Forrest Gump: Vampire

What keeps me, an author writing about vampires, lying in bed awake at night?

The ripping terror of disempathetic fanged human-beasts, ripping forest animals to shreds as they wage emotional and physical warfare on themselves and normal humans?
Maybe if I’m up late writing about them… 😈

Sparkling emo vampires dancing around a forest?
This is more disturbing than the first example (at least to me), but I’m not one to dash the hormonally-crazed fantasies of adolescent female youth, unless of course they should stumble upon my novel by accident.

No, the “forest” that disturbs me the most is the “forest” many publishers and Hollywood people would want me to create.

Forrest Gump: Vampire”

I can hear him now, taunting me: “Life is like a box of blood bags, you never know what you’re going to get.”

You see, I’ve created a novel that features a special-needs vampire as the protagonist. Jack is a sympathetic hero, as well. He frequently struggles with his vampire dark side.

Apparently, this would be more than enough of an “original” concept to keep the “commercial” crowd happy. They would be happiest if I kept the whole tale in Jack’s point of view. Simple, happy, sympathetic platitudes. Offset by occasional detours into the new darkness that dwells deep within him, that he always manages to overcome.

Sounds sweet, sentimental and touching, now doesn’t it?

To me, it sounds as saccharine and mawkish as the movie version of “Forrest Gump.” (which manages to be a good movie overall, despite these faults)

I can’t imagine who’d want to read a vampire story like that.
I know I wouldn’t.

What keeps my novel from being “Forrest Gump: Vampire” are my antagonists Damien and Lilith. The Yins to my protagonist’s Yang. Damien and Lilith are gleefully nihilistic, self-absorbed, power-hungry monsters that supply my novel’s, ahem, “bite.” They’re grindhouse Vampires, my Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, ready to bite you with a Razor Blade Smile.

Thanks to them, Jack will have to learn All The Lessons of his new vampire life the hard way. Machinations and manipulations abound as our hero fights to gain acceptance and survive. Paradoxically, Jack winning over Damien and Lilith will put him in greater danger as the story goes on. Damien and Lilith are constantly gaming each other, with Jack as the innocent pawn on their chessboard.

Two original concepts. “Forrest Gump: Vampire” and “Antagonistic Vampire Married Couple”. The Yin. The Yang. By themselves, simple and polarizing. Together, offsetting each others’ weaknesses.

The Mysteries Of Aging

USA Today: Down Syndrome patients could unlock mysteries of aging

A key point in my novel is that those who are “disabled” may be “gifted” in other ways. The phrase “differently abled” can express this fundamental principle.

Down Syndrome individuals face numerous health challenges, but (as the above linked article shows) they also have some important health advantages.
“people with Down syndrome virtually never develop high blood pressure, heart attacks or hardening of the arteries”
They may even hold the key to the cure for cancer.
“Researchers already are trying to develop anti-cancer treatments based on genes found on (Down Syndrome) chromosome 21, says Roger Reeves of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine”

My novel’s protagonist Jack Wendell struggles with the vampire community’s long-standing prejudices against special-needs individuals. His situation becomes very interesting when it’s revealed that another group of vampires, the Pures, view him as being “gifted” instead of “disabled”.