ANSWER: When it's an Undead!
Hello, my pretties! It is a lovely day here in northern Illinois. March is being a spiteful bitch. Won't let go of winter. We still have snow on the ground. However, the spring birds (grackles, redwings and robbins) are trying to sing in the warm weather. Last night there must have been hundreds of these birds up in our trees singing, and it was a beautiful sound (very loud), and wonderful to see. So COME ON SPRING!!!
Well, the answer to my little question got you here, so I'll go into this a little further. When I began my fourth book Vampire Caprice, I was looking for something different. I research all over the place trying to pull something out of my magical hat (aka thinking cap).
That's when I came across something interesting about "Astral Vampires". Astral Vampires are beings that moves through the astral plane and/or subtle reality and feeds off the energy of others. Astral vampires can be wholly nonphysical enties, or they may be living, physical beings who have the ability to move and interact on a nonphysical level of existence. According to occultist Dion Fortune, "an astral vampire is created when a particularly powerful magickal worker resists the second death and perpetuates his unnatural existence by preying upon the energies of others."
At the time when I found this treasure of words, I was also trying to figure [SPOILER ALERT!!!]out what the heck Dante Badheart--the Native American shifter who died at the end of second book--would become because he comes back at the end of Vampire Nocturne. (told you spoiler alert, didn't I??? Now you'll have to read my books prior to this one. Right?)
Now, I decided I didn't want to use "Astral Vampire" mostly because I needed to change it slightly, and fit it into my stories. So, since my vampires have a heartbeat (once per minute), I thought the word Undead would work. These are vampires in the traditional sense. They are actually the "dead" who have come back, exactly like what is described above.
In Vampire Caprice, I needed a really ancient being, something that even vampires could not kill. And something that actually took souls as a person dies. I wanted something that was able to pop in and out of places with ease, however I gave these creatures one thing they needed in order to pop in: mirrors. If there's a mirror, they can appear anywhere. And it needed violence in order to feed.
I'm excited about this fourth one, but also, to introduce it, I had to have Dante become an Undead in order to return to Sabrina. He promised Sabrina at the end of book #2 (Vampire's Trill) when she learns he is dead, because he visits her in the astral shell, and promises her he will find a way to come back. She also learns that he loved her--which is why he could not move beyond in death, because he never told her that he loved her, leaving her devastated emotionally. If you've read the second book you know this. I wanted to set things up so that Sabrina is not quite on board getting married to Vasyl in the beginning of the third novel, Vampire Nocturne. Sabrina becomes busy trying to find her cousin, winds up in another world where vampires rule and humans are their sex slaves and donors. Here she meets Dracula aka The Impaler, who has not only become a vampire somehow, but now lives as a ruler in this world. Sabrina must find her cousin before the vampires find her, and has to somehow outsmart Dracula who wants her for his own sex slave.
I will leave you here, my pretties. Enjoy your spring day!