I'm not a vampire fan.
I don't hate them, I'm just saying I don't love them. Why do I feel like I have to even explain myself? Honestly. They're not real.
But what if?
See, I had this minor epiphany at a local theatrical production of Dracula. IF there was such as thing as a hypnotic, immortal being that lived on human blood, would he continue the eternal savagery? Or would he evolve into something more sublime?
Along comes Drayton.
He doesn't remember being born. He's not sure what he is.
His memories of the early days are quite savage: tearing open throats, wolfing down hearts, that sort of thing. What vampires do. But now, not so much. He's young and unassuming. Cultured. His skin is black, not because of heritage; 8000 years in the sun will do that to a person.
Drayton still feels hunger, yet no longer feeds on blood but rather its essence. He no longer takes it but only accepts it as a gift. Sometimes he appears to people as a savior. Sometimes, as vengeance.
His understanding of the human condition is unparalleled. He's in complete control of his thoughts and emotions, sees with extrasensory perception, feels sensation at will. His body is undying. His mind, clear and uncluttered.
An immortal Zen master.
I wanted to uncork his endless power, really cut him loose, present him with an antagonist that really deserved a good disembowelment. You know, a real scumbag. Always with compassion, the bad guy gets it, just not the bullet-in-the-head kind of gets it. I suppose that's the character I imagined in that theatre.
Suppose I'll have to write some stories about the early years to get bloody.
For now, all five novellas are compiled into The Drayton Chronicles.