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Welcome to Day 6 of the Battle of the Sexies! Today we've got a debut author of a unique vampire story here to discuss alpha males.
"Kristin Stefanos wrote Lost Devil's Throne during her first year of medical school as a way to decompress. She has always been an avid reader who prefers a quiet night at home when away from the hospital. She attributes her ongoing interest in both scientific inquiry and the supernatural to her favorite author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his iconic characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. She also credits her close-knit family of supportive parents, sister and two brothers, whom she entertained with ghost stories she created while growing up in a house which is said to be haunted."
What does it take to create and write about alpha males?
I think the answer to this question is more straightforward than most assume: close observation and careful study of male behavior. It sounds like a no-brainer, but many writers, like myself, in the Vampire genre tend to be female. As a result, the default alpha male tends to be buffed out, sexually preoccupied to the point of promiscuous, and incredibly good looking, but beyond that is as multidimensional as a Ken doll.
Alpha male characters are endowed with plenty of strengths like dashing good looks, sexual prowess and a confidence women can’t help but find appealing. However, I find it makes a more interesting read to see the chinks in the armor. For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed developing the character Damian, a 200-year-old Haitian vampire, in my debut novel, the Lost Devil’s Throne. Though he has many of these positive qualities, he also has a dark side and a sad past that makes him all the more intriguing and lends a depth and richness to his action or, in some cases, inaction.
It’s important to reveal something beyond the bravado: self-doubt, sadness, joy, quiet introspection, jealousy, rage. There are plenty of emotions and reactions most fictional alpha males are missing. Sure we want our hero to swoop in, beat the bad guys to a bloody pulp, and save the day, but a well-contrived alpha male goes beyond that. It is in providing this glimpse into their psyche that the author also reveals the breadth and scope of their relationships. Even for the alpha male, not all other males are rivals just as not all females are sexualized. Depending on the character, they may be friends, lovers, enemies, acquaintances, family and everything in between. Just as women value their relationships with other women, some of the most important relationships in a male’s life are with other males. One of the biggest challenges I had in writing Lost Devil’s Throne was understanding and communicating the relationship between the vampires Damian and Aakarshan. On the surface they appear night and day different, but they spent 100 years together. What would keep two seemingly disparate alpha males friends for over a century? Needless to say, the motives driving both are complex and gradually unfurl as the series progresses.
In fiction as in life, I like to think it’s the details that count. The interactions that reveal the most about the character are not the heart thumping parts where he is saving the day, but in the way he tackles the everyday.
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