Evening dear readers, bloggers, friends and weirdos!
Recently I have been uploading chapters taken from Blood Wars Book 3 in the Dark Sanctuary series to Wattpad and I’m finding the feedback very interesting indeed.
Firstly let me say that if you are one of the lovely people who has been reading, voting and commenting on the Dark Sanctuary series, then a very big thank you to you! I still don’t understand the ranking system as one day I can reach the hallowed top 50 reads to then be plunged back into the lowly 200’s the next day. But people’s voting never goes unnoticed and I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and responding. I always try to respond where possible as I think it’s important to have healthy dialogue with your reader and I want them to know how much I appreciate anyone giving up their time to read my work (something which still feels quite remarkable to me).
But the feedback on Blood Wars has been particularly interesting as we are now in vampire versus sensor territory. I’ll try not to give too much away to anyone who hasn’t quite reached book three, but the story centres around the age-old war between vampires and their nemesis, the sensors. Books One and Two often hinted about why the vampires hate Sarah so much and Book Three is all about revealing why.
Sarah meets a group of sensors and is immediately drawn into their complex world of revenge, torture and organised hunting of the vampires. Despite trying to fight against their ways as much as she can, Sarah can’t deny what she is and the story is all about Sarah’s struggle to decide which side she should be on. Vampires or sensors? Or perhaps more importantly, Michael versus Nathaniel?
I think what has surprised me most so far, is that the general consensus seems to be a real backlash against the sensors which I find a little strange. Okay, so I admit I have not sugar-coated these people at all. They fight the vampires with every method available to them, whether it be cruel, distasteful and blood-thirsty. They’re not above a bit of torture or imprisonment.
But the crucial thing to remember is that they don’t do anything that the vampires themselves don’t do. I have already told the reader exactly what the vampires are capable of. They imprison people in cells, they drug, starve and torture and they kill in the most horrific ways. And for what reason? For sport. For entertainment. And for food.
Why do the sensors kill? To stop the vampires doing all of the above.
So just why does the reader dislike them so much?
I’d love to know the reason why and I am going to open this discussion up with my Wattpad readers but my instinct tells me that this argument comes back to Michael in particular and maybe the modern-day romanticised view of vampires. These days we prefer our vampires to sparkle, get married and live happily ever after, with a healthy bit of sex thrown into the mix and I think it’s interesting that no matter what I tell the reader about just exactly what Michael is capable of, maybe they do have him on that hallowed pedestal also occupied by the likes of Mr Cullen himself. No one seems to care how Michael made his fortune (killing off rich women to get his hands on their money), nobody gives a damn that Michael could probably have saved Sarah’s mother, nan and her friend James and nobody cares that underneath the beautiful eyes and great smile, he is undoubtedly a killer – and a good one at that. In fact, in the vampire world, Michael is a renowned and respected sensor killer.
Step forward, Michael’s arch enemy (spolier alert!) and leader of the sensors, Nathaniel. Brooding, tousled-hair, undoubtedly sexy Nathaniel. If I was channelling a bit of Caleb Followilll in Michael, then Nathaniel definitely has a bit of Eddie Vedder about him. He has a poet’s soul, a dark past and the respect of his group. I think he’s sexy. Sarah is definitely tempted. But so far the reader’s response is lukewarm to say the least. On paper, they’re actually not so different. They’re both definitely bad boys in their own way, but whereas Nathaniel seems to be judged for everything he does and says, Michael can do no wrong.
A few minds might change slightly when they learn more about Nathaniel’s story, but I still think the majority vote is always going to swing Michael’s way, and towards the vampires in general.
Why is it we are more judgmental of the sensors? Sarah might tell you it’s because in their quest to destroy the vampires, they have become little better than their enemy. Maybe some of my readers will agree with this. Maybe we expect them to hold the moral high ground because they are human?
Or maybe these days we just always want the vampire to win?
After all, what’s a hero without a set of sharp pointy teeth?