ASMSG Scifi Fantasy Paranormal Emagazine March 2014 - Page 22

specific way and keeps it consistent within his world. You know how things work in that world, which makes it feel real. I love that! When it’s not good is when it seems like an author is being lazy and describing things as magic because they don’t have the imagination to figure out a way to make things work any other way. Then magic becomes just a deus ex machina that the writer is pulling out of their ass to solve plot problems for themselves without doing the work. My novel also features some sort of magic, you could say, in the Jiang-shi which are the Chinese folklore vampires. They have powers and abilities that normal science can’t explain, but some of it can still make sense if you look at quantum physics. Or, you can believe that they actually have magic and that’s that. That’s my nod to the classic mystical vampire that can’t be explained away. For the purposes of my novel, I combined the Jiang-shi idea with that of the “hungry ghost” that is a staple of Chinese myth. I explained the creation of the Jiang-shi as a Hungry Ghost taking up residence in the dead body and strengthening the po, thus re-animating the corpse. However, I wanted the Jiang-shi to have some distinctive features, so I made them unaffected by sunlight because my regular Vampyrs are. I also made them more psychic/ emotional vampires than blood drinkers, though they can feed on blood that is strong with their emotion of choice. I gave them the traditional weakness to religious items But, after all that, there was still something crucial missing: why should a reader give a damn about any of this? The story in its final form began to take shape when I realized that I needed a viewpoint character to get the reader into this world. Originally, it was going to be done third person and I was going to follow all the vampires back and forth as they schemed and plotted, but it was all too much. There was nobody for the audience to really root for. IIISource: DeviantArt BabsxStock wielded with faith because of the positive energy of the faith which clashes with the negative energies that sustain them. Naturally, given their origins, I wanted to make use of Taoist philosophy in their workings. I forget where I read this, but there was some Chinese demon or creature that tried to avoid sleep because their po was given a taste of their eternal punishment as they slept. I thought this was really novel and different, so I incorporated it into my Jiang-shi as well. For variety, I also gave them the Kuangshi (which is really just the original pronunciation of Jiang-shi), which are the green and white furred monsters of legend, as servants. Originally, there was this guy named Avery who had just been brought in by Caroline and was kind of her side-kick. However, he never worked. Nobody I showed the script to thought the character belonged. I was going to get rid of him when it occurred to me that maybe the reason he didn’t work was because we weren’t seeing things from his viewpoint. Once I decided to write the entire book as Avery’s story, everything else sort of fell into place and the book became richer and more poignant. Here’s a guy who is coming into the situation with the same expectations that the vampire reader has, along with the same context, and so the reader hopefully is right there emotionally with Avery when confronted by these vampires that don’t act the way we’ve all been taught that vampires should act. My name is Brian Patrick McKinley and my first novel is called Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony. I hope you’ll check it out! Brian Patrick McKinley on Goodreads Brian Patrick McKinley on Amazon Brian Patrick McKinley’s Website 22 | P a g e 4Original Image: DeviantArt ladyxboleyn-d