We all know there is no such thing as vampires. Well, at least not as Hollywood portrays them. There are people who could loosely be considered vampires, but they don’t think of themselves as such, and would be rightly offended if you suggested that they are blood-sucking fiends who sleep in dirt and have severe garlic and sunlight allergies. They also don’t take kindly to the word “vampire”. If you want to get it right, they are “Upir”. It’s a semantic difference, since the former word evolved from the latter, but it’s an important one.
Visili Kruvoi is a perfect example. He lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida and enjoys frequent visits to the many local beaches and parks. He has friends, both human and non-human, and leads a comfortable, largely uneventful life, supported by his many real estate holdings. Sure, he has needs. But they don’t involved blood, fangs, black capes, or period clothing. If you passed him on the street, you would never know that he was Upir. If he fancied the taste of your energy, he wouldn’t rip out your throat and leave you for dead. Most likely he might simply sip some of your energy as he passed, leaving you feeling a little tired and in sudden need of a latte. If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve suddenly become sleepy while out in public, you might have encountered an Upir.
This is the founding premise of my novel, Blood & Chartreuse. Vampires are real, but they’re nothing like the romantic ghouls and fanged demons you see in the movies. Visili Kruvoi, known locally as “Crewe”, is centuries old and has lived quietly in Saint Petersburg, Florida since its incorporation in 1892. He has the normal problems as other people, and is mostly embroiled in personality conflicts with the leadership of an Upir organization that he helped found. Other than that, though, his life is largely uneventful.
When the book starts, Crewe is only peripherally aware that an area Senator, who was Upir, has been murdered. It’s significant because the senator was Upir, but otherwise is not noteworthy. But the murder sets into motion a chain of events that sweeps up Crewe, and all of his kind, in an outright fight for survival. Crewe’s hard-won right to live a banal, uneventful existence is swept away in the opening salvos of a war that will eventually engulf the entire world.
Blood & Chartreuse is the first in a series of 12-14 novels that will each feature a unique character and viewpoint. Each book will tell a part of the larger story of a global war through the personal story of an extraordinary individual who was in the pivotal place and time where and when history was made. The series may start with people who can loosely be considered vampires, but they’re only the first of many compelling creatures.