack of vision.

The 1973 Fleetwood Mac song Hypnotized (©1973 Bob Welch) would seem an obvious choice to represent my character Gl’Ag, who is of extraterrestrial descent.

Now it’s not a meaningless question to ask if they’ve been and gone
I remember a talk about North Carolina and a strange, strange pond
You see the sides were like glass, in the thick of a forest without a road
And if any man’s ever made that land, then I think it would’ve showed.

The readers’ perceptions of the character, the novel, and even the author can be dramatically widened by tying in the right song. The lyrical theme of Hypnotized is an obvious “tie-in” for an extraterrestrial-descent character. But the possible interpretations run much deeper. Does the author imply that Gl’Ag’s kind are responsible for the anomalous pond in the woods near Winston-Salem? Are their kind hiding in the “place down in Mexico, where a man can fly over mountains and hills?” Is their mothership the “something” that “flies by their window . . . out on that lawn . . . which is wide, at least half of a playing field?” Are his kind’s hypnotic powers why “what matters most is the feeling you get when you’re hypnotized”?

Connect the right song to your character, and you will find out what Aristotle meant when he said, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

There’s a tendency for authors to view their choices in music as nothing of importance. Something to put on in the background as you type. A song quoted in your pages to spice up your story, at best. This couldn’t be more wrong. Are their choices obscure? Popular? Hackneyed (such as banjo music for a backwoods thriller)? Or do they even bother with music at all? Each of these reflect very different mind sets for both the authors and their stories.

The content of this post should make it clear that each of the songs on my playlist (in my novel’s appendix) is an exercise in character development and character building. Each song I selected says something important about a particular character and makes a comment about the character’s place in my story’s universe.

My writing is intended for those who look for the hidden truths and ask the deeper questions. Yes, I’m aware this is a heavily philosophical approach for a grocery store cashier writing a vampire book. 😉

Readers of my novel who research the lyrics and songs on my playlist will be rewarded with a unique insight into my characters and the novel’s universe. If I’m lucky, a reader or two will be able to make a connection to something I missed. I dream of the time when I can make one of my readers proud at my book signing when I tell them, “You are the first person who got my intended meaning.”

Of course, novels have to stand on their own merits. The connection with music outside the novel is intended for readers who wish to expand their understanding of my novel’s characters and universe. Which leads to my all-time favorite movie quote:

Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.
Lex Luthor in “Superman” (1978)

Your novel has to stand on its own enough to satisfy those who take it simply for what it is. However, great novels should offer a universe of hidden meanings for the readers who wish to dig deeper.

The Playlist

Music to write a Vampire novel by:

1. The Fever – Cold Blooded (3:25)
2. Missing Persons – Mental Hopscotch (3:14)
3. Radiohead – Creep (3:57)
4. Slayer – Epidemic (2:22)
5. Green Day – Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (4:20)
6. Stevie Wonder – Superstition (4:25)
7. The Fever – The Slow Club (4:34)
8. 10cc – I’m Not In Love (6:03)
9. Joan Baez – Diamonds & Rust (4:45)
10. The Fever – Gray Ghost (3:08)
11. Ministry – The Missing (2:54)
12. Edith Piaf – Heaven Have A Mercy (3:41)
13. Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Chile (slight return) (5:13)
14. The Blasters – Dark Night (3:51)
15. Squirrel Nut Zippers – Put A Lid On It (2:39)
16. The Beatles – Run For Your Life (2:21)
17. The Pretenders – Bad Boys Get Spanked (4:07)
18. Rose Tattoo – All The Lessons (3:07)
19. Portishead – The Rip (4:30)
20. X – Riding With Mary (3:39)
21. Linda Ronstadt – Long Long Time (4:22)
22. Bob Welch – Ebony Eyes (3:32)
23. Sneaker Pimps – Walking Zero (4:31)
24. Lita Ford – Out For Blood (2:56)
25. Arthur Brown – Fire (2:56)
26. Krokus – Screaming In The Night (6:42)
27. Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues (2:19)
28. Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight (5:36)
29. Metallica – The Small Hours (6:43)
30. Simon & Garfunkel – Somewhere They Can’t Find Me (2:37)
31. Devo – Peek-A-Boo (3:00)
32. The Runaways – Waitin’ For The Night (5:02)
33. Motörhead – Shine (3:10)
34. AC/DC – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) (4:36)
35. The Eagles – Victim Of Love (4:10)
36. Ike and Tina Turner – Only Women Bleed (4:01)
37. Spooky Tooth – Lost In My Dream (5:03)
38. Fleetwood Mac – Hypnotized (4:47)
39. Wings – Venus And Mars (Reprise) (2:05)
40. Juno Reactor – Navras (9:06)
41. Portishead – Theme From “To Kill A Dead Man” (4:24)

The Playlist – One Year Later

More from The Playlist

Music soothes the savage characters

Welcome to Vampire Syndrome

    This is a blog for my novel “Vampire Syndrome”.
    A story about a special Vampire’s struggle to be accepted as a valued member of the Vampire community.
    With all the marital infidelity, cattle mutilations, and car chases you expect from a Vampire book… ?

      Vampire Syndrome cover