Ryan Baron North
One of the frustrating parts of writing a novel about vampires is that when you tell someone you are writing a vampire novel, they assume you are writing a genre title around dark sexy things having sex with other dark sexy things. And for my novel Strix, that is not the case.
For vampires, you originally had your Draculas, your Ruthvens, and your Carmillas, and the stories tackled a fear of reverse colonization for Europeans, and it confronted the concept that a person could lose salvation—lose their ticket to heaven—by no fault of their own. Even if you did everything right, a vampire could steal paradise from you.
These fears don’t mesh with the modern day. Vampires in Strix are a commentary on the ethno-nationalism of self that we experience in modern society, specifically when we are grasping at our pasts. The vampires are a metaphor for the actual possibility that in the desperate search for self-actualization we hurt the people we love. Vampires, for me, are the fear that we may cross a line in our lives that leaves us trapped reliving, in our heads, the “golden years.” And that memory most likely never existed the way it is remembered.
I just spent the past 3 hours watching After Life by Ricky Gervais—absolutely beautiful. I spent every episode in tears. I know I shouldn’t have, being a male in America and all—men shouldn’t cry, because being angry is far more masculine. I suppose I should have stormed out of the room instead. I’m rambling.
For those who haven’t seen it, it’s about a man, Tony, who had a wonderful life with his wife before she tragically lost her battle with breast cancer, and over the course of the season we watch Tony, after failing to kill himself, take out his pain on the world around him, and himself.
Sounds like a fun little binge, right?
Well, my bulldog and I watched it in one go, and it was like watching myself. I divorced some time ago, and I grieved for a long time…sometimes I still do.