[From VBC: We're very excited to have Jeaniene Frost on the blog again today. And we're so anxious for Once Burned, her spinoff book featuring Vlad. It comes out in June and at the end of this post there's a chance to win advanced copies. With that, we turn it over to Jeaniene.]
I’m fresh off a superhero high after seeing The Avengers this weekend, but aside from my new found love for The Hulk, the movie also got me thinking about the attributes of larger-than-life heroes and heroines. If you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, I’ll describe the members of the team. There’s Ironman, a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” named Tony Stark who fights evil while wearing an incredibly high-tech suit; Thor, demi-god of the planet Asgard, whose hammer-wielding badassery is only eclipsed by his mighty biceps; Steve Rogers’ Captain America, a formerly brave yet scrawny man who was transformed into a superhuman through breakthrough genetic tampering; The Hulk, whose non-mean-green-and-ready-to-ream personality is mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner; Black Widow, former Russian spy Natasha Romanoff who uses her looks, wit, and lethal fighting skills to save the day; and Clint Barton, nicknamed Hawkeye, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent whose skill with a bow and arrow makes Legolas look like a child playing cowboys and Indians. Although not a fighting member of the Avengers, the mastermind behind them is Nick Fury, human director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
What I particularly loved about The Avengers is that three of the six superheroes are regular humans. See, my books feature supernatural creatures – in this case, vampires – fighting evil and finding love with humans. I get asked a lot about compatibility issues in a human/nonhuman relationship and I think the movie gives a great example of how being compatible has more to do with will, perseverance, and bravery than with matching supernatural abilities. Black Widow doesn’t have any otherworldly abilities – or a high-tech Super Suit – yet she’s critical to the success of the Avengers because of her other strengths. Same goes with Hawkeye. Tony Stark, even without his Ironman suit, is still instrumental to the team because of his intelligence. Sure, having the ability to withstand injuries that would kill a normal person (Captain America), or a huge magical hammer (Thor), or enough strength to throw a demi-god around like a rag doll (The Hulk) are also critical, but they’re not enough to defeat the villain and his army without those extraordinary yet “regular” Avengers.
As I said, I’ve played with the same themes in my books. My vampires may have abilities like super strength, telekinesis, mind control, or the ability to fly, but that doesn’t make their human counterparts less extraordinary, in my opinion. Take my upcoming novel, Once Burned. In it, my heroine Leila is a human whose exposure to a massive dose of electricity left her with some unusual abilities; namely, her body gives off voltage and she picks up psychic impressions through touch. While those abilities initially throw her together with my hero, a pyrokinetic vampire named Vlad (yes, that Vlad ) it’s her mental fortitude that impresses Vlad the most. Without that, Leila would have been merely another tool he used against his enemies. But her inner strength proves so captivating that even the uncrowned Prince of Darkness ends up drawn into the most high-stakes battle of all: falling in love.
I’m going to assume that everyone agrees mental fortitude is important, but just for kicks, if you could have any supernatural ability (flying, mind control, pyrokinesis, telekinesis, shapeshifting, a big magic hammer, Hulking-out, etc.) what would it be? Everyone who answers will be entered to win one of two advance reading copy of Once Burned.
CONTEST DETAILS AND RULES
1. To enter, you leave a comment on this blog post answering Jeaniene’s question above.
2. You do not need to follow Vampire Book Club to be entered, but we sure do like it.
3. This contest is open internationally.
4. Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on June 3, 2012.
5. The winners will be selected using Random.org. Then each will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to claim her prize. If we do not hear from the winner(s) within that time, a new winner will be selected.
7. Though unlikely, Vampire Book Club has the right to change or cancel any giveaway at any time without prior notice.
8. Vampire Book Club is not responsible for prizes lost or damage in transit.
9. Big thank you to Jeaniene Frost for providing the two ARCs of Once Burned.