Paul Jessup is a guest blogger, going on a small virtual tour of the internet to promote his new book Werewolves. It’s an illustrated book about the journey of one High School teen named Alice, and her voyage into the violent werewolf community. She tries to find a cure, help her brother, and survive violent pack conflicts. You can purchase a copy here. The art is done by Allyson Haller, and it’s published by Chronicle Books. You can view the rest of the blog tour as it chugs along this week at his website, http://pauljessup.com.
Shape Shifters Rule, Blood Suckers Drool.
You you heard my right. It’s the sparkly undead elephant in the room. An elephant with classy names like Edward and Lestat and Christopher Lee (oh come on- he wasn’t acting, right? Nobody can be that awesome and still live), an elephant that mopes in the corner crying over it’s loss of humanity. An elephant that whinges about the daylight, curses about his curse, and basically represents all Victorian stuck up virtues rolled up into a Byronic anti-hero in a neo-emo-goth shell.
Yeah. Vampires. They’re the hot stuff right now, all because of a little series of books. But you know what? Vampires are over-rated. There, I said it. Cat’s out of the bag and all that. I mean, come on. They sleep in the day light. Day light. Which kills them. It’s like falling asleep on a live grenade. Someone just has to pull the pin (or a vampire outside) and BOOM. Yeah, they try to make it more complicated than that (ooh! They sparkle!), but in the end, they’re just a bunch of soulless jerks who probably wouldn’t know what to do with their soul if you handed it back to them on a silver platter.
Shaper shifters, on the other hand, yeah, now that’s what I’m talking about. First off, every culture has their own little flava-flave of humans and animals who can morph back and forth. Kitsune’s in Japan. Selkie’s in the motherland. Werewolves, and Bear Shirts (Berserker, baby, who believed that wearing a shirt from bear skin would turn them into crazed were bears in combat). You take your pick, they’re all there. Every country, every single one, has a tale of a human who can turn into some animal and back.
And they’re all crazy dangerous. No digging up graves, cutting off heads, shoving with holy wafers here (a good way to make sure a blood sucker is nice and dead as dead). No. These are human most of the time, until you least expect it. Then BAM. You’re a goner. Some are just tricksters and pranksters and masters of illusion (Kitsune and Tanuki, there ya go). Others want to settle down and have a human family. While still others want to rip your throat out and tear you apart.
So yeah. I’d much rather read about shape shifters of all sorts and sizes. And the folklore of the world has my back on this. Most of the time when something in another culture is called a vampire, it stretches the word until it breaks apart into tiny little pieces. But shape shifters? There everywhere. Probably even hiding among us right now.