Saturday, March 17, 2012

You bet I'm Proudly Paranormal!


Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about vampires. There are several of them in my novella, A Vampire’s Deadly Delight, and there are a couple more in the short story I wrote for the anthology Bites - Ten Tales of Vampires. While I didn’t do much research before I wrote about them, I’ve done some catch-up in order to write quasi-intelligent sounding blog posts. Like this one. You’ll have to let me know how I do.

In my research, I came across the article, My Vampire Boyfriend: Postfeminism, "Perfect" Masculinity, and the Contemporary Appeal of Paranormal Romance by Ananya Mukherjea in the journal Studies in Popular Culture. With a title like that, you know it has to be a fun read. 

The author argues that the reason vampires are so persistently popular right now is that it takes a paranormal figure to balance all the roles that contemporary women are expected to assume. Women are supposed to be strong and career-minded, when they’re not wearing slut shoes and flashing their ta-tas on the internet. We’re supposed to raise kids and gardens and keep the house Martha-Stewart-worthy. While working a full-time job. And getting pedicures. Real men can’t keep up. Only a vampire with many years on earth, old-fashioned values, strength, financial stability, and a streak of nasty sexy danger can turn us on.

Her argument was pretty persuasive. I’ve sure as heck never fantasized about a reasonably handsome man whose job blows hot and cold and who never remembers to put the carton of milk back in the fridge. Real men are great for some things, but when I want to get away from it all, find me someone who’s pale and fanged, someone who drives a sleek black car and who doesn’t care if I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer.

And while I'm at it, can I just say that I don't get the whole zombie craze? They're all nasty lurching dead things dropping body parts on the floor. Hey, I've got teenagers. You can look at my living room and see it's kind of the same thing.

Heh.
So what did I do? I wrote a book where one of the main characters stabs vampires with her demon blade, ending their undead lives. And then I wrote a story where the vampire comes to a mysterious end at the hands of a rusalka. It kinda makes me wonder what I'm up to. Given the perspective of the article, I seem to have a need to destroy the perfect man. Repeatedly. Wow. That’s enough material for a whole lot of therapy sessions. 

I’m going to put a positive spin on this and say it shows how much I value the Real Man in my life. Hugging someone with a pulse is the only way to go. And if he would just put the silverware away correctly, so that all the salad forks go in the same little slot, he might be perfect, too. What, me, issues?
Peace,
Liv
Make sure to leave a comment as I'll be drawing for prizes including copies of A Vampire's Deadly Delight and Bites - Ten Tales of Vampires! You can check out the "My Books" tab above to learn more about both of them.  ;)
And check out the next stop on the Proudly Paranormal Blog Hop tour, YA writer Rebecca  Ryals Russell!

38 comments:

Ash Krafton | @ashkrafton said...

You know, Liv, I really liked your article because it got me, thinking, too.

I suppose as a writer I try to create the world as it ought to be...making characters who live a little harder and brighter than real people. I like my stories because they provide an escape.

This post made me get my nose out of my notebook and take a look around me. Who needs a vampire boyfriend when I've got my soul-mate husband? MY guy is all that and a bag of chips...and he tans splendidly.

:D

Awesome post, girl!

Adriana Ryan said...

OMG LOL at this: "It kinda makes me wonder what I'm up to. Given the perspective of the article, I seem to have a need to destroy the perfect man. Repeatedly." After reading your work, I have to say, Liz--don't go to therapy! If you work out all your "issues" your writing won't be nearly so much fun. ;)

The article sounds very interesting! I was recently wondering what creative psychologists are making of the craze to write inhuman protagonists. Although, I have to disagree with you on the zombies. They might not be sexy, but they can still make your pulse race! :D

Liv said...

So glad you liked the post, Ash. Real men do have significant advantages over the un-dead, although a little escape is nice too, every now and then.
;)

Liv said...

You should check out the article, Adriana. The title's kind of a mouthful, but it's very readable and it'll give you food for thought. And I don't have time for therapy, anyway. Too busy writing...
;)

Jami Gray said...

Who needs therapy? Isn't it why we write what we do? I mean, what's more fun-- sitting in an office talking about communication issues or creating a shuffling, mindless corpse we can take a flamethrower to without worrying about bail? Besides as much as I love my knight in muddy armor, we write stories to help our readers skip out for a bit and come tripping down our little twisted paths of fantasy--hence our need to torment alpha males to no end ;-)

Liv said...

And Jami, I know you are good at the torment.
;)
Thanks for stopping in.

seattleshannon said...

That's the great thing about paranormal novels. We need a break from always trying to be perfect and dive in to someone else's life brimming with sexy adventure. But at the end of the day, I bet the protagonist wishes she had our boring life :)

Cora said...

I'm with you on the zombie thing--I don't get the attraction. Vampires, werewolves yes, dead things with limbs falling off and all bloody-NOOOOO!
Your title is especially catchy. Makes me want to hold my head up high:)

Liv said...

Thanks Shannon! And I'm not sure we have boring lives - they're just not complicated by the supernatural, except in our dreams.
;)

Liv said...

Glad you like the title, Cora. I was afraid it sounded a little Sarah Palin-esque...
:)

booklover0226 said...

Hi, Liv.

You're a new author for me but not for long. I enjoyed your post and look forward in reading your works.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Liv said...

Thanks very much, Tracey. I appreciate the positive feedback. I'll be checking out your blogs, too!
;)

Amanda said...

You know, I like reading about vampires (heck, one of my favorite heroines is a vampire) but I never did understand why so many women are into undead men. Me, give me a shifter or Barrons, and I'd be all over him. Mmm...Barrons...

Julianne said...

I don't understand all the zombie love attraction either. It's yucky.
Vampires and Weres on the other hand are alpha bad boy and I just gotta have that.!
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

Kianna Alexander said...

Hi, Liv,
Great post! From what you've said about the study, I have to agree. We women are expected to fill several thousand roles- it reminds me of the first cover of Ms. magazine, with the Shiva-like eight armed woman balancing just as many tasks.
I wonder if even a vampire could keep up!
Best,
Alexandra Kane/Kianna Alexander

Liv said...

Now see, Amanda, I'd argue that Barrons is EXACTLY the kind of guy the author of the article is talking about. He's older, more powerful, sophisticated, wealthy, and dangerous as hell. Sign me up! He may not be a vampire, but he does a darned good imitation.
Thanks for checking in...
;)

Liv said...

Now see, maybe I should do a bit of a lit search and see what the pop-sociologists say about, like, The Walking Dead, Julianne. Maybe that would help me understand the whole zombie thing. Cuz I sure don't.
Thanks for checking in!

Liv said...

I remember that Ms cover, Kianna! It pretty accurately portrays how I feel most days.
;)
Thanks for checking out my post...

diannehartsock said...

Killing the perfect man over and over? Finally! Give me the imperfect hero every time. :) Fun post.

Liv said...

Thanks Dianne! I'm with you - I'll take my less-than-perfect real-life guy.
;)

Rosalie Skinner said...

From the title, through to your reaction to Ananya's article this post is both thought provoking and entertaining. Thanks for doing the research. Taking the time to contemplate the whys and wherefores of extraordinary vamps, makes a living breathing partner seem rather more worthwhile.
While paranormal entities are fine for fantasy, warm blooded, warm hearted bodies are better for helping wash up and mowing the lawn!

Liv said...

You can get yours to mow the lawn, Rosalie? Cool. You might have to give me hints on how get mine to do that.
;)
Thanks for checking out the post, and for the positive feedback.

Sky Purington said...

(Sorry, I tried to post a few days ago but blogger was being stubborn) I LOVE vampires!Your stories sound amazing, Liv. They're official on my TBR list! :-)

Pat McDermott said...

Enjoyed the research, thanks for doing it for us :-) I can see needing a "Superman" to keep up with all that women do these days (or ever, for that matter) but I've gotten used to the guy who fixes things around the house and falls asleep at the movies. Paranormal book heroes of all sorts are immensely popular right now, though. A girl can dream. Great post!

April Plummer said...

OMG I so don't get the zombie craze either! I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

That's an interesting thought. I'm going to have to check out the article. I'm really on the fence about vampires. I can't really tell you what makes me like a book about vampires or what keeps me from liking books about vampires...or anything paranormal...but some I do like. And some I hate.

I read this one that started out kinda cool, but then it just seemed like she created creatures to all do exactly what she wanted. Their powers were all too convenient. And it wasn't really that great anyway.

Great post though with some really, quite heavy stuff to think about!

A.H. Browne @ ahbrowne.com said...

haha I love the comparison of zombies to teenagers.

Great background too!

Liv said...

Thanks Sky! I hope you like them.
;)

Liv said...

I checked out your lovely blog, Pat, and saw that you've got the Irish thing going on. Do you ever write about the fae or other Celtic supernatural? Maybe not as much fun as vampires, but close! Thanks for checking out my post.

Liv said...

You should read the article, April. It was very interesting, and much easier to read than the title might suggest.
;)
And I absolutely HATE it when a writer adds magical powers late in the game to move the plot along. That's SO cheating!
Thanks...

Liv said...

Thanks, Ms Brown, for checking out the post. From your picture, I'd guess you're not old enough to have teenagers of your own. Just wait. You'll see how true a comparison it is.
;)
Thanks so much!

Pat McDermott said...

Liv, my current release, Glancing Through the Glimmer, is a YA fantasy set in Ireland and packed with fairy mischief. I never object to a little escapism :-)

Tami Clayton said...

I love the idea of a superhero being the only kind of man that can keep up with the modern woman. Seriously. How so many of manage to stay sane given all that we juggle is truly amazing. Escapist writing, t.v., and movies are the perfect antidote to feeling overwhelmed, at least for me anyway. Great post!

Nikki said...

This made me laugh. In a way, it is also very true. I find it both charming and annoying that, if my husband helps once with one of the many chores I do every day, he gets sad if I don't notice. I still love my Real Man though. That must be why I do all this stuff (that and he supports my writing).

Happy writing!

Liv said...

Glancing Through The Glimmer looks like a fun read, Pat.
;)
Here's an Amazon link for anyone who wants to check it out.
http://amzn.to/GzoOmB

Liv said...

So if Benedict Cumberbach ever starred in a vampire movie, your world would be perfect, eh Tami?
;)
Thanks!

Liv said...

That is a real man quirk, isn't it Nikki? "Oh look, I _______ (and you can fill in the blank with 'loaded the dishwasher', 'folded the clothes', or any other routine household chore). Aren't I cool?"
And we all applaud...
;)
Thanks for checking out the post.

Katrina said...

That was an AWESOME post. lol I'll have to read that article myself, as I jumped on the Edward Cullen wagon when before New Moon ever came out, (before it was ruined by tweens everywhere I mean. As a 20 something, it's embarrassing to admit that I like it.) lol Anyways. Awesome. Thanks.
oneagainst at hotmail dot com

Liv said...

Thanks Katrina! Let me know what you think after you read the article.
;)