Do Vampires Have Souls?.. by Blood Diva's author VM Gautier

Do Vampires Have Souls?

Having read a vampire book or two, as well as written one, I am going to declare myself an expert and answer this very important question, which maybe you just googled: Do vampires have souls?

It depends on whose version of vampires you are talking about. Originally, vampires were basically dead people who walked around at night and got into all sorts of trouble, or maybe helped with household chores. Blood drinking was only a part of the myth. They returned to sleep in their coffins though how they managed to get in and out is a mystery. 

Did those original vamps have souls? People believed that the soul left the body at death, and vampires “died” before they woke up vamp; therefore, logically, old-time vampires had no souls. 

Where did the souls go? Great question!

Certainly, Bram Stoker didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the souls of vampires when he wrote Dracula. Dracula is a monster. There’s no conflict in his nature. He is an evil that must be destroyed. The heart of the story, what makes it a “classic,” is the diverse group that gathers to fight against the darkness. Earlier literary vampires like Carmilla and Lord Ruthven in The Vampyre were also duplicitous evildoers who fed off the living.

At some point things changed, or we at least began to feel more sympathy for the devil. In the gothic television series, Dark Shadows, souls weren’t discussed much, but Barnabas was a sympathetic figure because he suffered. He’d been cursed, and he felt truly damned. He hated what he was, not enough to destroy himself by going out into the sunlight apparently, but he did undergo some useless medical treatments, and he complained a lot.

And then came Ms Rice. Her vamps were smart and sexy (even though they didn't have sex) and fully alive. She may have been the first to give us their viewpoint through entire books. Some, like Lestat, embraced their vampire nature. Louis chose to avoid feeding off of humans, and was kind of a bore. They could make choices. Soulless? Or evolved-super-beings? It was the start of a new conversation.

Then came the Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In the Buffyverse, vampires – with two exceptions – most definitely lack souls. They come from a demon dimension, and while they may look like, sound like, and even have the memories of the people they inhabit, they are not those people. They are dead bodies possessed by demons. All this demon/soul talk is interesting for a series in which a character says “the jury’s out” when asked about God. It’s unclear on Buffy exactly how “soul” is being defined. Is it the spark of the divine within all of us? Or simply the ability to feel badly about what one does? Once given back his soul, Angel stops feeding on humans and broods a lot. Yet, plenty of humans are killers. Are they soulless? Is a “soul” the same thing as a conscience? Are all vampires sociopaths? It would seem so.

But we now live in a post-Buffy world.

In shows like True Blood and the books the series is based on, there are good vampires and bad ones. Vampires in that world don’t have to kill to survive. In addition to the synthetic “true blood” they could also get by glamouring people, feeding off of them, and then allowing them to live with no memory of being some vamp’s happy meal. Of course feeding without going all the way takes self-control and is still parasitic. Killing is easier — the default for many. But in this world, there are plenty of humans who enjoy having their blood sucked. Plus, True Blood introduced the idea that vampire blood is a pretty yummy treat for humans — the ultimate high, so humans and vamps can be mutual parasites. Isn’t that the nature of many relationships? But do they have souls? It seems only the religious fanatics think they don’t.

I’ve never read Twilight or seen the films, but I’m pretty sure those sparkly vamps have souls. In fact, I think most vampires who go to high school are supposed to be soulful, but if you think about it, does that make sense? Being perpetually seventeen when you are in reality MUCH older and hanging out with teenaged girls is kind of creepy.

Speaking of high school, souls aren’t explicitly mentioned much in The Vampire Diaries. The haters in Mythic Falls believe vamps are soulless creatures. They take the Buffyverse view of things. Given how much carnage the vampires are responsible for – all of them, even the nice ones – this is not an irrational prejudice. While the “s” word doesn’t get used a lot, there is talk of “humanity” which vamps can “switch on,” “switch off,” or even “lose” altogether. So unlike most of us, it seems they can choose to be remorseless killing machines, which makes their lives infinitely easier because then they don’t have to worry about whom they hurt. Wow! They get that AND immortality, eternal youth, and beauty, PLUS daylight immunity rings.Where can I sign up?

The Strain. is a new vamp-series on FX. I’ve read The Night Eternal trilogy on which it's based. I’ll keep it spoiler free here. I loved the first book. It gave us a new approach to vamps — vampirism as a public health menace. Most of the vamps, were almost zombie-like and controlled by the master. Soulless? Yup. Not romantic and lovable either, something of a return to the “old” or “olde” vampyre stories, before they became romantic heros who could pass for human. We were back to monsters. You even had the retro diverse group of champions fighting against the great evil.

Where does that leave Blood Diva, my contribution to vampire lit? As in the Buffyverse, the jury is out on the God issue -- though some characters, mortal and immortal do search for a higher purpose, and may discuss the possibilities. There's no definitive answer on the soul question. Certainly, the vamps are not evil automatons, but they do very bad things and they don’t brood. It’s their nature to kill, to hunt, to destroy. They develop rules, rituals, and rationalizations around what they do -- who and how they kill. In this, they may not be very different from that much shorter-lived species on whom they prey.

Blood Diva by VM Gautier
22840608Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 450
ISBN: 9781620154663
Purchase: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N
The 19th century's most infamous party-girl is undead and on the loose in the Big Apple. 

When 23 year-old Parisian courtesan, Marie Duplessis succumbed to consumption in 1847, Charles Dickens showed up for the funeral and reported the city mourned as though Joan of Arc had fallen. Marie was not only a celebrity in in her own right, but her list of lovers included Franz Liszt – the first international music superstar, and Alexandre Dumas fils, son of the creator of The Three Musketeers. Dumas fils wrote the novel The Lady of the Camellias based on their time together. The book became a play, and the play became the opera La Traviata. Later came the film versions, and the legend never died. 

But what if when offered the chance for eternal life and youth, Marie grabbed it, even when the price was the regular death of mortals at her lovely hand? 

In 2014, Marie wonders if perhaps nearly two centuries of murder, mayhem, and debauchery is enough, especially when she falls hard for a rising star she believes may be the reincarnation of the only man she ever truly loved. But is it too late for her to change? Can a soul be redeemed like a diamond necklace in hock? And even if it can, have men evolved since the 1800′s? Or does a girl’s past still mark her? 

Blood Diva is a sometimes humorous, often dark and erotic look at sex, celebrity, love, death, destiny, and the arts of both self-invention and seduction. It’s a story that asks a simple question – Can a one hundred ninety year-old demimondaine find happiness in 21st century Brooklyn without regular infusions of fresh blood?


(Author's note: The main character's birth name is Alphonsine. She's known in the present as Camille.)

The hostess told them the other party had already been seated and walked them toward the back section. Heads turned as they passed. Alphonsine recognized the man sitting alone at the corner booth although she’d never seen him in person. It was David Alexander, her lover’s father. He kissed her hand as she arrived at the table, “Enchanté, mademoiselle,” he said.

She looked at both men, and couldn’t help noting how strange it was that Dashiell and David bore the same resemblance to each other as her Adet had to his father, Alexandre Dumas, père. In both cases, the father was a shorter, broader, courser, less handsome older version of the son. In this case, add to a poorer diet, and probable alcoholism.

They had run into each other on the plane.

“What brings you to New York?” Alphonsine asked. She noticed the intensity of the old man’s gaze. She caught something from him – the smell of fear. Not what she would have expected. It excited her.

“He came to see a cardiologist,” Dashiell answered for him.

Alphonsine looked alarmed. “You have a problem with your heart?”

“Not really. Just the usual complaints of all American males my age. The problem is they have me on a medicine that prevents my being able to take a medicine also popular with American males my age.”

She laughed. He took a sip of the scotch in front of him. The waitress came by and they did the best they could with the limited vegan wine menu – vintners she hadn’t heard of who used no bone or other animal products in their filtration process. As it didn’t affect her kind’s prohibition against dead blood, she didn’t usually worry about how her wine was made.

They ordered appetizers. David made remarks about this being his first vegan dining experience, something he might need to get used to, as it was working out so well for Clinton and others. She noticed him staring at her mouth as she popped in a piece of fried artichoke. Then he caught her watching him and looked away.

“How long have you been a vegan, Camille?” He asked.

“A while,” she said. “Unlike Dashiell, for me it wasn’t so much a moral issue. It’s a good way to stay slim.”

“That doesn’t look like it would be a problem for you,” he said, and then after a moment continued, “So it doesn’t bother you, killing for food?”

“I probably differ here from your son,” she said, looking over at Dashiell. “I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong, but the conditions on factory farms are cruel. There’s no reason for that.”

“And you’d have no trouble with hunting then, if you ate your prey?”

“I suppose not,” she said, trying to sound thoughtful. “I’ve never been. Have you?”

“A few times,” he answered, “a few.”

She hoped the subject would change, though she didn’t want to initiate it. The old man continued, “In fact, I was hunting once with your mayor.”

“Piccolini?” Dashiell asked.

“The same. But that was back before he got really rich when he was a mere-multi-millionaire.

“Camille’s met him,” Dashiell said.

“Oh yes,” David said, “I seem to recall something on the Internet.”

“Just at some events for the gallery,” Alphonsine said as lightly as she could. “Are you close friends?” She asked as their entrees arrived.

“I haven’t seen him in a few years. Meeting him for lunch tomorrow. Shall I tell him you say hello?”

“If you’d like. I doubt he’d even remember me.”

“I’d think you’d be very difficult to forget,” David said.

They talked throughout the meal, never touching on anything personal. If not for the resemblance, she noted to herself, no one would have known the men were related. By the time they were waiting for dessert, the subject had turned to the west versus east coasts.

“Liz Taylor used to say that New York had the shopping, but Los Angeles had the weather.

“You knew her?” Alphonsine asked, sure he would claim he had. He’d been dropping famous names casually into the conversation all evening. Still, there was something about the old hack she found charming.

“I’m sure less intimately than you know the mayor,” he teased.

“I think Camille looks like a young Elizabeth Taylor,” Dashiell blurted.

“Liz was a little more …” David moved his hands to indicate large breasts, “And she had those light eyes. Camille’s an Audrey Hepburn type, a bit Holly Golightly.”

She wondered exactly how he’d meant that, but Dashiell, who’d probably never seen the movie, didn’t catch it.

“Oh, Dashiell thinks I look like everybody,” she said. “Who did you say the other day? Louise Brooks? And then we were watching some old movie with Jennifer Jones.”

“You sound a bit like Jennifer Jones, that wispiness, but I’ll go with,” David paused a moment, “Maria Callas. The dark hair and eyes, that slightly exotic look. Of course, your nose isn’t so ethnic.”

There was something in his tone that sounded rehearsed.

“It’s funny tha … ” Dashiell began.

“Maybe we should take this conversation elsewhere? An after dinner drink? Or we could show you around Brooklyn,” Alphonsine interrupted, hoping to derail the topic.

“Great idea,” David said. “We can go in five minutes.” He signaled the waiter for more coffee. “What were you saying, Dashiell?”

“It’s funny you mentioned Callas,” he said, turning toward her, “This one actually got me to go to an opera.”

“Really, are you a big fan, Camille?” David asked, staring at her intently.

She’d heard him pause briefly before he said her name. Whatever was happening was not her imagination.

“My boss always gets tickets for clients,” she said.

“How European.” He turned to his son, “What did you see?”

La Traviata,” Dashiell said.

She was desperate to stop the conversation, but every means she thought of seemed so obvious, and a strange sort of mental paralysis had set in.

La Tra –vi –ata,” David repeated, nodding, looking down. She noticed his lips curl just slightly into a smile, but by the time he looked up it was gone.

“You want to know who she really looks like?” Dashiell asked.

“Dashiell, David, I wish you guys would talk about something else besides women I resemble. It may be less complimentary than you think.”

“I’m sorry if we’re making you uncomfortable. Of course, we should change the subject, but I think I know where my son was going with this. As soon as he told me your name, and showed me a photo, I made the connection, maybe because you’re French. Has anyone commented on your resemblance to Marie Duplessis?”

She had killed men for less.

“But you actually remind me of a woman I only saw once,” he continued.

“That sounds intriguing,” Dashiell said.

“I mentioned Callas before. ” David took a sip of coffee and leaned back in his chair. “I met her. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. It was summer, 1966. I was traveling, part of my writer’s education. Young, unattached. A proto-backpacker, drifting through Europe on a few dollars I’d earned, a meager advance on my first book. On Mikados, I’d met a young German, equally adrift between university and further studies. Bright guy. Funny as fuck, for a German. Excuse my Fren uh language. He was torn between medical school and pure sciences. Three generations of doctors, so there was some family pressure, and there was a girl waiting for him he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to marry.”

“You remember a lot about him,” Dashiell said.

“It’s stayed on my mind.” He breathed in deeply. “We somehow wrangled our way into a party on a yacht. I’m a little fuzzy how, but it involved some girls we’d met on a beach. She was there, Maria Callas.”

Alphonsine had an idea how the story might end. She was trying as hard as she could to get into his brain, project a thought, give him a headache, or something, anything to distract him, but she felt blocked.

“She was surrounded by her own clique most of the time. There was this one young woman. I thought at first she might be related to La Divina, as they called her. They had similar features. She looked very much like you, Camille. Very much.”

“They say everyone has a double somewhere in the world,” Dashiell said.

“I got close enough to hear part of their conversation. They were speaking French, and mine wasn’t great. She even sounded like you,” he said looking at her, and then quickly turning his eyes to his son, pausing like he was trying to remember something. “Callas was saying how she wished they’d met when she was younger. Her new friend seemed to her a perfect model for Violetta Valéry. ‘Violetta, c’est toi.’ I remember her saying that. Something about the way she moved, and smiled, an inner light she had, and how she so casually broke hearts.”

“And that’s one way we differ,” Alphonsine said. She looked over at Dashiell. “My heartbreaking days are over.”

“Tristan, that was my friend’s name. Tristan Schiller, he somehow caught the young lady’s eye. He was a handsome guy. Not as good looking as this one I’m sitting across, but a similar type.”

“I’m sure you were quite the lady’s man as well, David.”

“Maybe,” he said, “I recall leaving with a red-head.”

“And your friend with the brunette?” Dashiell asked. He turned to Alphonsine and said playfully, “Good thing I don’t get jealous.”

“I saw them having what looked like an intense conversation. I can’t be sure they left together. I just have a hunch.”

“A hunch?” Alphonsine asked. “I guess he wasn’t the type to kiss and tell.”

“He disappeared.”

“Disappeared?” Dashiell asked.

“We were staying in a hostel, dorm style. I didn’t make the curfew. But in the morning I went back to get my things. He wasn’t there. We had tickets for a ten a.m. ferry to Cyprus. I thought about taking his stuff in case he was running late.”

“He didn’t make the boat?” Dashiell asked.

“No, he didn’t.”

“Maybe he got very lucky,” Alphonsine said looking at Dashiell. “Maybe they ran off together and had lots of babies.”

“I don’t think so,” said David, “although I was pretty sure it was something like that at the time. I thought we might catch each other later, at the next port of call. We’d discussed some possible itineraries. Nothing was settled.”

“But you didn’t see him again?” Dashiell asked seriously, following something in his father’s tone.

“No, no I didn’t.” He looked like he might go on with his story, but then he said, “Let’s get out of here. Go somewhere we can drink.”

They stopped at an old writer’s bar in the West Village, then went on to another couple of places. They ran into a few people David knew but hadn’t seen in years, as well as strangers who recognized him and wanted to buy a famous writer a drink. The old man introduced his son and “the lovely” Mademoiselle Camille St. Valois. There was little real conversation. Mostly, Alphonsine and Dashiell listened to his stories, none of which had anything to do with his offspring. They might as well have been fans on whom he was bestowing the gift of his presence, yet Alphonsine was certain he loved Dashiell in his way. What else could explain that underlying anxiety? Which she now understood came from his suspicion of her.

What he thought and what he could prove were different things entirely. Creative minds were capable of great intuitive leaps, but what could he know of her true nature? If he went to Dashiell what would he say?

“Have you ever seen your girlfriend in daylight?”

The answer would be yes.

“Have you seen her eat food?”

Again, yes.

“Has she entered a residence without being invited?”

Well, that would just be rude wouldn’t it?

The myths kept her safe. Yet, he might need to be dealt with, which wasn’t something she wanted to do. Dashiell seemed so happy to be with his father. She knew what it was like to have neglectful parents. One loved them no less. And when they reached out even a little, as David was doing, the grudges melted away.

If something needed to be done, she would ask Pierre to help. Of course he’d chide her, remind her this is what comes from getting too close to mortals, from living too much in the spotlight. But he’d come through and make sure the old man’s end was quick and painless, and then she’d do what she could to comfort her lover.

By the end of the evening, David was slurred and sloppy, so they rode with him back to his hotel. Dashiell escorted his father into the lobby and let a bellhop take it from there while she waited in the taxi. They were quiet most of the ride back to Brooklyn.

“A kiss for your thoughts,” he said leaning over and pecking her cheek.

“I was just thinking how cute you must have been as a boy,” she answered.

About the Author

VM Gautier is a pseudonym. This is not the author's first book, but it is his or her first book in this genre. 
You haven't heard of him or her.
Twitter | Facebook | Web | Goodreads


5 signed paperbacks (to US ONLY)
2 Gorgeous Blood Diva mugs (US only)
3 Amazon Gift Certificates for $3.99

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Post a Comment


Thanks for passing by and read my blog. My blog feed with comments, so if you caring anough to leave some, I will be really happy.

Thanks for share the love.

to top