Sunday, May 10, 2009

Vampires and Mothers

May all the mothers and those who love them have a wonderful Mother's Day. Enjoy your time together, try to enjoy the time apart, let Mom read a book, have some chocolate, and take a bubble bath, if that's her thing. If she'd prefer a trip to the movies and a beer, by all means, make it happen.

Of course, if she'd rather curl up with some old vampire movies, I recommend the Frank Langella version of "Dracula". It's a standard for me and my mother -- possibly the first movie we saw together that we loved for the same reason (uh, that would be Frank Langella, the Dracula as far as we're concerned).

Whatever you do today, with or without your mother, stop and remember something that could only have happened between you and your mom. Then catch Langella as the Prince of Darkness. (You'll thank me later.)

Jemma Chase

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vampire Slaying

My husband and I have been catching up on our vast DVD collection. Specifically on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". While we own all the seasons of it, and all of "Angel", he hasn't seen most of them, and I haven't seen all of them.

While watching the 'Buffy's 18th Birthday Trial' episode (I only turned it off 5 minutes ago, but cannot for the life of me remember the actual title) I was struck by something.

I found the bad guy vampire -- who happens to be a beyond homicidal maniac -- kinda sexy.

It could be the actor, Jeff Kober. He's a rugged manly-man kind, handsome without being one whit 'pretty', and he usually plays bad guys. But he did have that sexy psycho thing going. Which really makes me question my taste in men. (I feel compelled to mention that my husband is not a psycho with severe mommy issues and a trail of dead behind him. Sure, his canines are sharp, but not vampire sharp. And he's never done the 'crazy eyes' thing, ever. He's handsome and sweet and not scary.)

Like so many others, I love both Angel and Spike. I like Oz, too. And there are a lot more yummy men coming up (including, be still my heart, Nathan Fillion in season 7). But this character isn't supposed to be sexy. He's supposed to be scary.

And he is. I clutched my husband's hand through the entire episode. And yet, while clutching, I was also fully aware that, had I been in Buffy's place, I might not have been staking and might instead have been flirting.

Back to questioning myself. Maybe it's that I love vampires and find even the homicidally insane among them to be attractive. Probably not a compelling argument for my mental and emotional stability.

I'm going to stick with the idea that I find Jeff Kober to be unexpectedly hot and let it go at that. And just because I suddenly want to add a big, crazy, vampire serial killer who gets redeemed by true love into my latest novel should in no way be considered either wish fulfillment or acting out.

In the end, I'm sure my heroine will stake him through his evil heart.

Jemma Chase

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who You Gonna Call?

Some friends of mine are starting a ghost hunting group, and I'm invited to be a part of it!

So's my husband, which means we'll have the requisite skeptic along. Which, apparently, is good for your general ghost hunting-ness, since the idea is to disprove until you have nothing left but the proof that the ghost is either real or a leaky faucet.

Skeptic or not, my husband's gotten into it. He watches all the Ghost Hunter shows religiously, looking for tips and techniques. While we have yet to actually go out to a suspected haunted house, we're gearing up for it.

Me, I firmly believe that ghosts and a variety of other beasties exist. Most may exist on the pages or the movie screens, but still, I find it hard to disbelieve. Maybe that's why I write in the urban fantasy/horror/Gothic mode -- because I can relate to the creatures and the situations. But I question the ghost hunting methods.

Most of the shows I've (been forced to) watched seem to push the 'yell at the haunts to make them mad' approach. This seems counter to what you'd want. Since there are a variety of types of hauntings, the repeaters won't notice, and the ones there for a purpose are likely to be scared off. This leaves the poltergeists, who will throw things at you whether you're polite or not.

I also think that dressing in modern wear to go accost, for example, a ghost from the 1700's is the height of, I'll just say it, stupidity. Dress like someone who doesn't appear to be a savage or from outer space, and maybe the nice ghosts will talk to you.

Our team swears to me that they'll be polite and dress and speak appropriately. Maybe so. I figure I'm going to win either way.

Either we find some ghosts or we debunk some hauntings, but I get more writing ideas no matter what.

Jemma Chase

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Buy a Book for Valentine's Day!

Oh, I know it's a few weeks away. But you should be thinking about the romantic day now.

Roses are lovely, but they die. Candy is nice, but it causes weight gain. Dinner out is an hour or so and then it's gone. A movie may make a memory, but you'll still have to buy the DVD. Certainly lingerie has its place, but how often are you really going to wear it?

But a book. Now a book has lasting power. It's still one of the best, nay, the best entertainment investment you can make. Read it right away. Read it later. Read it anywhere. Re-read it any time you want. Share it, treasure it, shelve it. Use it to help prop a piece of furniture or say 'I thought of you'. No matter what, a book is a wonderful thing to give and to receive.

With the economy the way it is, a book can say 'I love you' over and over again, in either hardcover or paperback, and it says it with fiscal responsibility, too.

Need some title suggestions? Well, I'm partial to the classics -- 'Dracula', 'Interview With the Vampire', 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil', 'Misery', or, I suppose, 'Love Story' would all be good choices. Newer options include -- 'Twilight' and 'Bloodsucking Fiends'. Really, you can't go wrong with anything that has 'blood' or 'vampire' in the title. Nothing says love like someone turning you immortal, after all.

No matter what you choose, including something sweet and nice without a single vampire or psycho who hurts because he/she loves too much in it, choose a book, the true testament to lasting affection.

Jemma Chase

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vampires Among Us

I have been accused by my friends of trying too hard to find undead creatures in everyday life. Probably true. But there are times when even the most skeptical have to believe. Such a time was had recently.

I went to dinner with some of my girlfriends, leaving our spousal units at home. We went to a very nice restaurant, lovely view, excellent food, wonderful service. And a vampire tending bar.

Now, before you argue, let me first say that he was an incredibly handsome man. Looked to be in his late 20's, dark chocolate skin with no blemishes, twinkling brown eyes, deep and sexy voice, six-foot-plus, athletic build. So far, so very dreamy. We all clustered around, eager to take our time ordering drinks so that we could gaze at him and absolutely NOT compare him to those spousal units back home.

But then he smiled. Widely. His teeth were sparkling white -- you couldn't look away if you tried. And as he smiled long and wide, I gazed upon the most obvious set of elongated eyeteeth since Nosferatu.

All his teeth were long -- without having a tape measure at hand, we all felt they were easily fifty percent longer than anyone else's, perhaps double. But the eyeteeth were longer.

We were seated and discussed. Yes, all agreed, those were some long teeth. The length of the eyeteeth confirmed it -- he was a vampire. But, was he perhaps not a pureblood? The conversation turned to the other teeth -- did their overall length indicate a werewolf parent as well as vampiric?

After dinner, we went back to the bar, happy to find Count Hunkula still tending. Some probing questions revealed that he preferred night shifts, felt men should always dress well and look their best, agreed that rare meat was the way to go, always chose red wine over white, and felt that the ideal woman would be one who didn't mind never seeing the sun.

On the way home my girlfriends all agreed that he had to be at least half-vampire/half-werewolf. Some held out for pure vampire. Quite the argument ensued. Sadly, though, they all refuse to go back, because they're afraid to find out he's an undead in a very real and very permanent way.

I'm not allowed to go back because my husband said that he wasn't going to compete with Count Hunkula for my affections. I'm okay with that. I don't want to go back and find out he's just a regular gorgeous human guy with extra-long teeth. As always, I'd rather keep the fantasy alive.

Jemma Chase

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Hope you all have a bloody good time during this holiday season, and here's to an exciting New Year on the near horizon, fresh as a drop of blood on the snow.

Jemma Chase

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Welcome to My Nightmare

Well, not a nightmare so much as a dream, I suppose.

I'm an author -- I write urban fantasy which is an industry term for contemporary stories with vampires and werewolves and all the other undead beasties that many of us are fairly certain really are waiting around the next corner or lurking in that dark alleyway over there.

My dream, which is the dream of so many others, is to have my books and stories on the shelves of all the bookstores across all the lands.

In the meanwhile, I write the stories that come to me in the dark, in the rain, and in my dreams. Most of them have elements of science fiction in them, but not all. Some go back in time as well as present day. All of them have an undead of some kind. What can I say? I like vampires and werewolves and the other creatures of legend.

So, who's with me on the undeads love? I mean besides the werewolf howling in my backyard and the vampire in the kitchen impatiently waiting for his dinner...

Welcome, and please, stay a while...we're all hungry and can always use another guest for dinner.

Jemma Chase

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