For 6,000 years, Lilith and her Children have walked the earth, hunting, preying, seducing, corrupting, ruling from the shadows...until now.
An ancient prophecy, spoken by Adam, Lilith's grandfather, foretells her doom. She will do anything, corrupt any innocent, murder countless mortals to save herself.
To survive, she knows she must destroy Carl and Moira Morgan.
The war has begun.
And Carl and Moira know, win or lose, it all ends here.
Vampire Myth - modern VS classic representation in literature
From a sparkling Adonis made of stone who hunts mountain lions in the Pacific Northwest, to Bela Lugosi in a tuxedo stalking young women through the fog in London, from the detached head and neck of a woman, flying through a Japanese village seeking human prey, to an attractive Philippino woman who sprouts bat wings and separates her upper body from her lower body to feed on the blood of pregnant women, from the iron-toothed, tree-dwelling vampires of West Africa, to the Madagascan version that feasts on the blood and nail-clippings of nobles, the vampire myth has many taken many forms over the millennia and across the world. In European and North American cinema, our concept of the vampire myth is derived primarily from the Romanian strigoi as popularized in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Stoker was inspired by John Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, and Polidori was strongly influenced by Lord Byron’s unfinished “Fragment of a Novel”.
I read “Dracula” for the first time at the tender age of nine. I remember reading late into the night, finally closing the book and laying it on my dresser. Johnathan Harker had just encountered the three wives of Dracula in the Count’s ruined Transylvanian castle. The book was a hardcover edition that my father had checked out for me from the University of Kentucky library. (The local public library either didn’t carry the book or wouldn’t check it out to minors.) The cover was solid black with gothic, metallic purple lettering down the spine. The spine read simply, “Dracula”. As I lay in bed, the moonlight invading my window caught the metallic lettering at just the right angle. The name of the vampire seemed to glow in the darkness. I shivered, quaking with fright. I pulled up the covers, wrapping them around my head like a magical cloak, but I left my eyes uncovered. I couldn’t tear my gaze away from the name “Dracula”. I don’t remember going to sleep that night. Perhaps I did, but if I dreamt of vampiric sirens with pale skin, red lips, and mesmerizing eyes as they materialized out of moonlight and swirling specks of dust, I don’t remember it.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt about vampires.
I have read “Dracula” more times than any other novel except for “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. And I’ve always enjoyed a good vampire story. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many. “’Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King comes close. Perhaps Mr. Stoker spoiled me.
And as for vampire cinema? For me, it’s very hit-and-miss. Bela Lugosi and Jack Palance as the titular count, are the best portrayals in my not-so-humble opinion. Christopher Lee was brilliant (of course), but Hammer Films’ cheapskate production values and pathetic scripts rendered those films as mediocre fare at best. (As a child, I watched them on late-night monster cinema with a blanket thrown over the TV and the volume way down low so my grandmother or parents wouldn’t catch me staying up past my bedtime. Now, they are virtually unwatchable.) Gary Oldman’s performance was, as always, brilliant, but Coppola’s film and script showed very little respect the source material. And as for “Twilight”, I actually enjoyed the books and the movies for what they were—a teenage/YA romance in a “vampire” setting, but that is not what I would classify as a vampire story. In fact, some films take so many liberties with the classical literary vampire tradition, that I wonder why they even bother calling the creatures “vampires”. The movie “Priest” comes to mind. At least Stephanie Meyers kept some aspects of the vampire mythos.
What fascinates me about the vampire myth is its longevity and persistence in the western psyche. While we’ve only been using the term “vampire” since the mid eighteenth century to refer to revenants or ghost or demons that seduce the living and prey upon them for their blood, the legends of vampire-like beings go back thousands of years. Going back to earliest myths about Lilith and her children, we find all the classic elements: night demons who seduce the living and consume their blood. These legends date back to Babylon and Judah (and perhaps earlier). Lilith is mentioned only once in the Bible in Isaiah 34:14. In the King James and some other English versions, “Lilith” is translated as “screech owl” (which makes me scratch my head, since the translators used the word “dragon” in the previous verse and “satyr” in the same verse). This shows that Isaiah knew his audience was familiar with Lilith in some form or other. In the Gilgamesh saga and in the writings of medieval rabbis, we see Lilith connected to Adam and the story of the Creation. The myths of the children of Lilith go back to the beginning of human literature.
In the earliest form of the myth, Lilith was a beautiful woman with feathered wings and (in some versions) birdlike claws on her feet (and perhaps talon-like fingernails). She preyed upon sleeping infants and adult men, seducing, fondling, consuming their blood. In Jewish tradition, a male child was vulnerable until he was eight days old (and was circumcised), and a female child was vulnerable for twelve days. Mothers used to watch their babies while they slept, and if the child smiled or giggled or laughed in its sleep, the mother would tap the child on the lips to wake the babe. It was believed that a smile or laugh meant that Lilith was kissing or fondling the child. In Jewish and Christian tradition, men could never sleep alone (i.e., without someone else in the room), because a solitary male would be vulnerable to Lilith’s nocturnal seduction.
In the classical literary tradition, there is an element of seduction (although in Victorian literature, it was more of a subtext when compared to the overt sexuality in modern stories), yes, but the true terror lies in the idea that the attack can come in our sleep—when we are most vulnerable, and because we have no choice: eternal damnation can come as a result of the vampire’s kiss, regardless of how pure and innocent the victim. Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray Harker in “Dracula” are prime examples of this. The vampire can not only kill our bodies, he or she can destroy our souls, cut us off from the light, both physically and spiritually.
And the idea of involuntary eternal damnation, although terrifying, has never sat well with me. That is one of major themes of my trilogy, “The Children of Lilith”: you always have a choice. Others may take away freedom and choices from you, but you always have choices, even if they aren’t the ones you started out with. “The Children of Lilith” is the story of the world’s first and ONLY unwilling vampire. Please visit my http://www.unwillingchild.com to learn more about “The Children of Lilith”.
Thank you, Mr.C.David Belt
Books in series:
In all the 6,000 years that the Children of Lilith have walked among us, there has never been an UNWILLING vampire... until now.
Carl Morgan has lost everything. His wife and children were killed in a senseless accident. Then he witnessed the murder of his sister at the hands of a beautiful and mysterious woman named Rebecca. When the police cannot locate the killer, Carl takes matters into his own hands. But his search for justice costs him everything he holds dear.
Carl is unknowingly transformed into the world's first and only unwilling vampire. He is cut off from the light, damned to an eternity of darkness, barred from Heaven and any hope of a reunion with his family.
Moira MacDonald, a repentant vampire, has roamed the earth alone for centuries seeking redemption. The very existence of an unwilling vampire, something she thought impossible, changes everything. Has she finally found a path to redemption... and an end to her loneliness?
Carl and Moira discover that Rebecca's Master, Michael, plans to unleash a plague of vampires on the city. Can Carl and Moira stop the slaughter of countless innocents?
In 6,000 years, no vampire has ever defied Lilith, Queen of the vampires...until now.
Moira and Carl Morgan have saved the city from the horror of Michael and his evil wives, but victory has come at terrible cost.
And there are consequences to every choice, every victory.
Word has spread that someone has broken Lilith’s power, that someone has defied the ancient Queen of the vampires.
And she’s not happy about it.
About the author:
C. David Belt was born in Evanston, WY. As a child, he lived and traveled extensively around the Far East. He served as an LDS missionary in South Korea and southern California (Korean-speaking). He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Aerospace Studies. He served as a B-52 pilot in the US Air Force and as an Air Weapons Controller in the Washington Air National Guard. When he is not writing, he sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and works as a software engineer. He collects swords (mostly Scottish), axes, spears, and other medieval weapons and armor. He and his wife have six children and live in Utah with an eclectus parrot named Mork (who likes to jump on the keyboard when David is writing).