Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lisa Jackson GuestBlog: Freaky Friday...

From Michelle: Lisa Jackson has lots to say, usually as funny, motivational and moving as just about anything you've heard. Today, she's got something that makes you go hmmmm....ew! Cause you just know these people are out there. Um, I mean, well, if you're one of em, then, how nice for you, and didn't your orthodontist do a lovely job on those bicuspid elongations! Please welcome our very special guest with your warmest, "I vant to dlink your...Wednesday morning double mocha latte" Bella buongiorno...

From Lisa: Well, maybe it was earlier in the week, so the Friday part isn’t as true as the freaky part. This past week I read about a guy who calls himself Vlad The Impaler and was facing charges for allegedly threatening a teenager he met on the Internet. According to the reports I read, she initially contacted him. I couldn’t believe it. This same week the paperback edition of "Lost Souls" is on the stands. It’s a book I wrote in 2007 and the bad guy calls himself, you guessed it Vlad The Impaler. Not only that but he finds his victims on the Internet or at the small college where the heroine of my story goes to school.

This is really a case of life imitating art and I find it intriguing because the accused, Jon Sharkey seems to believe he’s the real deal–one of the undead. Just like in the book.

While researching "Lost Souls," I spent a lot of time on the Internet looking up anything I could find about vampires and cults. Of course I knew of the fascination with all things paranormal and that vampires were “hot.” There were tons of books, movies and television shows on the subject. Sometimes the vampires were the bad guys, sometimes the good, sometimes both, but obviously people can’t get enough of them.

Right, Bellas? I’m sure some of you are big vampire fans. Hey, don’t we all love a good vampire story?

Anyway, I figured a lot of the deeper interest (other than just for entertainment) was from young people, who were experimenting and just loving anything dark and sexy and bloody and creepy. But the more I dug into it, the more I found that there were all sorts of places where people were hooking up, claiming to be vampires and really buying into the fantasy; a real way of life. I googled my own small town. Sure enough, I could, if I wanted, meet some of the other vamps in the neighborhood. I didn’t. In truth I never really met anyone claiming to be a vampire, so I didn’t get my interview with . . . you know.

I still believed that for the most part most of the people involved in the whole vampire thing were probably just in it for “the show” or “to be cool” or to have a few laughs. Then I read about Jon Sharkey and his arrest on felony harassment and coercion of a minor . There was also mention of a threat of bodily harm in the media accounts of his arrest.

Not so funny. Not so intriguing. In fact, pretty freaky. Whatever day of the week it is.

So, here’s a discussion question to get the conversation started: Do you believe or have you ever met someone who really believes in vampires?

Lisa's lovely photo -- credit: Sigrid Estrada

22 comments:

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and welcome, Lisa! Thanks so much for joining us today! Ack! perhaps the powers of evil are punishing me for making light of the possibility of vamps existing, because my computer cord just broke and I have about 3 nanoseconds of power left before my dern comp dies. I'm off to buy a new cord and will be back after. I have decidedly firm opinions about this -- and a fascination with the vamp counterculture. :)

Thanks again for joining us! Back soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Lisa Jackson fan and I loved LOST SOULS. I am not into vampires or the dark arts in any way, shape or form. I do have a 14 year old daughter who leans in that direction and frankly, it scares the hell out of me. I keep warning her about hanging around with people who dabble in things evil or creepy. If LOST SOULS weren't a little too sensual for a 14 year old to read, I'd insist she read it just to be warned. I did sit her down and tell her about the whole story. She's one of those kids who would drink that bloody martini..just to fit in or be cool. YIKES!!!!!

Caridad Pineiro said...

Like Lisa, I encountered quite of number of sites and people on those sites who truly believe themselves to be vampires while researching the novels in THE CALLING series. It was a little weird to see this and also, find places in the NY area where one could apparently fulfill their vampire fantasies in a number of ways. It provided good info for the various novels, but it was scary. So is the idea that people like this are on the Internet stalking our children!

azteclady said...

Buongiorno, Ms Jackson and bellas!

I have to say that it has never come up in conversation, but by and large people are much weirder than they show, aren't they?

And while I'm sure that there are plenty of individuals who enjoy the game of vampirism and immortality (a bit like those Dungeons and Dragons conventions, or the famous Trekkies) I imagine that a large chunk of them start out to play but fall into it for real.

amy*skf said...

Welcome Lisa! Wow--talk about creepy. Remember when Anne Rice's Interview With a Vampire came out? There was a pseudo vamp around every corner...I guess it never really died.

I've watched specials on different religions, some with vampires--to me it looked fairly harmless (the one they showed) more like a place for people to feel as if they fit in somewhere.

But I've also heard tales of "vampires" who are preditors--in every sense of the word.

I think I've known a vampire or two--sucking the very last shred of self from you, I think most abusive relationships have a "vampire" in them.

Lis said...

Welcome Lisa! I don't really believe vampires truly exist - and find it creepy that someone would try to actually "be" a blood sucker. But there truly are predators out there, and that's more scary than thinking of some creature like "Dracula" actually existing. I love to read books with vampire characters - it's easy to show such a range of emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc in a character who is so "different" in a basic fundamental way, yet he/she can be heroic at the same time. Who doesn't love a dark, seemingly dangerous yet ultimately heroic character in the books we read?

Maureen said...

Hi Lisa,
I've never met anyone who truly believes in vampires (not that I know of anyway). Watching a good vampire story is fine but when it becomes an obsession then I think there's a problem.

scottsgal said...

Hi Lisa,

I've read a few of your books and enjoyed them! I don't really believe in vampires nor do I know anyone who does. I will say this whole genre has exploded though and is so popular right now.

LizeeS said...

Hi Lisa (and Bellas),
I had the pleasure of seeing you speak in Dallas and was so impressed. Michelle is right about your motivational abilities.

I not only don't know anyone who thinks he or she is a vampire, but I shame-facedly admit to being pretty much a non-reader of Vamp stories. I've read two, one very humorous and the other serious and I did enjoy them both. But I seem to be missing the chromosome that helps one find the teeth growing and neck biting sexy. I absolutely realize I'm kind of a mutant in the romance reading world because an awful lot of my friends love this sub-genre!

So, I'm wiling to keep trying them! You'll have to share your best stories for a newbie to start with.

I agree with Maureen that obsession with the lifestyle is a problem. And, I'm concerned that the allure of the lifestyle is so attractive to a lot of teens. (I do need to read Twilight and maybe it will assuage my doubts?)

Maybe we need a teen-friendly version of Lost Souls -- to balance things for our teens?

Anyhow, interesting topic. Thanks Lisa.

lisa jackson said...

I'm glad that none of you have popped up from your coffins, turned away from the mirrors and said, "Well, hell, Lisa I AM a vampire and if you don't believe, then you're just missing out on the fun!" I don't believe, either, obviously, and I like the whole vampy campy thing, but when it becomes series . . . YIKES!!! I wrote the book for fun as a place to view the phenonmenon of people sooo into the culture. And I have to admit that years ago, when I read that Anjelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thorton wore vials of blood (was that true?) it inspsired some of the actions in the book.

orannia said...

Morning Michelle & Bellas and welcome Lisa!

Nope, I haven't met anyone claiming to be a vampire. Closest I've ever been is that CSI episode...and in books of course :)

LizeeS - you and I must be the only people left who haven't read Twilight :) Or at least it feels that way. I'm waiting for it from my library..I think I'm about 40th in the hold queue...out of over 1400 holds! Scary huh!

All the best with the release of Lost Souls Lisa!

Jane said...

Hi Lisa,
I enjoyed "Lost Souls." I liked how Kristi matured. I'm not totally convinced that vampires don't exist. I believe it's possible that they're among us humans. I don't personally know anyone who firmly believes in the existence of vampires.

LizeeS said...

Orannia -- I'm glad I'm in good company with the Twilight reading. I'm not even on the library list yet.

Portia Da Costa said...

No, I can't say I *really* believe in vampires, and I don't know anyone who does... but I have heard of people who try to emulate vampires, and actually drink blood... shudder....

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

buona sera, Bellas and Lisa! I'm back and have a nice, new cord! so my laptop's juicin up as we tap.

now, my husband, Male Perspective Guy, laughs at me when I tell him that I rarely say things don't exist just because I haven't seen em, i.e. ghosts. But the vamp thing for me seems so physiologically impossible -- not to mention easily traceable back to the ol Vlad the Impaler legend/true story -- that the 'real life' craze to me runs from harmless (dressing up all pale w/black hair to get chicks in clubs) to an excuse for folks who're preditors to begin with to find young victims online, etc.

That said I never thought I'd like the vamp novels either, till I read the Emma Holly whose vamp has the elongate not only his fangs. It was the first time I realized the erotic potential of the vampire ravishment, the zipperless f***, as Michele Hauf has called it here, and the relaxing into and willingly giving blood as metaphor for orgasm.

and here I'd thought vamps just slept in dirt and sucked stuff til it died. Wasn't, as you know, the first time I was woefully misguided...

Estella said...

I am a Lisa Jackson fan and have Lost Souls in my TBR pile.
I can't say I believe in vampires, but I really enjoy reading about them.

David B. said...

MPG here...

Michelle, I never laugh at your theories on reality. I consider and respect your ideas, thoughts and opinions. Always. All the time. You know that, right?

As for vampires, of course they're real. HBO did a whole series on how they live in Louisiana. They even serve blood in restaurants down there. Come now, don't any of you watch TV?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, I forgot, MPG. If it's on TV, it's got to be real. I need to remember that maxim right along with, "I read it on the Internet, so it must be true..."

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I hear ya, Anny! It's so scary. But it sounds like your tapped into your daughter. I think they listen more than we know. I think I'm gonna replace 'drink the koolaide' with 'drink the blood cocktail' in my cool sayings, btw. thanks!

You know, azteclady, I like yor DD reference. :) that's kinda the way I was thinking, too. I wonder what makes people take the step tothe next level...

Ames, sucking the marrow from our very existences. how many times have we lamented that.

well said, lis. the vamps have opened up so much fantasy for so many of us. And the same for writers, i think.

You said it, maureen, not that we know. :)

good point, scottsgal. who'da thunk it, no?

lizeeee! sign me up on the 'not read twighlight and probably won't, ok, won't'list.

amy*skf said...

Honestly, I won't deny the existance of anything--life is much more interresting that way, so maybe there really are sexy vamps out there (and not just the wanna-be kind)maybe there are fairies and dragons and elves and well, I know there are witches...so why not the rest.

Lisa jackson said...

You all have given me food for thought . . . and I think there are lots of things in the world that we don't recognize or "see". There are too many deep-seeded and primal feelings that warn us of danger when we don't see it, cause us to turn our heads because we sense something, feel deja vu for no understandable reason . . .but I still am not into the vamp myth. HOWEVER I applaud the people who write about vampires with such passion, who make the stories so believable, who cause me to catch my breath as I suspend my own disbelief. And the vampire legend/tale has been around a long time without any hint of letting up. So lift up your glasses and enjoy a blood red martini, all in the name of vampires!

ev said...

Nope, I haven't read Twighlight either and have no intention of doing so. Two pages in and I would have hurled it at the wall if I hadn't been at work.

I enjoy vamp stories, sometimes. I am not a big Ann Rice fan, but prefer things along the lines of Marta Acosta- fun, lighthearted. Although I also read other ones. Just depends on my mood I guess.

We tease my daughter about being a vampire- she is a night person and can't tan to save her life.

Whether or not they really exist? Maybe not actual blood suckers, but as someone else said, there are emotional vampires out there. They can suck everything out of someone and leave nothing but a shell if they can.