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Saturday, October 07, 2006

A sista has a thing for the Vamps!

It occurred to me as I finished the last page on one of the many vampire/vampire hunter series that I am hooked on, that I have a thing for vampires and vampire hunters. When it comes to paranormals and paranormal romances, I'm vampires and werewolves all day. The cat shape shifters don't really ring my bell--and magicians and warlocks, not so much. I do love me some witches. (Boy do I miss Charmed) But when I think about series that I am currently hooked on--as in must read the latest installment as soon as it is released and I can get my hands on it--vampires and vampire hunters win hands down.

Just to give you a sense of how serious this particular vampire and vampire hunter reading habit of mine is, let me share with you the series that I am currently hooked on: Christine Feehan's Carpathian series, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter Series, J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and my favorite of all L. A. Bank's Vampire Huntress series. When I say hooked, I mean I have every novel or novella ever written in these series and have read them all. When I say hooked, I mean sometimes I can't wait until the next installment is released. We're talking stalking the bookstores to see if they put the book out early kind of can't wait here. It isn't pretty.

It occurred to me however, that few of these vampire and vampire hunter worlds have many people of color. With the exception of L. A. Banks, which I love because the vampire hunter is a spoken-word artist sista who is bad with the sword, none of these series that I love and support have very many black folk. Some people take issue with the fact that J. R. Ward has vampires in her series that listen to rap music and speak in black slang but no black people. That doesn’t bother me as much. There are so many white boys that get off on black culture by listening to rap, blasting it in their cars. That element actually makes her characters more real to me. Look at any sales reports and you’ll see that white boys are a large audience for hip-hop. It would be nice if she included a black or Latino brother to the mix, but whatever…

I still would love it if someone did a series of vampires or vampire hunters that were peopled with black folk. That would make my day. The anthology that Parker Publishing is releasing next month titled Vegas Bites promises to quench my werewolf thirst with some badass black werewolves. I'm really looking forward to that. With authors such as L. A. Banks, J. M. Jeffries, Serresia Glass, and Natalie Dunbar, it should be a wonderful read. But I want a series of black vampires or vampire hunters. Some badass brothas who run those smooth vampire lines and get you to bare that neck or some badass vampire hunting brothas in leather jackets who can slice and dice and fight like only a brotha can. I want to read them. Somebody write them.

Anyway, enough of that, I thought I'd come up with a list of vampire and vampire hunter tales by black authors with black characters for others who have a thing for the vamps and hope that someday soon I’ll get that series I yearn for. Until then check out these:

- The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
- Fledgling by Octavia Butler
- Dark Thirst, a multi-author anthology with writers such as Monica Jackson and Donna Hill represented
- Bloodlust by J. M. Jeffries
- Blood Seduction by J. M. Jeffries (coming in April 2007)
- L. A. Banks' Vampire Huntress Series – I love this series and I'm so glad that they added two more books to it.
Not exactly vampires… but there are some blood themes at work and they’re just really great reads:
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
- The Living Blood byTananarive Due
- Mr. Right Now by Monica Jackson

If I have left any others off, let me know. And if you have a thing for the vamps, let me know that too. I'd be interested in knowing exactly how many others like the vampires and vampire hunters. Or if you dig other kinds of paranormal stories let me know that too.

Much love and peace,

Gwyneth

11 comments:

Nancy Henderson said...

*hands waving!* I gotta have the vampires too!

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I know, Nancy! There's just something about a good vampire or vampire hunter book that gets me. And really either one is fine for me. Hunters are great because it takes a real badass to go after a vampire and that is very sexy too...

Anonymous said...

i have never read a novel featuring a vampire hero(ine).

seems i may be missing something, so whenever i get to come up for air, i'm going to check out some of the ones you mentioned

MizM said...

Gimme werewolves any day of the week. Vamps are kind of creepy. Maybe that comes from swimming in Onondaga Creek with all the leeches back in my misspent youth.

And as for rappers, my teens listen to Matis Yahu, who is a Chasidic (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish)rapper.

You ought to write the black vampire books.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Elle,

once you finish writing that dissertation you should check out some, especially L. A. Banks!

Miz Molly,

You know I love your werewolves! I actually love all kinds of werewolf stories. Werewolves are really cool too, especially those alphas.

I don't know about me writing them. I would so much rather read them. :-)

Dakota Knight said...

I loved the Anne Rice series, didn't get into Vamps after that. L.A. Banks is good, love her angle (her werewolves are next...whew!). But I'm telling you, Octavia Butler really showed me something special with Fledgling. WOW!

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I know, Dakota. Octavia Butler was brilliant! I love her novels. She is one of my all time favorites. The literary world lost a treasure when she passed.

And I have a feeling L. A. Banks' werewolves are going to be off the chain. If they are anything like that pack she mentions a few times in the Huntress series, woooweee!

Anonymous said...

Gwen,
I have a vampire story, but I can't mention it yet. You know you'll be the first to read it when I get it done, though.
~Tyhitia

Karitown said...

I've always wanted to check out a vampire book, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. You've convinced me that I should. Thanks for the recommendations. If they come from you, they have to be worth reading.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Tyhitia,

Yay! I hope it is a nice long series that I can get hooked on. LOL! Seriously, I can't wait to read your stuff! I'm glad we have more sisters entering the paranormal/speculative realm.

Kari,

Thanks! Congrats again on winning first place in the Put Your Heart in a Book contest! I couldn't think of a better more deserving writer! Get ready for the big things to come!

Louise said...

Gwen
Thank you, Thank you, & Thank you again. Yes this did it for me. As you know I am always for the underdog, and I had forgiven Carlton as well. He did redeem himself in my eyes. Once Carlton realizes the mistake he had done by putting Tonya out of the house he went to her grandmother house to try and work it out. That's when I forgave him. You know as women we know that some men are so unforgiving, and that they don't necessary believe that did anything wrong, but in Carlton case he did realize his mistake. Now it did me some time to forgive his grandfather, but I did. You know we have all been told we have to learn how to forgive, and that is what Tonya did. Even Carlton had to learn how to forgive. That only show how strong their love for their family and each other.

Thanks
Louise