Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Demon Lover

Tomorrow, The Vampire Diaries airs again after a torturous hiatus since before Christmas!! Since my current favorite demon lover of the small screen is none other that Damon Salvatore, I thought it would be appropriate to blog a little about my favorite kind of leading man in fiction: the demon lover.

I think I first fell in love with this kind of anti-hero--the dark, brooding, sexy, tortured, and a lot (or a little) bad boy--when I read Wuthering Heights in my adolescence. Maybe it was earlier. There are shades of the demon lover in Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, which played a huge part of my childhood. Still, I think Heathcliff is probably the prototype and the measuring stick by which I measure all my demon lovers.

The demon lover as a trope of fiction has been popular in all its delicious forbidden-ness for hundreds of years. One of my favorite Coleridge lines is from "Kubla Khan": "A woman wailing for her demon lover." The image just sends chills down my spine. I adore it. There's something about the idea of a man who's not exactly wholesome that it utterly delectable. What could be better?

In recent fiction, vampires have filled this role nicely. Who could forget Lestat from Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. He wasn't always very nice, but he was always sexy. And I positively love the character of Spike in Buffy. His arc from villain to love interest is one of the most intriguing on television.

For myself, I haven't been able to escape dropping demon lovers throughout my fiction. I think Jason qualifies, with his dark past and violent secrets. In Death Girl, Trevor is brooding and secretive. He can't shake his dreams, which are blood-tinged and disturbingly erotic. And my current work in progress is the ultimate culmination of the demon lover. A guy named Dannic. Here's a snippet from my opening chapter:

The room was a makeshift bedroom. A four-poster bed sat against one wall, its covers falling off onto the cement floor. One rug sat in the middle of the room, topped with a wooden square table. Several liquor bottles were clustered on top of it. The General himself sat in front of an open fireplace. His back was to the door. Gycia could only see his dark hair, which fell down to his shoulders in knotty curls.
"Leave her," said the General.
The door banged shut behind Gycia. She swallowed again.
The General didn't look at her. "Gycia Dunne," he said.
So he knew her name. And his voice sounded different. It wasn't nearly as deep as it was on the vids. He must have distorted it in the interviews, somehow wanting to keep his identity secret. Still… There was something about his voice. It was familiar, just the same. Where had she heard it before?
"You can get yourself a drink if you want," said the General, still not looking at her. "There are glasses on the table next to the whiskey bottles." A pause. "No ice, I'm afraid."
He was offering her a drink? Should she take it?
Yes. She should. If she was going to be viciously raped by a monster, she'd rather be drunk while it was happening. Maybe she could get enough drinks in her to vomit all over him. It would serve him right. She lurched toward the table. The men hadn't tied her up. She was free to move. But she was still shaking. She was terrified.
"I know you were always partial to frozen drinks," said the General.
Gycia stopped dead. How did he know that?
"Daiquiris, if memory serves," continued the General, and she could tell from the tone of his voice he was smiling. But it sounded like a cruel smile. It was a cruel voice.

Heh, heh, heh. Is redemption in the cards for Dannic, or is he a monster through and through? I'm having loads of fun finding out.

I'll be tuning in for my Damon fix tomorrow, that's for sure. And here's the hard sell: buy my books. I've got yummy, tortured guys waiting for you inside those pages. :)

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