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02:24

May 11, 2017

Blood Deluge (Shades of the Sea and Flame #2)

“Don’t scream,” whispered a voice as my eyes snapped open and focused on the scarred desk.

The yellowing fluorescence had made the claustrophobic space feverish in spite of the Autumn chill beyond the windows. The hum of noise had been a hive of unmotivated workers – lecturers, paper-pushers, cleaners, security – what felt like only minutes ago. Now it was dark, the hall was quiet. The door-

My gaze swerved to it. The door was still closed but if the little rectangle window above it was to be believed, the hall outside was dark, lightless, obstinately at odds with how I knew it should be. Had to be. It was only-

I blinked into the glaring white nuisance of the computer screen, blissfully still blinding. It was 02:24. AM. A gust of breath escaped me. That was what happened when you hid in your office like the newly hired office hermit. I slid off the chair, falling into a casually upright pile of bones and aching muscles and shoved my laptop, my keys, into my bag. I looked over the desk. Nothing. Impersonal telephone, impersonal pen, even more impersonal notes. Shrugging the bag over my shoulder I lifted my hand to the door.

“Don’t,” whispered a voice.

My fingers stiffened on the handle. I’d already pulled it down. It strained to be let loose, the door not quite aligned. It would need to be pushed back and the handle slowly released to lock me back in.

Footsteps in the hall. The scuffing of shoes over the carpet.

“Scream,” whispered a voice inside the office with me.

But did I?

Nope. Nope. That would be cool though. In fact, that? That would be bitching. Like my nightmares. They’re never what I want anymore. Give me monsters, ghouls, fanged gentlemen, and evil seductresses. But what do I get? I get 02:24 pm nightmares. Home invasions, financial strain, those horrifying dreams about misplacing your baby and finding him weeks later having somehow survived on scraps as a mongrel.

Yes, yes that is my sleeping brain.

That isn’t what I want, but that is what I get. My exhausted mind is building its own horror to deal with a pack of waking issues that shouldn’t be more than blips on my radar. But these things, they steal from me. They’re stealing my life, my happiness, my joy in my ten-month old daughter, my aspirations.

Today I, for the ninth time this year alone, made someone else’s dreams come true. I wrote an article that was reviewed by not one person, not two, not just by my manager and an editor. Oh no, it was revised by six people. I was emailed multiple times by the interviewee and instructed as to how the content should appear. I devised a title which was reviewed and changed twice at the end, without my input. The only thing about that article that is still me is the name at the bottom. And at the end of it I was emailed by the interviewee in question who giddily told me that the article had gone viral and she was so grateful to me. For what, I thought. For putting my name on something that is no longer mine but is a Frankenstein representation of what I can actually achieve if I am left to do what I imagine I do best?

And I am humiliated.

We all have to do things we don’t want to, to survive. For our families to survive. But I am a writer, goddamn it. A dedicated writer crawling out of a dedicated mother. I write for me, and I write for her. I write because I want to give my baby girl everything, even if “everything” is the darkest forms that my expressions of love can manifest in words and twisted images. Because there is beauty in darkness. There’s satisfaction in an overwhelming victory against the nightmare. There’s security in the arms of the anti-hero. In dreams the dark can be mesmerising.

The only real deterrent is my own mind. The same mind that looks at my three open projects and becomes so childishly overwhelmed that it then says “Hey, how about, right? Instead of writing, why don’t we just… Watch Top 10 lists on Youtube?” That’s where my head is at right now. But if I were ruled by my own panicking whiner of a socially inept brain, I’d never get into the gym swimming pool again because of the Tulpa Pool Shark (story for another time).

The only person holding me back is me. I know that. Maybe I’ve always known that. But now it seems to be about the right time to fight that instinct, kick it in the teeth, bury its bones in my garden and hang its head over my big tv screen. As my husband says (and I’ll bet he’s way proud of me now for saying it so publicly): everything up to now is just another fucking opportunity for growth.

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‘To All The Vamps I’ve Loved Before’

February 14, 2017

It’s February 14th and I figured I would go with the mushy stuff as a tribute to the mushiest day of the year, as well as my all-time most beloved vampire series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice. Now, this may be spurred by my need to clear the air on some things, my need to show my support for not just some of the incomparable Ms Rice’s work, but all of it, and also by my incessant need to write down random meandering thoughts, but what the hell.

I’d like to preface this piece by noting that I have never been one of (nor will I fully understand) those people that choose to exempt the series from some of its parts. Yes, I was young when I read the Chronicles (the first time) and maybe that affected my particular tolerance/love/adoration for them, but, I have never looked at the cover of one of these books after finishing that last word on that last page, set it down and thought “Well, hell, I won’t be touching that thing ever again. What a waste of my time.” Not once. And this is not a fun story I’m weaving for the sake of being a fangirl, this is blatant fact. The Chronicles up to Blood Canticle formed who I am today and I loved each and every one of them with singular devotion as if they were their own tiny universes with new things for me to fall in love with. Did I love Mona? No, not really. Did I sometimes wish that Lestat had stayed with Louis indefinitely and been a monogamous lover who only wanted his one and only? Sometimes. Was I ever offended that he not only betrayed David, but also took yet another fledgling? All the time. But this is canon. This is real. This is in print, there, on the paper, and it is what it is, and I didn’t love Lestat, or the books that he “wrote” any less for it. So why would I “choose” to dislike Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle? Dear God, why?! Two of the most beautifully written things I have ever laid my eyes on! I cried for days!

Eh, maybe I am just being overprotective of the things I felt, but I think that these stories are shining examples of what Anne Rice is capable of giving to her fandom, and I love her all the more for them. I cherish them above all of my books.

But my love for the Chronicles is not all the mush I wanted to look at today. I give you Vampire Relations Appreciation Day!

Louis and Lestat

I don’t think I could get away with not mentioning this Vamp Power Couple. They’re like A-List vampire celebs and were even played by A-List celebs. Lestat and Louis were a same-sex couple when it was still taboo, and they somehow made it work for a full human lifespan together. To hear Louis tell it, it was hell, but if we read between the lines, maybe he was just at his wits end with his rambunctious and oftentimes manic maker. There are too many good reasons to love these two. They are the light and dark, they represent the good and the bad in people and the ups and downs of every relationship. They represent the one-sidedness of love. That each always feels that he feels more deeply than the other. They so often lack communication. But centuries later, look, they’re still together. And it’s beautiful. I dare anyone to tell me differently.

Marius and Armand

I feel like the “Marius and…” list is going to get extensive very quickly. But this one is one of my favourites. It was palpable enough in The Vampire Lestat, but the reunion of these two in Queen of the Damned was completely heart wrenching. They are the oddest and most compelling of couples: Marius, a stoic scholar and painter, and Amadeo, an obstreperous man-child with a knack for demands of love and outwardly selfish behaviour to get what he wants. A typical teenaged kid, basically. Their relationship has the hallmarks of bordering on uncomfortable and well beyond taboo, but has the sweetest core to it.

Louis and Claudia

Wow, this love story. Is it creepy to call it that? No, I don’t think so. It’s been validated that the act of caring for a child/infant alters the chemicals in the human mind to represent the feelings of falling in love. And Louis was nothing if not absolutely besotted with Claudia. Their relationship bloomed from a father and a daughter to eternal lovers, and isn’t that the way with all vampire relations? So many readers view Claudia as a monster. Her actions were monstrous, I’ve no doubt of that, but she wasn’t a monster so much as a tragedy, and Louis’ inherit tragedy was that he was the reason for her failings as a human, a vampire, and a child and companion. It’s a classic romance. Romances almost never have happy endings for everyone.

Marius and Pandora (<—Oh look)

Honourable mention? Maybe. Marius has a habit of falling for the least likely of suspects. Men and women that are nothing like him in the least, and in the end he leaves, they leave, everyone leaves, but while it lasts it’s always perfect. Pandora was Marius’ counterweight, and who can not love a story that spans millennia of a man looking for the lost second half of his heart?

Louis and Merrick

For the haters: I loved this love story. I was so sad when it didn’t carry through, when it seemed as if Louis had forgotten all about Merrick and her witchy witchliness. Yes, yes, she tricked him. She sabotaged his misery and almost drove him to suicide, but you know what she did do for him? She LIBERATED him! That’s right. Claudia’s grip on Louis’ heart was killing him. Merrick, set him free. In a manner of speaking.

Honourable Mentions

~ Because this article is reaching the realms of too-long-didn’t-read ~

Marius and Bianca (sigh)

Armand and Daniel

Lestat and David

Lestat and Nicki

Lestat and Akasha (Maybe Lestat needs a *sigh* too)

I KNOW I’ve missed out more than a few. I know that the list of Vampire Love is so long that I’d be writing on it until my fingers bled if I continued. But I don’t want to bore you to tears. If you have a Vampire Love you want me to mention, post it in the comments.

This is a series about Love. Doesn’t the above list of romances prove that? I don’t like the mushiness of Valentine’s Day, but it has given me a reason to write on my most favourites of love stories, so, thank you Valentine’s Day, or, Vampire Relations Appreciation Day.

And also, since it’s Valentine’s Day, do pick yourself up a copy of Blood Pearl, all vampire romancey and deliciously dark. It’s free. Sssh, don’t think about it, just do it <3

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Vampire Bibliographica

July 30, 2012

‘sanguinis conjunctio benevolentia de-vincit homines et caritate’

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Vampire Bibliographica is the pet project and author page of author and general wordsmith, Carmen Dominique Taxer. All articles posted here are written by Carmen, unless specified otherwise.

When I was a little girl, I dreamt of vampires.

Never before has that line felt more appropriate. But what does it mean? When I was younger it meant that something was inherently wrong, a knotted psyche, a confused mind driven to sadism for amusement – a broken child that must be saved before it is too late.

“Too late for what?” You may ask. And to that I have no answers. It is a question which plagued me for over a decade. Why could I not love vampires in the liberation of my own preferences? Why must people glance sideways at me with concern, fear, and disgust? Had I opted for this? Was it a conscious decision on my part? I hardly think so. I don’t recall ever sitting by my book shelf, pondering what to read and actively deciding that I would prefer novels about blood drinkers over all others.

No. In fact, I recall quite clearly how I tried to stifle it. How it would sneak up on me and enthral me when I least expected it to, and my sub-conscious mind would recreate the vampire genre in my mind as I sat trying to ignore it. I would dream about vampires and wake up miserable that I could not shake the notion from me.

In short, I tried to squash the urge, I tried to shy from my nature, but it hounded me.

Now I choose to revel in it. And why not? In this society we embrace the vampire. We love him, adore him, make movies about him, write about him, and veritably wish him into our lives. Perhaps we even take it too far. But really, why fear something that has no basis in reality? Why be afraid of the urging within us that entices us to want that darkness?

It is a secure lust, a longing that will only lead to a surge of creativity, nothing more diabolical than that. Not the cataclysmic turn of events our parents expected when we were young.

When I was a little girl, I dreamt of vampires.

And I have done so every night since.

As vampire novelists, authors Richard T. Wheeler and Carmen Dominique Taxer have devoted a vast portion of their existences to the exploration of the vampire genre. This includes the implications that such a genre may have on real world ideals as well as human understanding and psychological stability. Their first book in a three-part trilogy, Bought in Blood, is currently published with Amazon.com and is intended to explore the literary vampire through the microscopic lens of what they refer to as ‘The Sangunem Emere Universe.’

Having revamped the series, “Nightfall on New Babylon,” the first in the new Sanguinem Emere series, is available through amazon.com

The intention behind Vampire Bibliographica is to give vampire enthusiasts a demesne in which to explore vampires, their origins, their future, and the genre they inhabit.