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Cute? Yes. Vicious, NO. The Dachshund is inferior in every way to the viral vampire. Cuteness dies in the face of horror; blood, snot, and viscera. The final day of voting is here for Viral Vampires versus (barf) Dachshunds. And if you had ANY doubts who would win in an out-and-out fight, well, dogs make nice jewellery, especially ones with dead eyes:

A Treatise Concerning the Superiority and Presence of Fear Inescapable of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens Vampirus Viralis over that Most Inferior and Oddly shaped sub-Species of Canis Familiaris, the Dachshund.

Part the Second – The Origins of Homo Sapiens Sapiens Vampirus Viralis in the Literature of the Colonies: Legendarum sum, or I Am Legend

It has recently come to my Attention, that the argument for the Dachshund, and its Base and Cute-driven proclivities has Taken a turn for what Ms Kruger has Labelled “Scientifick”. I Cough and Sputter at said Statements, and instead Turn you towards the Writings, most Interesting and Terrifying, of a Mr Richard Matheson of California, formerly New Jersey, by way of Norwegian extraction, the Colonies.


In the mid-1950s, Matheson brought to Us a work of seminal Horror and Brutality, akin to Dracula in terms of its Influence and Role in the world of Vampirick fiction. The Book, and I Tip my Hat to Mr Matheson’s Brilliant and Excellent choice of Words most Simple and effective, is entitled I Am Legend, and is a Classic of the Genre, influencing many a Book, Moving Picture (the Horrible excrescence The Omega Man, notwithstanding – I promise you, Gentle Reader, that there exists in the Book not a single Mention, either implied or forthright, of a Hot Rod). The Premise is Simple, albeit terrifying: the Apocalypse has come to the Near Future, and a Certain Mr Neville does his Best to survive in a World overrun by the Plague to end all Plagues: Vampirism.

While I have referenced the Toxick biologickal origins of Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralis as it refers to Disease, paying particular attention to those of Sexual origin, I Am Legend presents what I believe to be the First example of a World overrun with Vampires (certainly not a base sub-Species of canine familiaris), and of the Social and Apocalyptick themes and Tropes bound up in this Lofty Theme. A fáth airicc, indeed, though I doubt Mr Matheson is at All aware of the previously Mentioned Celtick literary term (apparently, Literary Terms need not all necessarily be of Gallic or Germanic Origin, offering no Offense to my Compatriots across the Ocean in the Halls of Paris or Berlin, excepting, for the Moment, their entirely useless Teams of Foot-the-ball).

The Book was also Made into a Moving Picture itself, with Will Smith as the the main Actor, and in many ways, he was the entirety of the Dramatis Personæ. The Film, and it is not without Merit, for it is terrifying and full of Horror, differs from the Book in a truly Substantial Way. The Vampires in I Am Legend are Cogent and in full Possession of Their Critical faculties, if somewhat Twisted and Debased by the Presence of the Vampirick Disease within their Bloodstreams. Those in the Film are far more Akin to Zombies, another Horrifying creature (and certainly More brutal and blood-Curdling than the squat, sausage-shape Dachshund), though Far more Powerful (please Recall, that the Zombie, by itself, is a Containable Creature – it is far easier to Control, and even Subdue, when in Small Numbers – the threat of the Zombie, is, of course, the Horde). They exist in Vast Numbers.

The Horde, of course, is the True terror of the Viral Vampire. While many Books and Moving Pictures, and many of them are quite Wonderful, if terror-Inducing, have Spent a great Deal focusing on the Vampire as a Solitary Creature of nocturnal Disposition, those of the Viral sort Become all the more Brutal when One Considers their Sheer numbers. There are over Six Billion people on Earth, and the threat of Disease, especially of one which Turns the Populace into a Ravenous, blood-Craving Horde, cannot Help but remove vast Quantities of Humours from the Body, and cause the Hairs to Bleach, and even Eject themselves from the Body, to say Nothing of the Digestive Tract and its Associated Ejection System, but I leave that Entirely to Your imaginations.

Mr Matheson set the Groundwork for the Terror, and to him I tip my hat, yet Again. The Dachshund is, at Best, a sub-Species, and its Numbers come nowhere Close to the possibility of Total Infection. While Canis familiaris is a Pack animal, and I do Acknowledge this, the Dachshund is Hardly threatening the Countryside in Vast numbers of slathering Beasts. The Premise of Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralis induces Fear by the conception of both the Apocalypse and Simple Mathematicks. Every person, every man, woman, and Child, is a Potential victim in the Presence of a Vampirick plague; and the Dachshund falls Flat. Leave it to its Tunnel-boring and Badger-hunting, because That is where the Viral Vampire will find it. And it will find it.

All 6,000,000,000 of them.

A Treatise Concerning the Superiority and Presence of Fear Inescapable of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens Vampirus Viralis over that Most Inferior and Oddly shaped sub-Species of Canis Familiaris, the Dachshund.

Part the First – Preliminaries

Born from Imaginations bred in thoughts Apocalyptick, with no Little reliance upon the World at its End and the ultimate Extinction of our own and noble Homo sapiens sapiens, the presence of Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralis in the Literature and Moving Pictures (a most Noble enterprise in the history of our Telling of Stories, it must be said) is both New and all but Methuselan. We have here Stories of Terror and great Fear stemming from our Own innate Horror at the presence or possible Invasion of Toxick substances, whether of Biologickal or Chemickal origin, within our own Bloodstream, changing and Mutating our own Physickal manifestations.

The stories Stem, at their earliest, with the Fear inherent in the disease of Syphilis, largely brought to Us by the ravings of a Drunken, bearded man of Hibernian origin (though, it must be Said, he did spend a Great deal of his Time within the confines of his Saxon masters) in his Seminal Book of Terror, Dracula. This is, Of course, Bram Stoker. Diseases of the Blood, in this case an entirely Physickal terror, ran rampant and Untended in Stoker’s imagination and provided the Impetus, or as his Hibernian forefathers described in that most Noble yet positively Unreadable and Unpronounceable Celtick language, Gaeilge, the fáth airicc, an Untranslatable Linguistick term that we might Render as cause of composition. Stoker, and Rightly so, saw Syphilis sive morbus gallicus, which damages the heart, Aorta, brain, eyes, and Bones if left untreated, a perfect Impetus, causing, as it did, a great Number of men and women both Illness and Death and the time of his Writing. The Disease was horror enough, and yet Stoker brought it to his Writing through the unnatural Physickal manifestation of a Folklorick monster and a Prince of Wallachian origin, whose Violence and Inhumanity are Well known in books of History and do not bear Repeating here.

The Character of Count Dracula is the first major Metaphorick representation, and I thank here Aristotle for his Brilliant categorizing and Classification of the Metaphor, of human Disease as a Terrible and Ignoble fictional disease, which we now label Vampirism. Yes, arguments could be Made for the writings of another Hibernian, Le Fanu, and we Must wonder here about the Obsession with several Irish writers and this Horrific Subject, but I leave that for the World of Academe and its Ivory Tower of Ignorance, tea, and musty Old robes reeking of the most vicious of Human humours. I will not Focus on the Folklorick origins of Vampirism here; many books and other Media exist solely for this Purpose, I raise the issue only as it was Stoker’s fáth airicc, and that the notion that Vampires are viral and Representative of concepts Medical, regardless of their Supernatural origin, is nothing New to the world of Vampirick fiction. Today we are Faced with similarly Horrible and Brutal diseases, some of Origins sexual, some not, and this is Reflected in vampiric Fiction of late.

That syphilis is a disease of the Sexual humours should not go Unnoticed, and nor has it or the Obvious sexual Metaphor of the vampire Itself. Again, I leave these Musings to Others, and will state Here only that the Metaphor of diseases Sexual is a Primary foci of the fictionalized Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralis, though is by no Means, the only one, especially in Days like our own where Diseases of all Manner and Origin fly through the air, Live in both our Solid and liquid Nourishments, come to us through touch, and these not Limited to touches Sexual, and through all the Humours contained within our Earthly forms. Their Results are likewise Kaleidoscopick and Varied, presenting all Manner of horror within Fiction.

Before I Ruminate on a later book of viral Vampiric fiction, this one from only the Last Century, rather than the late Victorian Period, I would like to spend some Small time on the Subject of the ignoble Dachshund. I speak, of course, Only about its Inferiority as Comparison to the Monstrous subject Above, for the Dachshund does Hold a Purpose, even if this has largely been Abandoned, and to be far more Frank, thrown to the Winds in the face of Modernity and dwelling in Homes of Steel and glass. The Dachshund was Raised for the Killing and rendering into Pulps viscous and Pulsing of Meles meles, and at a Later time, of Taxidea taxiswhen it was First introduced to the New World and the Colonies contained Therein, and Also, it must be noted, of Rattus rattusand Rattus norvegicusthroughout the World. In brief, the Dachshund was Raised for the express purpose of Killing and hunting both badgers and rats; the etymological origins of its Subspecies of Canis familiarisinclude both the Terms badgerand hound, and the Creature was bred to destroy bottom and Underground dwellers. It is a Chthonic hunter, hence, I hope you See, oh Noble Reader, its Falling from grace to what is Largely considered to be one of the Cutest of dogs, rather than as a Destroyer of Vermin, living as it does in what are now mainly Urban domiciles.

Fear and viciousness are Not at all mentioned in discussions of the Dachshund, favouring instead the Squealing and incessant Petting by their Owners of one the more Amusing examples of the species. It is difficult for me to Fathom how the presecnce of a such a Comickal creature could Incite feelings of anything but Glee and gaiety, and certainly not Terror. While I will speak at a later Time more of its Physickal inferiority, even within a Fictional context, compared to the viral Vampire, I ask you to Ruminate and consider something as Basick as Size. I would consider it completely Natural (or even Supernatural, if you will Allow me the Indiscretion) for an example of Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralisto waste not a Moment’s time, if it found Itself faced with even a Pack of Dachshunds, to break them as One might a Christmas cracker, and adorn themselves with their Skulls and spines, as we might adorn cloth of Great value, or even a Sock.

Zombie Tales: Good Eatin’ A series of vignettes about the world overtaken with zombies. The first story begins on a strong note but the first half was less engaging, it takes the second half for the real ghoulish tales to come out.

Zombies are by far the ultimate supernatural baddie because they have no rhyme or reason. Their only urge is destruction at all costs and because of that there is no way to out-smart a zombie. I think ultimately zombie-stories are about the fear of pack-mentality within society. What can we, as individuals, do when we’re faced with the wall of opposition that is “what the majority thinks”? Fighting zombies is about fighting against the status-quo and daring to blaze a new direction that hasn’t yet been figured out.


While Zombie Tales is an easy enjoyable read, a few of the stories could have been developed into longer versions, while still others were perfect in their brevity. Headshot and Lucky Dog were just long enough for the twist at the end to pay off. The short-story is an important sub-genre of horror because it allows for you to identity with the magnitude of the situation characters face, with none of the attachment. It’s so much easier to delight in the destruction of life in a short-story format because there is no guilt attached: a single slice of horror, half the calories. What both of these managed to capture was the delight in the mayhem zombies can create.

Backbiter, on the other hand was so deliciously evil it needs to be re-imagined as a full-length graphic novel. It was like the horror version of an Archie comic and everything from the design aesthetic to the Tarantino-esque visuals and pacing was too fun to end so soon.

28 Days Later: London Calling is the first in a series of graphic novels attempting to bridge the gap between the first film by the same name and its sequel. The narrative begins with Selena, a survivor from the first film now relocated into a refugee camp for those who managed to make it off the island of the UK after the infection have decimated so many. The plot sees her return to the sight of infection that follows a similar logic as behind Jurassic Park 2. I mean you want her to go back because she’s a kick-ass zombie-killer but there is NEVER any good logical explanation for why anyone would return!

In any event the high-stakes are raised immediately with the infected lurking in every corner. There is one particularly chilling scene that involves something soft to land-on but not without a price.

I would recommend Zombie Tales for those looking for a light bit of quick reading but 28 Days Later more-so for fans of the film looking to find out what happened to Selena post-escape from zombie-island.

Teen fiction and science fiction/fantasy/horror have a lot more in common than initially meets the eye: and I’m not talking about reading-level. Both are about larger-than-life events that parable the everyday struggles of everyday people. But more than that both are about monsters within each of us.

Think about it:

Half the fun of books like Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars is the bad-girl protagonist. What would drive the plot if there wasn’t an element of delight in reveling in the bad behavior of characters you might want to emulate at times, but wouldn’t because of social decorum?

The bad girl is very much a monster and not unlike a vampire:

–         Pretty, but hiding a secret sinister plot (check)
–         Out for blood (check)
–         Recoils at the sight of crosses (check)

Following that trajectory we have Fat Vampire, a coming-of-age story about becoming a man, but also a monster. The story is about a schlubby teen who is accidentally turned into a vampire which ultimately changes him for the worse. The parable is blatant: that period where teens are on the road to self-discovery usually makes them jerks in their own selfish wants and needs.

Doug begins to see that as a vampire he has power and as a result he begins to treat the people in his life like pawns. I think Adam Rex is trying to get his presumed-male readers to step back from themselves and consider if what they want is always worth what it takes to get it. A moral that requires a monster to tell it!

This is exactly what Hanna does in her genre, this time for girl-readers in Pretty Little Liars. The joy of reading both is living vicariously through them while hopefully checking our own impulses!

The message in teen books and in fantasy/sci-fi/horror often overlaps: Check the monster within or deal with the consequences!

Who do you think is deadlier?:

–         Doug from Fat Vampire
–         Hanna from Pretty Little Liars

How can werewolves battle dragons? Werewolves are very, highly flammable. They can’t fly. They may have claws and teeth but they don’t have a great, long tail to flick their foes out of their way. We dragons have long been held in esteem and for good reason. Dragons are magical, mystical and wise. Dragons are also covered in body armour.

 Those werewolf teeth and claws can’t penetrate dragon scales which are prized by wizards and warriors! Our dragon scales are excellent protection, tempered by our own fire, as armour it is undefeatable.

 

Fire, so warm, so bright, so very dangerous to fur bearing animals. They cringe away from fire, even just a lit match makes them nervous. What hope do werewolves have against a dragon who can breathe fire? A quick blast of flame and the werewolves will be running for their very lives.  In battle, the smell of burnt dog is not appealing. Dragons are very clean (the rumours about sulfur are not true) creatures. Being clean is important for aerodynamics.

 

Before the werewolves can regroup for an attack dragons will be gone, flying high above them. No matter how high a werewolf manages to jump it can’t catch a dragon in flight. The battle would be over before it really began. Dragons can easily fly above the pack of werewolves just shooting fire down upon them. What hope do the poor furries have?

Even on the ground the dragon still has the surprise element, a tail that isn’t just for wagging around, stirring up dust motes. A quick flick of the dragon’s tail and the werewolves will be scattered, wounded and lost. Just think of how much damage a dragon’s tail can really do to those bodies armoured in mere fur.

 

Dragon wisdom is well known. While werewolves are out hunting for small forest creatures dragons are building hoards of treasure, including books of great knowledge. Yes, dragons hunt too. But, dragons don’t settle for small animals which are only small meals. A dragon picks up something to make a real meal, like a werewolf, for instance. Saves time for more reading rather than all that time hunting for silly little rabbits, mice and such.

Dragons can be all sizes, massively Godzilla-like or cosy and petite, perfect for perching on shoulders and whispering advice into all the right ears. We do have a lot of knowledge. Unlike werewolves we spend our immortal time in the quest for knowledge, to gain intelligence and inspiration for ourselves and others. Dragons are very helpful, or at least as helpful as we want to be at any given time.

Don’t think dragons are too egotistical. Dragons are proud but reasonable and well mannered too. Don’t assume the werewolf thing has not been researched. The werewolves in Kelley Armstrong’s books have done a lot to make them look good, clever even. Rachel Vincent’s werecats have been a popular choice. Likely because dragons have more in common with cats than dogs. Dogs just aren’t as clever, nimble and mysterious as dragons and cats.

Do werewolves have anything like DragonCon? A convention for dragon lovers/ fans.

Dragons like reading the Dragon Septs series by Katie MacAlisterGena Showalter has the Atlantis series featuring dragon warriors. There are the Black Dragon Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward, though only one of the men turns into a dragon, during battle. Still, the books are an example of the impact dragons have on human culture, the admiration and esteem given to dragons.  It’s one thing to be feared throughout history but quite another to be feared and admired! Don’t forget the favourite of many, the Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, not new but worth finding. Other notables include Tanith Lee, Mercedes LackeyPatricia C. Wrede, Robin McKinley and Stephanie Rowe (her Immortally Sexy series which sadly seems to be at an end).

Then there are paranormal writers (Michelle Rowen, Lynsay Sands and Kerrelyn Sparks) who should be writing about dragons, but have not yet. Why not?

Before I end this Undeath Match post I must admit I am biased to the side of the dragons. I was born in the Year of the Dragon. So many great and wonderful people were. Dragons are the only mystical animal in the Chinese zodiac. I think they gives us something extra to live up to!

– Laura, http://www.thatgrrl.ca

Thank you for your contribution!

"Remember - short, controlled bursts."

Tan and I couldn’t think of a movie that involved both werewolves and angels. If you can think of one, let us know in the comments! Instead we reviewed a horror flick neither one of us had seen before: Dog Soldiers.

KATIE
Hello my lovely frenemy! Before we get down to reviewing the nitty gritty details, I have to confess that I hadn’t seen this flick before. When considering what movies to review, I did notice this one popping up on a number of lists for top 10 werewolf movies. It was actually passed up for North American theatrical release for a variety of reasons, including the accents. And, I’m sorry, but that’s just a ridiculous reason. Trainspotting anybody? It’s obviously not the high production value Hollywood movie that we’re seeing in this genre. But, for a low budget British horror flick what are your thoughts?

TAN
Ridiculous indeed – horror movies with accents (even subtitles!) are perfectly acceptable to me.

My very first thought having finished the movie was that this was Dead Snow, but with werewolves. Isolated cabin where the undead enemy surrounds the small group of humans, eventually breaks in, tears out their guts, and infects most of the group until there is just one person left. That being said, both are pretty entertaining low-budget horror flicks, so I was happy. I did, however have a small problem with one character: the dog.

KATIE
Aw, why no love for the dog? I, for one, was glad that there was a friendly canine presence because I needed to anthropomorphize something in order to lighten some of the super intense moments. Truth be told, I’m a complete wimp when it comes to the genre (I know, I know) but it doesn’t stop me from watching or reading. And I think Dog Soldiers is a pretty solid flick.

I can definitely see why, despite the production value the movie is on so many top werewolf movie lists. It’s a comedy-horror that’s sort of reminiscent of the cult classic, and one of my personal faves, An American Werewolf in London. There are plenty of genre in-jokes with an ample mix of gross-out gore to add a bit of dark humour to the movie. As you point out, it’s not entirely original and has a plot that follows a certain formula but I found it highly entertaining as a whole.

It doesn’t hurt that Kevin McKidd (Trainspotting, Grey’s Anatomy) is in it either. In fact, the acting overall was neither flat nor over-acted as some lower budget horror films tend to be. At least that’s how I felt. Not necessarily Oscar, or more fittingly BAFTA, worthy but good for a scare. Apparently, it did win an award at The Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film in 2002..!

TAN
Ok.. here is my beef with the dog:

At the beginning of the movie, McKidd’s character refuses to kill the dog on his training mission, earning him a dismissal from the Special Ops team he is training for because he can’t follow orders. Now, to me, this scene has foreshaddowing written all over it – at some point, this character will have to kill a seemingly innocent dog to save himself or others. But that never happened. I kept waiting for the cottage dog to do something evil.

But, instead of siding with his pack – the werewolves that have presumable raised and cared for this dog – he sides with the human interlopers who are killing them. At the end of the movie, it’s McKidd and his new canine friend, which he’ll probably take with him back to civilization. Couldn’t they have hinted that he was a weredog or something, just to bring the movie full circle?

Here is a question for you: (I’m not sure I’ve seen enough werewolf movies to answer this myself) What does Dog Soldiers contribute to the genre? For me, if a movie is going to make the top ten list, it should contribute something unique to the werewolf tradition.

KATIE
Yes, I definitely got the same vibe from the dog but that’s what added to the thrill for me. The dog was kind of a red herring. I shared that same feeling of foreboding and was certain it was going to turn out to be the werewolf leader or something. Right down to the very end, actually. There was a lot of web talk about a sequel but I think that project might be dead now. Maybe the dog would have played a role in that?

As for adding to the werewolf tradition and whether the movie deserves to rank on top ten lists, I’m not so sure either. I think it scores so well on many a blogger’s list because it’s kind of an homage to the horror genre. I mean, one of the characters is named Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead). The humour is pretty subtle and dark. Apparently it’s rife with so many movie references that only film nerds catch all of them on first viewing. Maybe it doesn’t add to the genre but it’s kind of a balls out example of the genre at its low-budget best, don’t you think?

I appreciated elements of the cinematography showing both the werewolf and human perspectives throughout. Also, despite the production value, those were some freaky ass werewolves. There’s something about elongated limbs that reminds me of aliens (which scare the bejesus out of me more than any supernatural creature because I can’t discount the possibility of their existence). The photographs in the credits were a nice touch, too.

Does it belong on a top ten list? I’m on the fence. I’ve watched it twice in one month already though and want to watch it again to see if I can catch any more of the references and in-jokes. I think it’s a movie that has great cult appeal.

TAN
You know – I think you’ve just convinced me to watch this again with an eye to catching these movie references.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie. Maybe not as much as I loved Cursed, but I can see why people like it so much.

My vote is 7 out of 10.

KATIE
Maybe we’ll have to compare notes at a later date on the movie references. LOL! As far as I know, according to the DVD commentary (which I haven’t listened to yet) the references and subtle head nods in the film include: H.G. Wells along with movies The Evil Dead, Zulu, Aliens, The Matrix and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

I enjoyed the flick too and give it a 7.5/10. It’s no American Werewolf in London–which is being remade–but I enjoyed the thrill and humour overall.

Alright, unDead nation, I am feeling a little defeated this weekend. Legion, though creeptastic in parts, was a pretty big let down. Let me just say that if you are going to watch an apocolyptic angel movie this weekend, save some money and rent Constantine.

Let’s start with the good. The creep-factor is pretty high for some parts of this movie. That old lady from the trailer is even worse on the big screen. Ditto for the ice cream man. But HOLY CRAP.. wait til you see the kid. “It’s OK. I just want to play with your baby”. *shudder*

I liked Paul Bettany, and I actually kinda liked thier take on Micheal. Michael disobeying God is a new interpretation of his angelic archetype, and I am always a fan of innovation. Michael is a pretty arrogant guy, and could be a little more forth-coming with plot-enhancing explanations, but he comes by his arrogance honestly and he’s right almost all of the time.

Gabriel, on the other hand, was a pretty weak character. And, it’s been done better in Constantine and The Prophecy. He’s somewhat of a minor character in Legion, which is strange since he is the one who leads the army of creepy possesed people. He doesn’t even appear until the last third of the movie.

About the fighting: This is the kind of movie that needs a pretty epic battle; it IS the end of the world, after all. And to his credit, Gabriel tried. He came onto the scene ready to kick-butt and take some names. But there was no ‘battle’, just a couple of scuffles.

But, the biggest problem is that nothing in the plot makes sense.

Consider this your fair warning: The rest of this is spoilers…

Things that were never explained:
Who the hell names thier kid “Jeep”?
Why don’t the angels just possess the people in the diner?
Why THAT baby? He’s just some bastard son of a waitress.
Why does the baby stop the possessed people in thier tracks?
Is this baby made of adimantium? He gets tossed around like a pigskin.
Why does Jeep get covered in angel tattoos, but never gets any angel powers?
Did this happen to the whole world? Or just the South Western US?
Were all the possesed people ok after God changes his mind?

1) They Probably Shed
Think about it – it’s not like they are derived from poodle stock. Big massive wolf-men mean big massive hair balls. Ugh.. imagine the shower drain in your neighbourhood werewolf’s house.. ewwww.

2) Transformations are uncontrolled, and monthly.
The lady-fans can attest that PMS is bad enough; monthly mood swings, cramps, blood. Times than by 100 and I figure you have “The Change”. And I say.. no thank you.

3) Werewolves are cannibals.
That takes care of all of you vegetarians, now doesn’t it? Like zombies and vampires, werewolves are all about the delicacy known as.. You. Your guts in particular, it would seem.

4) Werewolves are S-M-R-T.
I know you dog-people would love to argue, but on the grand scheme of things, I’d rather have a person’s IQ than a wolf’s. Opening a gate was about the most impressive thing arttibuted to wolf intellegence.

5) Werwolves are ugly.
SRSLY.


TL: Who would win in a fight, werewolves or angels?

LK: Having spent hours yesterday writing an insane battle scene for Torment, I’m going to have to put my money on the angels. I’ve never talked smack about a werewolf before, and it makes me a little nervous. But angels, though just as ruthless as their opponents, have this incomparable grace and cunning that gives them a wing up. Plus, no offense to Jacob, they’re just easier on the eye. Very important for us mortal spectators.

TL: Do you think angels are the new vampire?

LK: I think what draws us to angels is probably similar to what draws us to vampires, or werewolves. Most of us grow up with some sort of angel mythology–whether it comes from a religious upbringing, or a cultural context. We have an idea of what they’re supposed to look like (flawless features, fluffy white wings), how they’re supposed to behave (always perfectly benevolent), and what they’re supposed to do (well, I suppose biblically, they’re messengers of God, culturally there’s the idea of a “guardian angel”). For readers, there’s an almost built-in collective conscience about angels–which is great because it’s familiar and therefore accessible. For authors, there is so much room to play off these existing expectations, rewrite old stories, and experiment. So there’s something in it for all of us. Which is good because they seem to be here to stay.

TL: How would you summarize your book in one sentence?

LK: At her new reform school in Georgia, Lucinda Price is torn between two otherworldly hotties, unaware that they are fallen angels who have battled over her for centuries.

TL: Why did you decide to write about the Nephilim/fallen angels?

LK: The idea began when I came across a line in Genesis that talked about a group of angels who were kicked out of heaven because they lusted after mortal women. I started thinking about what it would be like to be normal girl–suddenly the object of an angel’s affection. All the excitement and the challenges that would naturally spring from that. As someone who’s been writing love stories my whole life, this angel angle seemed like the perfect way for me to up the ante and tell a really BIG love story, one that brought in questions about trust and betrayal, and preconceived notions about good and evil.

TL: What kind of research did you have to do for Fallen?

LK: Beyond the few biblical references of angels, I looked to the books of Enoch as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are extra-biblical texts. I also loved Omens of the Millennium by Harold Bloom, and A History of Heaven by Jeffrey Burton Russel. I think this is the book where I found the first mention of the Grigoris (which inspired Daniel’s character) and the Nephilim, which you’ll meet in Torment. I refer to The Dictionary of Angels a lot for terms and definitions. To round out my story, I also read some books about the other side including a trilogy by Jeffrey Burton Russel: The Devil, Lucifer, and Mephistopheles. It was so much fun to read up on all of this angelology, at first it was hard to stop researching and start writing!

TL: Is there a chance for Daniel’s redemption?

LK: Definitely not.

Just kidding. Isn’t that what we’re all in this for? Let’s just say there’s a chance for all sorts of unexpected things to happen!

TL: How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’d say about fifty percent of the names I choose for sonorous reasons (i.e. I just like the way the sounds roll off the tongue), and the other half have some meaning relevant to the story. Probably not too far from the methods parents use to name their kids. Daniel Grigori, for example, falls into the latter category. Daniel is the first book in the bible where an angel (who happens to be Michael) makes a choice independent of God, and I thought this first moment of independence suited Daniel’s character. The Grigoris are (allegedly) a group of angels who “fell” because they lusted after mortal women.
Matt King’s name (in The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove) is probably a little bit more self-explanatory—though his first name was originally Mike but I changed it when my editor pointed out that it rhymed with Nat! ‘Matt and Nat’ was a little too cute for Natalie’s story.

TL: Your book has been optioned by Disney. Who would you like to see star in it?

LK: I kinda love Ed Westwick on Gossip Girl and think he’d make an excellent Cam on the big screen. For Luce? I thought Dakota Fanning nailed her two minutes of darkness in New Moon. With the right dye job…I could see it! It’s harder to think about whom to cast for Daniel, though I know Disney has been kicking around some top secret ideas.

TL: Name your top 5 favourite angels from literature or movies.

LK: I get to pick from the fallen ones too, right? Then first, I gotta say that Satan in Paradise Lost is pretty charming. As is Matt Damon in Dogma. I think Wings of Desire is beautiful. And of course, It’s a Wonderful Life. I also always like when devil/angel avatars pop up on cartoon character’s shoulders. Like Tweety Bird and Garfield. Does that count?

I’ll be queuing up to see Legion when it comes out too!

TL: Do you have a guilty pleasure read?

LK: My guilty pleasures are usually magazines—fashion mags like Vogue and InStyle, gossipy ones like US Weekly, and I love cooking/food related magazines. I don’t really think of books as guilty, but for vacation/beach read stuff, I love wry, sassy writers like Maureen Johnson. And I love F. Scott Fitzgerald so much he feels like a guilty pleasure even though his books are all classics and therefore good for you.

Catch the rest of Lauren Kate’s Blog tour:

January 11th: Beatrice/Galleycat.com
January 12th: Through a Glass Darkly
January 13th: A Patchwork of Books
January 14th: The Reading Zone
January 15th: The Children’s Book Review
January 20th: TeenReads.com
January 21st: The Book Butterfly
January 26th: CynthiaLeitichSmith.com

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