In light of the recent release of my first vampire novel, I thought I’d do a series of illustrations showcasing my favorite pop-culture vampires.
The first on my list does not come from a traditional vampire series, rather he’s a prominent character in an urban fantasy series by author Kevin Hearne called The Iron Druid Chronicles. The main character in the series is the charismatic, if often sarcastic ancient druid, Atticus O’Sullivan (born Siodhachan O Suileabhain–find someone who speaks Old Irish to pronounce that one for you). Despite being human, he’s managed to survive for more than 2,000 years through the help of his own herbal concoction of Immortali-Tea® which he also provides to his faithful Irish Wolfhound companion, Oberon (Oberon even has his own Twitter account. Seriously. Check it out). Assisting Atticus in his legal needs is an attorney by the name of Leif Helgarson, who happens to be–you guessed it–a vampire (come on–he’s a lawyer; he was either going to be a vampire or a land shark, and this ain’t no SNL sketch).
As his name suggests, Leif is of Scandanavian decent. More specifically, he was born a Viking. After his family was murdered by Thor (yeah–that Thor–turns out he was kind of a dick), Leif went in search of a vampire who could embrace him, so he’d have the strength and power to take his vengeance on the old Norse god. His first wish came true–he became a vampire. But he’d have to chill a few centuries before he could face the king of dude-bros in battle. As it turned out, he needed help to traverse the godly planes to Valhalla, and so he secretly buddied up to a druid named Atticus, pretending to be his friend for as long as it suited his needs.
That’s as far as I’ll go with his backstory. After all, I don’t want to spoil it for you. If you haven’t read The Iron Druid Chronicles, I suggest you look into them. They’re action-packed and laced with wonderfully dark and sarcastic humor (something Hearne has a gift for). For the sake of this illustration, I deferred to his description in the books; he’s a sophisticated gent, prone to wearing high-quality suits and is fond of well-aged beverages (his favorite drink of choice is a vintage 2,000-year-old blend–the blood of his old pal, Atticus). And while he lives in modern times, he’s never quite adjusted to the era, having a tendency to speak in a lyrical prose more suited to a Shakespearian play. He makes for a fun and interesting character to read about, and I look forward to seeing more of him in Hearne’s novels.
Much like Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods, the Iron Druid Chronicles are packed full of gods from pantheons worldwide, both past and present. These assorted gods attain their strength through the power of faith (they exist as the result of belief itself, and the more people who believe in/worship them, the stronger they become). Atticus O’Sullivan is among the few beings capable of traveling back and forth between the godly realms, and unfortunately for him (or perhaps fortunately for us), he has a habit of causing a bit of mischief wherever his sandal-clad feet may take him. Hounded is the first in the Iron Druid Chronicles, and is a great place to start, available at Amazon.com. If you’re like me and a fan of audiobooks, voice actor Luke Daniels does an incredible job with the series over at Audible.com (highly recommended).
That’s it for today, folks. Short and sweet. Check back soon for Part 2 of my Drawn to the Vampire series.