Wow. (grins) I asked for questions, and did I get them. This is one of those 'be careful what you wish for' moments, huh? Just kidding, I'm glad to answer all questions, especially if it will help my readers. I'll post them here so that I don't get any repeats… (Spoiler alert for those of you who are reading this before you finish the story! I'll put questions in chronological order from the book, but don't say I didn't warn you if something at the bottom of the page catches your eye and you learn the ending!)
What exactly IS a vampire in this story?
In this story, a vampire is basically just a person that needs to drink blood and has an exceptionally long life.
Do they have fangs, or do they drink blood like Darren Shan's vampires?
Their teeth may be slightly sharper, but nothing noticeable. They do have a parallel as to Darren Shan's vampires in that the bite is only to open the wound, not to drain the blood (though in those books, they use their nails, but in my story, they use their teeth). They drain the blood while the victim is awake (though it is possible to do it while they're asleep of course), but mostly depend on the victim fainting from the pain.
Do vampires have increases abilities, or just a prolonged life? Or does it come with time?
No increased abilities, but of course, the longer you have to hone a skill, the better it becomes, usually. They do have prolonged life, but not eternal. I'm thinking that there's a somewhat large ratio of vampire years to mortal years.
Explain chapter 22.
Yeah, that is kind of a hard chapter to wrap your mind around. Let's see… If I go too much in depth, just try to find the things that are important to you.
The dream was really a memory of when he was transforming into a vampire. Tate was rummaging around in the cupboards looking for the blood substitute, and that's why he was so sick (blood deprivation). He was mostly depriving himself to 'punish' himself for A) being a vampire, and B) making Alan a vampire. The deprivation started…all the way back in chapter 11, where Tate lost hope and first showed his self-destructive tendencies.
Tate's reasons for biting Alan are described below… the pain scrambles Alan's thoughts, and so he goes hysterical…and then the phone rings, and the person on the other end is introduced in the last chapter.
Simple summary: Tate snaps.
Did Tate really bite Alan?
If he did, then why?
There were multiple reasons. First of all, there was the fact that he was depriving himself in punishment, and so, like a starving man, he lunged for the food. Biting Alan could also be counted as a self-injuring act, since, in the back of his mind, he sort of idolized Alan as this 'pure child' (at least in comparison to him). It also could have been a semi-conscious attempt to take all of himself down, starting with Alan (who he counted as part of himself but didn't kill, though the intent could have been so).
Another question I'd like to point out myself: Did Alan know Tate was going to bite him? My answer: maybe. Somewhere subconsciously. Or maybe he had no clue what was going to happen but somehow had no intention to stop it. That's a thing for the reader to decide. (grins)
So Tate's answer in chapter 21 was a lie?
No. Not in my interpretation of a lie, anyways. The exact line was:
"I wanted to know what blood tasted like to you…because I wanted to know if you liked being a vampire. I just wanted to know if you were happy. That's all."
…Okay, I'll concede on this. Author's mistake. Yes, he did want to know if Alan liked being a vampire, and if he was happy (because he was the one who caused him to be so in the first place, mind you). The 'that's all' part was a lie. He asked it to make himself guilty, because he thinks he deserves it for what he's done (being a vampire and creating another).
Will the prequel or sequel be started first?
Hah, the answer to that is: both. I'll start them both at the same time. Give me a week or two and I'll have both the first chapters out.
(Okay, my own question to myself) Will you tie up all loose ends with both the prequel and the sequel?
Uhm…not all of them. Nothing's perfect, right? I promise to answer everything that will nag at you from the back of your brain unless you know, but some things (like who in the heck the person freaking out in chapter 9 is) will never be known (for aesthetic reasons…c'mon, you don't really want or need to know that).
(Another question I know will come up or already has, that will be answered later in the prequel but I can answer now): What's with the rubber band?
As Tate starts to revert to his self-injuring tendencies, the rubber band is his way to warn himself off it. Like if he started thinking about doing something he didn't want to, he'd snap the rubber band. As I said, this will be clarified more in the prequel.