Wednesday we had some Tim Burton-style history, a bunny with fangs, gothic horror and some requisite teen fiction.
What will today bring?
Let’s get right to it.
A television show based on the books is currently in it’s third season on FX. Dr. “Eph” is played by Corey Stoll.
As mentioned last year when the Letter S was brought to you by The Strain, these vampires are a nice break from the bulk of current vampire fare in that they are straight up evil.
The story begins when a plane “goes dark” shortly after landing at JFK. Airport authorities discover the passengers and crew dead, with no obvious signs of violence. Suspecting a possible disease, they contact the CDC.
In comes Dr. Eph. Newly divorced, he is attempting to balance the custody battle over his son with his duties as an epidemiologist when, well, all hell breaks loose.
Four “survivors” quickly grow into a vampire infestation and as the series continues, the fight to save New York – and the rest of the world – ramps up with Dr. Eph as a key player.
A recovering alcoholic, he really just wants to be a good dad. But Kelly, his ex, is turned in a vampire and later kidnaps his son to serve the Master. He continues to try and find a cure and rescue his son but bounces between heroism and self-medicating as he navigates the rapidly changing world.
All in all – he’s really fun to watch.
FX renewed the series for a fourth and final season on September 27, 2016, slated to air in summer 2017.
Moving back into the teen genre, F is for Finbar Frame, from Flynn Meaney‘s 2010 novel Bloodthirsty.
Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.
Plot: Awkward and allergic to the sun, 16-year-old Finbar Frame notices that all the girls at his new school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty.
So he decides to become a vampire.
As it turns out, with his brooding nature, pale skin and research skills (he holes up for THREE DAYS!! to watch True Blood, read the House of Night books and Twilight series; and finally, Bloodthirsty) it’s surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be a vampire.
There are wonderful pop culture references and moments. My personal favourite? When Finbar is chased down by a pack of Team Jacob werewolf wannabes at a Fantasy Festival.
Back cover fun:
Attention all girls reading this: We get it. The message is coming through loud and clear.
You think vampires are hot.
Your little sister thinks vampires are hot.
Your mom thinks vampires are hot.
Girls love vampires and I love girls.
Unfortunately girls don’t seem to love me.
So I’m making a change…
The result? A fun ride and well-informed ribbing of the genre en route to Finbar finding himself.
Last up? G is for Gabrielle de Lioncourt, mother to the infamous brat prince Lestat from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, which began in 1976 with Interview with the Vampire. Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis is due this November.
If you need a refresher on Lestat, he was our Letter L in 2014.
But getting back to mom (that always takes a while, yes?), Gabrielle first appears in the second book The Vampire Lestat (1985).
From a prosperous Italian family, she was married at a young age to Lestat’s father, the Marquis d’Auvergne, and gave birth to eight kids (three survived). Lestat is her youngest, and her favourite, as they both felt trapped by their life. She was the only educated person in her family, supports Lestat in his acting career and funds his trip to Paris. While he’s in Paris she develops tuberculosis, which she hides from her son. Lestat, in turn, hides that he has become a vampire. She visits – in part to see her son before she dies – and both truths are revealed. Rather than see her die, Lestat turns her into a vampire (such a good son!).
While this brings her back to life in many ways and she learns and travels with Lestat for a time, she celebrates in her newfound freedom and they eventually part ways. She disappears for 200 years to explore the world on her own, only returning in 1985 to help her son in his fight against Akasha, the Queen of the Damned.
I always loved the descriptions of her travels. Her sleeping in the dirt, going to the furthest and most unexplored reaches of the world. The idea that she took the gift given by her son and LIVED like she never could in life with the freedom to do exactly as she wanted.
Now, I worried I’d be lacking a picture for Gabrielle, until I learnt that in 2006 Lestat became a Broadway musical with music by no less than Elton John!
It had a short run of 39 performances. Gabrielle was portrayed by Carolee Carmello, who was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for the role.
Below is a clip of her performing Crimson Kiss, a song from the musical about her choosing to leave her son to finally go out into the world on her own and for herself.
From that song, a back and forth that stuck with me as a parent:
Lestat: I did not give you the Dark Gift so you could turn and walk away from me.
Gabrielle: I gave you the gift of life knowing that someday you would walk away from me!
And with that we bring the curtain down on Day 2 of the 2016 Vampire A to Z. Please come back on Sunday when we reveal letters H through K.