So, as some of you may know, I’ve recently (well, six months ago) decided to inject Vampires into the plot of The Reality Engineers books. "What a neat idea,” I thought at the time. “This’ll be cool and original and smart. Not like those other Vampire stories — cough, Twilight, cough. But as I wrote out the Vampire plot details, and as I made a place for Vampires in the story, I noticed that my own Vampires were betraying me. They were becoming really “emo” and getting all “dramatic” and “gothic” on me, and I had to fight to keep them constrained to their part of the story, to prevent them from “gothing the whole thing up.” Which is hard to do. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not possible to inject Vampires into a story without that happening to some extent or another . . . without there being some radical element of the Vampire plot-line that tries like hell to take over the main narrative, and will have to be beaten back with the ugly stick of authorial intent and forcibly detained by the narrator, if you want the rest of your story to not be all about the vamps. Also, when I injected the Vampire mythos into my books, I had to come up with my own unique Vampire ideas — I so was not going to use Stephanie goddamn Meyer’s style of vamps, and Buffy’s style of vamps were too “spiritually”-based for my taste; and, Anne Rice’s style of vamps were just to dependent on magical woo-woo to make them work. So, I decided on scientific Vampires. A retroviral agent that rewires your internal organs so that you have to live on living blood, you live practically forever, and you’re practically impossible to kill, as well as have super-strength, super-keen senses, and super-speed, reflexes, and constitution, and of course, you get pale skin and fangs to feed with. That’s Vampires, right? And if they themselves embrace all that gothic stuff and “woo-woo” crap as their culture, then so be it, right? Right! Well, I did that, came up with all that, and you know what those little bastards (what I lovingly call my characters when they’re disobedient) did to me? They got together in Clans and Factions — like in Vampire: The Masquerade — and one of those Clans worships a fallen Elder God (alien entity that has tentacles and is all Lovecraftian to the nth degree) using weird technology designed by this other Clan, who are descended from Leonardo da Vinci and are connected to the Priory of Sion. More woo-woo, in other words. Short story made shorter: Vampires are a pain in the ass. My advice? Avoid them. They’ll act all nice and obedient during the outline stages of your novel, but will then show up on the printed page and wreak havoc on your nicely planned synopsis. Just . . . just don’t trust ‘em, man. Never trust e Vampire. Ever.