The making of Teak
I love vampires and I guess I’m not alone. The problem for the writer today is how you make someone original out of an archetypal character like a vampire. Of course the original bad boy, blood drinker, was the Count himself. Dracula. And we have Bram to thank for that. Without Bram Stocker, we wouldn’t be writing about vampires today.
In his origin, Dracula was the ultimate demon, something that kept us up at night, but he wasn’t really about death. He was more about life, eternal life…and seduction, seduction so profound, we’d give our souls in exchange for eternity. He was also about love, a love that stayed in his memory, one he was unable to forget. It was that love that drove him, and that love which ultimately made him vulnerable.
I wanted to create a vampire who embraced what he was. Who doesn’t love a bad boy? Give that bad boy eternal life, and something special deep inside, and you’re stricken.
Banish him to nowhere, in Teaks’ case, the frozen Canadian north and you have a story.
The vampire theme in literature is as eternal as the creature itself. It speaks to us and as the spookiest of nights comes closer, the vampire will always be the star of the night. Blood is life. And the vampire clings to life as we all do. The mistakes he makes don’t matter. He can do better next time. He can love again and again, and in spite of the loss and mistakes, he has all the time in the world to heal and start over again. Just like the writer. We can always take the theme of love and replay it again in a different way.
There is something precious about that. And something damn exciting about a guy who parties hard and loves hard, even if he is stuck in the frozen north. We should all be so lucky.
So I took poor Teak and sent him to the frozen north where he was supposed to behave himself or end up in a coffin. As you can guess, he wasn’t keen on the idea. So that was fine but I wanted to throw more problems Teak’s way, after all he did seduce a priest and succeeded in doing the nasty with him on a church altar. You can’t get more irreverent than that!
So, Teak meets Marcus, a handsome mortal man, who he figures he can use his vampire charms on. Problem is, Marcus is immune. Teak can’t glamour him, and he can’t put him in any kind of trance that will lead Marcus to his bed like a zombie. So, guess what? If he wants to bed the fine young pharmacists, he’ll have to seduce him the old fashioned way.
And lucky Teak. For the first time in his immortal life, Teak will find true love, not love he compels, but love freely given. No human or vampire alike can resist that.
So I will leave you with an excerpt from Succulent Dark. Enjoy. And if you do go out this Halloween, and meet a hedonistic vampire, don’t look him in the eye, unless you’re prepared for seduction. Might be worth it
Teak has been attracting way too much attention lately. Will he learn his lesson when he is banished to Canada’s far north?
Teak has always taken what he wants, when he wants, with no regard for the council of vampires overseeing his every move. When he crosses the line, he is sent to the far north as punishment and severely warned not to drink from any human there. He’s also told to blend in by taking up his old profession. It all seems doable…until Teak meets the attractive pharmacist, Marcus Kent. When Teak tries to steal a bite as well as a kiss by glamouring the object of his desire, he discovers that where Marcus is concerned, his powers are moot.
Buy Link for Succulent Dark:
Twenty-four hours later, crisp Yukon air filled Teak’s lungs as he walked down the streets of Whitehorse, the largest city in the Northwest Territories. Mathew was at his side. The smell of spruce sap and tundra earth almost overwhelmed him as he was greeted by the distant howls of excited husky sled dogs.
“It’s known as the Wilderness City, with a population of about twenty-five thousand people, nestled on the banks of the famous Yukon River,” Mathew announced. He was carrying a medium-sized suitcase.
“What are you, a tourist brochure?”
“No, just thought you’d like to know. Look at those mountains, and there are many lakes.”
“It’s not exactly London. I’m happy about the lakes, though.”
“Mm-hmm, bloody easy to drown oneself in.”
“Yes, but only after they begin to unfreeze.”
“Don’t worry, you wanker. I’ll cut a hole in it first.”
Mathew laughed. In fact, he’d done little else but laugh since their arrival at the ends of the earth.
Punishment. And it sure was that, all right. Dellen had certainly outdone himself this time. “Where are the clubs?” Teak glanced around in despair.
“There are taverns,” Mathew told him.
“Those places are for old men and gun slingers. Where are the hot guys, naked, dancing around poles, lying at my feet, begging to feed and amuse me?”
Mathew chuckled. “It’s beautiful here, though.”
“So are you,” Mathew pointed out, giving him a look.
“I’m not that dead. No one is that dead, chum.”
“Look on the bright side…” Mathew suggested.
“What bright side?” Teak tried to find something positive about being sent out to this godforsaken place.
“The cold, for one. And the fact that winter makes the days really short. That’s a plus. There’s not a lot of sunlight.”
“I can stand a little sunlight.” Although he didn’t like it that much—made his eyes sting if he was out too long.
“And you have your memories, lots and lots of memories…like the Bishop. So what was he like?”
“Tight, very tight and…very vocal. I fucked him for hours.”
“Well, that’s good because it will have to sustain you for two years.” Mathew smiled.
Teak scowled at him.
Mathew laughed as they walked through the main street, clearly enjoying himself.
“Will you just leave me to wallow in my misery already?” Teak snapped.
Mathew stopped, pointed to the brightly-colored building in front of him. “You will live up there. Your office is right beside the drug store.”
“The building is like florescent pink. It’s pretty hard to miss. They sell anything at that chemist to kill off vamps?”
“No,” Mathew shook his head. “And they call it a drug store, not a chemist.”
“You know, I suppose they use light colors here to cheery the place up during the dark days.”
“Right,” Teak muttered. “I’m sure it will be very merry indeed.”
“Here.” Mathew handed over the suitcase he’d been lugging.
Teak held it up in the air. “What’s this?”
“Some things you’ll need. And you can’t meet the landlord without luggage.”
“Where am I supposed to…? What’s my story?”
“Make it up as you go along.”
“But damn it, Mathew, I haven’t practiced since the Great Depression. I wouldn’t know where to start. Why can’t I just hibernate here for a while then go back to England?”
“You are to integrate and behave yourself. You’ve got nothing else to do so read up on the latest medical inventions. Scan the internet. You’ll get caught up in a few hours. And as good as you look in leather, Teak”—he ran his gaze over him—”I’d start dressing like the locals or they’re going to figure something’s up.”
Teak glanced at the people walking by dressed in big bulky parkas and knee high boots, mittens, plaid hats with—oh my God—pom poms…. “Can I change my mind and go into the ground for a hundred years?”
“No.” Mathew laughed. “I have to leave now, but I’ll be back.”
“You’re my babysitter. Matt…” Teak clutched his arm. “Don’t leave me.”
“You just told me to go away.”
“I mean…okay…fine. Go.”
“See the landlord, Markus Kent,” he said. “He owns the building.”
“Right,” Teak muttered. He turned to say something else, but Mathew was gone. “Fine, be like that.” Clutching the suitcase, Teak trudged over to the building. Kent Drug. Teak pulled open the door. He walked in, put his suitcase down near the counter and glanced around.
A young woman at the cash register was giving change to an older gentleman. The man looked like he had some sort of an animal on his head. Lord, it had a tail. What is that…a dead raccoon?