I've said it before and I'll say it again -- the difference between smart and genius is the asking of WHY.
Why why why.
Smart people know how to do something. It's the genius who understands why it's done that way.
So I've been wondering why it is that vampires are the sensual monsters, the sexual killers. They suck your blood and that's downright gruesome, but for some reason we still want to schlep em.
And my why-thinking has brought me to this, which may not be all that original of a thought, but it's where I arrived. Vampires are sexy murderers owing to their dichotomous nature.
See, the vampire kills you, but gently. That's a contradiction. Many times the male (historically the vamps are overwhelmingly male) seems downright gentlemanly. Ma'am, he says, I would like to please suck your blood.
He then takes the woman in his arms, kisses her a few minutes, and then sticks his fangs in her carotid and gets his rut.
But it goes deeper than that, which is where I think most people stop.
See, the vamp also has fangs. They're sharp and gruesome. Werewolves and all sorts of monsters have fangs, and even for the vamp the fangs are intimidating, scary, and always at the fright-scene the vamp reveals the fangs before the scream.
But unlike most monsters -- say, a werewolf with its hairy maw, or the freak-monsters with its gruesome visage -- the vampire's fangs are housed in a succulent mouth, perky lips, inside a beautiful face.
Do you see the dichotomy there? Terror inside beauty.
It's the same with their claws, which the vamp usually grows as demanded by need. Sharp claws, but soft hands and gentle fingers.
They remain young and beautiful in many renditions, and in other manifestations are allowed to morph between beauty and beast.
Often the bad-guy vamp, if there is one, is old, wrinkled, and sexually undesirable. Why do we do this, authors I mean, why do we make him (usually a him-vamp king) so old and wrinkled and gnarly?
It's to remove the beauty of him, to make him undesirable, to squash that dichotomous nature and make him all monster and no beauty.
Now where am I going with all this? I've been thinking of vamp-whys for a while, now, because I want to create a monster like a vampire, but who is not a vampire. I want the desirability and sexual attraction invoked by the vampire myth, but for my own unique monster, my own creation. Nobody wants to mount and ride Frankenstein's jock.
But what if Frank had been built from perfect body parts and groomed to be a gentleman?
See how that works? Even Hannibal Lector in his grotesque insanity maintained a strong sex appeal, with his understanding of Claire and his succulent and classical high-class behavior.
Me, I'm making women-monsters. I look back at my work and see sexually desirable women doing much of my killing. Weird how that works, a man's mind bent on finding the perfect villain, that perfect spider who satisfies and eats me afterward.