UPDATE! We have a winner: Natalie Hartford! Congratulations!

I’d like to welcome Denise Verrico to my blog today! I hope you’ll find this as interesting as I do! Take it away, Denise….

When I set out to write Cara Mia my first Immortyl Revolution novel, I read a lot of books on vampire legends. I’ve always been attracted to the figure of the vampire.  The all-powerful vampire appealed to me as a kind of dark superhero. Almost every culture has some sort of vampire myth. Like most people, I was familiar with the Eastern European vampire myths. Pauline Baird Jones, writer, author, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, blogger, humorIn these stories, the vampire is typically thought of as an “undead” demon or re-animated corpse that feeds on the lifeblood or sometimes the soul or sexual energy of human victims.

As I dug further into the lore, I found that a lot of evidence points to these vampire legends first appearing in India. This gave me the basis of the Immortyl culture of my vampire series. Indian mythology provides many examples of vampire-like spirits and deities, but one deity often associated with vampirism is Kali, a fierce form of the mother goddess (Shakti) and consort of Shiva. Kali is an intimidating figure, usually depicted as emaciated with withered dark blue or black skin and three eyes. She even wears the body parts of her victims as jewelry and has a blood-red tongue that sticks out in defiance. Her favorite places are battlefields where she and her attendants, the dakini, become intoxicated on the blood of victims.

Because of this fearsome image and some pop-culture references to her, Kali is an often-misunderstood figure in the West. However, Kali is the goddess of time, not death, and only slays evil demons. Symbolically, she annihilates the selfish impulses and ego that bind us to our material bodies. Her aspect may be ferocious, but she is called Kali Maa (Mother Kali) and is revered in many parts of India. Historically, only one group associated with Kali was known for violence, the Thugees. These devotees would waylay travelers and use them as blood sacrifices to the goddess. The Thugees were the inspiration behind the Kali worshipers in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, hence a lot of the western misconception.Pauline Baird Jones, writer, author, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, blogger, humor

Tantric cults often focus on Kali. Tantra is an older religious tradition than Hinduism, dating back before the Aryan tribes migrated into India. These groups center on Shakti (female principle) worship and sometimes use sex and even blood in their rituals. The idea behind this is to gain control over the body to capture divine energy and gain blessings. The more I read, the more I became fascinated with the stories surrounding Kali and tantric practices. This led me to imagine the origin of the Immortyl culture in my books.

About Denise:

Ms. Verrico is an Urban Fantasy author and New Jersey native who grew up in Western Pennsylvania. She attended Point Park College and majored in Theatre Arts. For seven seasons, she was a member of the Oberon Theatre Ms. Verrico is an Urban Fantasy author and New Jersey native who grew up in Western Pennsylvania. She attended Point Park College and majored in Theatre Arts. For seven seasons, she was a member of the Oberon Theatre Ensemble in NYC. Denise has loved vampire stories since childhood and is a fan of the Dark Shadows television series. Her books are published by L&L Dreamspell Publishing and include: Cara Mia (Book One of the Immortyl Revolution Series), Twilight of the Gods (Book Two of the Immortyl Revolution Series), and My Fearful Symmetry (Book Three of the Immortyl Revolution Series). She currently lives in Ohio with her husband, son, and her flock of seven spoiled parrots.   Ensemble in NYC. Denise has loved vampire stories since childhood and is a fan of the Dark Shadows television series. Her books are published by L&L Dreamspell Publishing and include: Cara Mia (Book One of the Immortyl Revolution Series), Twilight of the Gods (Book Two of the Immortyl Revolution Series), and My Fearful Symmetry (Book Three of the Immortyl Revolution Series). She currently lives in Ohio with her husband, son, and her flock of seven spoiled parrots.

Twitter: @deniseverrico

So, had you heard of these vampire myths? Did you learn anything new? Relieved there are no sparkles? Have a vampire myth to share? I love comments and to show my appreciation, I have a monthly drawing for a $10 gift card of awesome from AnaBanana Bath & Body Treats. Comment to be entered (and it doesn’t hurt to leave a contact email, though I also announce the winner on the first Monday of the new month).

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, vampires, zombies

Denise is also offering an ebook of Annals of the Immortyls to one lucky commentator. Ask her a question or answer one of the questions above and be sure to leave an email or website address where she can contact you, if you want to be entered in her drawing. Her drawing will remain open until August 14, 2012. Many thanks to Denise for visiting and for such an interesting blog post! I had no idea!

Perilously,

Pauline

Denise Verrico Guest Blogs: A Different Take on Vampire Mythology

24 thoughts on “Denise Verrico Guest Blogs: A Different Take on Vampire Mythology

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  • August 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm
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    Good post, Denise. Interesting info. Definitely a hook for people to see what your vampire culture is like.

  • August 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm
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    Denise, thanks for a blog that instantly attracted me and kept my attention. Yes, I definitely learned something new.

    • August 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm
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      It was a fun post, wasn’t it, Betty! Thanks for stopping by!

  • August 9, 2012 at 6:43 am
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    I was intrigued by this article. I have an abiding interest in India and its myths and use Indian culture in my writing quite a bit. Good to see I’m not the only one. Yes, Kali is part of the cycle of life and death.

  • August 9, 2012 at 5:15 am
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    Hi Denise. Your blogs are always so fascinating. I had no idea how some of these concepts came about. Thanks for sharing and keep on writing those terrific books!

    • August 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm
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      Thanks for stopping by the blog, Cindy! And see your comment DID post. 🙂

  • August 9, 2012 at 12:34 am
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    Glad to be here today! Thanks, Pauline.

  • August 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm
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    Not into vampires at all; but fully appreciate the creativity and the great blog. http://www.dkchristi.com author of Ghost Orchid

  • August 9, 2012 at 1:13 am
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    The wealth of vampire-like stories, or stories that can inspire Vampire stories, in other cultures fascinates me, so enjoyed this post, tremendously. There’s (at least) one in Japan, about a woman who turns into a white fox. And no, she doesn’t glitter!

  • August 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm
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    Yes, I am so relieved there are no sparkles. 🙂 I love the idea that Kali “annihilates the selfish impulses and ego that bind us to our material bodies”–I didn’t know that about her. Thank you!

    • August 9, 2012 at 12:13 am
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      Thanks, Diana. I do like my vampires menacing

    • August 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm
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      Thank you for stopping by, Diana! Have fun on your trip!

  • August 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm
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    Great post Pauline and Denise.
    Denise, I love all the research you put into mythology and where it all came from and have used that as inspiration for parts of your own novel. I find that fascinating.
    I am super interesting in the writing process. How did you come from inspiration to full idea to finished novel? Are you a plotter or a pantzer or something in between?
    Best of luck for your success!!!

    • August 9, 2012 at 12:19 am
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      Natalie, I have a basic idea of where I want my stories to, but I find the characters often drive things in a different direction. Thanks for commenting!

  • August 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm
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    Hi, Pauline and Denise,

    Readers are fascinated by vampires. But Denise’s take on the subject is both original and thoughtful.

    • August 9, 2012 at 12:25 am
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      Thanks, Jaqueline! I’m interested in mining new mythologies for inspiration..

    • August 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm
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      Many thanks for stopping by to comment, Jacqueline!

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