(Note: In case it isn’t obvious, everything below is written with tongue firmly in cheek)
As some of you who follow my blog already know, I have been sent a Cease & Desist letter via friend and fellow author Ilona Andrews from Dromichaetes of Dacia, the Master of the Dark Coven. Dromichaetes is an apparent spokesperson – or is it spokesvampire? – from the Ministry of Undead Persons. Among other things, the letter demands that I pull publication of SHADES OF WICKED (pic included for reference) and to stop writing my books the way I do because, to quote “under no circumstances can Vampire Persons be portrayed as having fulfilling friendships and, especially, romantic relationships that end happily” as well as my favorite complaint “Some of them [vampires] have been approached by humans asking if they wore silver jewelry on private parts of their anatomy to heighten sexual pleasure.” The full Cease & Desist letter is HERE.
Things escalated when Dromichaetes contacted my agent, Nancy Yost, with further demands. You can read Dromichaetes’ letter plus Nancy’s
hilarious very serious reply HERE. With these additional letters, it’s become clear that this issue requires my personal involvement. That’s why I’m writing an open letter to Dromichaetes of Dacia, the Master of the Dark Coven, care of the Ministry of Undead Persons:
Dear Dromichaetes, or Dromeo, to borrow my agent’s moniker,
Greetings from the lively side of the grave! I did indeed receive a copy of the correspondences you sent to both my agent and my dear friend Ilona, and I have to admit, I’m beyond flattered. Don’t be offended by this. Yes, you doubtless expected me to cower in fear, but come on. My first Cease & Desist letter is from an actual vampire? That’s a top-tier item crossed off my bucket list right there!
While I respect your concern that my books have veered off the “traditional” path, I feel that typecasting vampires to only be portrayed as the forlorn villain is so 1897 (DRACULA publication-date pun ftw! Ahem.) What I mean is that Vampire Persons are surely vibrant creatures with more personality traits than the tragic, brooding, tormented type – not that there’s anything wrong with those types! But let’s throw back the coffin lid on other types of Vampire Persons, shall we? For example, have you read any of Ilona Andrews’ fabulous books? She and Gordon’s vampires aren’t brooding or tormented. They’re monstrous and terrifying, yet they’re also very versatile because they can rip you to pieces AND carry letters inside their throats or their…well, a creature of your advanced learning is surely familiar with the term “prison pocket”? But I digress. My point is, if there is room for monstrous vampires, emo vampires, and perpetually tormented vampires, surely there must be room for vampires who are also heroic, funny, witty, and – yes, I’ll go there – sexy.
Come now, dear Dromeo. Before you protest, I refuse to believe that someone with your vast longevity hasn’t, at some point, experienced love. You did, didn’t you? Wasn’t it wonderful? Didn’t you want it to last forever? While in life (or, excuse me, undeath) such love might eventually wither away, in the romance genre, we have the promise of the happily-ever-after where love overcomes all challenges, no matter how dire. I give the same promise with my books, although since I write series versus stand-alones, the happily-ever-after doesn’t come in the first book. So, yes, long live the brooding, emo, or tormented vampires! And long live the monstrous, terrifying, villainous vampires! But don’t forget to make room for the vampire heroes, vampire heroines, and everything in between. I for one refuse to let your entire species be defined by only one type of narrative. Creatures such as yourself surely deserve more. You’re not going to let the human race have a monopoly on complexity, are you?
That is why I welcome my agent sending you a copy of my latest book, SHADES OF WICKED. All I ask is that you read it with an open mind. Kirkus gave it a starred review and called it “A flawless blend of high-stakes romance and action-packed paranormal adventure,” but if you can’t enjoy the “wild, magically enhanced sex,” perhaps you’ll enjoy the “bloody, bone-pulverizing battles” as per Booklist’s review (note that I wouldn’t insult you by offering my own admittedly biased opinion, which is why I included statements from objective parties.)
I await your reply once you have finished the novel, Dromeo. Until then, I remain your admiring – if rebellious – scribe,
P.S. To illustrate my point, I’m including the below picture. It’s from a few years ago, so my hair is red instead of its current blondish shade, but it gives a more succinct visual about my thoughts on your demand that I stop writing vampires who fall in love, have dangerous adventures, have hot sex (with or without piercings!) and overcome dire odds to eventually live happily ever after:
10/10/19 Edited to add: Dromeo has responded! I woke up yesterday to an email in my inbox with the subject line of “I am reading your book” and the sender info as “Master of the Dark Coven.” You can read his reply HERE. Funny side note: if you reply to his gmail account, you get this auto message “Foolish mortal, your email has been received. If you are found worthy, you will be honored with reply. If not, your email will go on a kill list.” Lol! I mean, ahem, I’ve been WARNED ;).