Life as we know it is coming to a close. Vampires emerge from the shadows to rip dominant species on Earth from our grasp. There is no hope.
Welcome to one of the January 19th stops on the blog tour for The Dancing Crow by Des M. Astor with Silver Dagger Book Tours (schedule linked.) Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more spotlights, reviews, more guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Choose your Fangs: Diving into Vampire Dentition
Vampires have been a popular mythical humanoid monster for a while, and I’m someone who’s entirely fixated on them. That should come as no surprise, given the series I wrote, of course! Fangs are something rather important to the vampire myth, and I wanted to talk about how you could decide how the chompers of your bloodsucking beasties should look. You go the classic route, or take inspiration from many sources. I briefly touched on this in my blog post Making Vampires Unique: 5 ways to Change Traditional Lore, but I wanted to dive even deeper into this one!
I wanted to think about what your vampire fangs say about your vampires, should you want to dive that deeply into that aspect of the lore.
So, you’ve decided to write a traditional vampire story, and go with the classic two-fangs over their canines. You may see ‘Feline Based’ as a category below this one. You may ask: Well, isn’t that traditional? Not quite!
Traditional vampire fangs are often just canine teeth that are much sharper over regular human dentition. Cats are obligate carnivores, unlike humans. Without going too far into the science of it, we simply have different teeth, with theirs being much sharper for meat consumption. Traditional vampire fangs are paired with human teeth, like our molars for grinding and our incisors for cutting.
What does this mean, then?
Well, human canines are already used for tearing into flesh, as small and pathetic as they are. If you’re just making canine teeth sharper in your vampires, they may be able to eat normal food, too.
Most vampire lore doesn’t allow for that, if traditional, to be fair, but why listen to that? Be creative and have a reason to do what you do, should you want to! In this case, use dentition to give a hint as to what they consume.
In my opinion, having an omnivorous vampire isn’t a bad thing. Suppose their diet requires a certain percentage of blood. I wrote humanoid vampires based on birds once, for example, that required 90% blood but 10% fruit. I play vampires based on a good friend of mine’s lore who use blood to sustain their powers but otherwise eat normal food, so it’s a power-keeping thing rather than a requirement (and, you know, they like it.)
I think vampires drinking blood is a MUST, otherwise they’re just not vampires, but some variation is cool. Plus, it could help your vampires blend in better, should they partake in consumption of human food every so often!
So, suppose you want your vampires to be 100% carnivorous and require just blood, or a mixture of blood & flesh. This is where our carnivores come in. Look into feline detention, and keep those long canine fangs, but go with sharper teeth for the rest of them as well. Look into the diet of cats. They’re not blood-drinkers (at least… I don’t think there’s a vampire cat in real life. Yet.) but can definitely appreciate plenty of bloodshed as among the top predators on the planet.
One idea is to make their canines and second incisors sharp, and sharpen the back teeth a touch as well. I would advise against annoying your cat, should you have one, by peeling up their lips to take a look. Unless they’re fine with that, of course. But there’s plenty of images online.
These teeth wouldn’t be as sharp as the next ones on the list, though, so you’d have a far messier eater.
Which brings me to reptile-based dentition for your vampires. Let’s look into snakes first.
Venomous snakes are great to look into should you want your vampires to inject venom (mine do). Think of constrictors though, and how they hold their prey in place. Yes, with constricting, but also with their wicked dentition. Folding fangs could be a pretty unique trait for your vampires, should you take inspiration from the venomous snakes. If you REALLY want to go extreme with long fangs…look up the gaboon viper.
I suggest looking into monitor lizards as well. They have quite the intense dentition, what with a mouth full of sharp fangs. Far sharper than crocodilians, which actually have quite blunt teeth compared to most other predators.
I’ll brush on this briefly, but this is what I do in my series in combination with venomous snake fangs. Sort of. Just… if you have vampires with a mouth full of dagger-like teeth, expect a LOT of bleeding and try to have magic or chemicals that can stop the bleeding. Or… they’re going to kill their prey every single time. Granted, if that’s your goal, then by all means, go for it. This would definitely work beautifully for throat ripping.
Vampire bats don’t latch onto prey and suck blood, they slice with their fangs and lap at it. Pair it with a grooved tongue, and boom, you can have a vampire that cuts into the throat and licks. If you really want your vampire to hold onto someone’s neck and drink (which, yes, is what I do with mine) then I’d look into the other options! But we’re not writing to realism here, just going with what could be inspirational and hint to the dentition of your vampire. Going all in with the vampire bat idea could still be horrifying (and/or sexy if you do it well, should that be one of your aims too.)
Hopefully this inspired some ideas for you! I combine some of these ideas in my series, and of course, it can also vary if you have several different species of vampire, or are looking into Dhampir. There is so much to explore when it comes to this, and how you could ‘realistically’ depict blood drinking. I’d say to not get caught up in realism, though, because at the end of the day, these are paranormal/fantasy monsters, so the important thing is to have fun.
Even if you try to somewhat science-base your vampires like me with my living vampires!
For more worldbuilding ideas and topics like this, feel free to visit my blog at therealdesastr.com and search up vampires (or any other creature you want to see if I wrote about!).
About the Book
The Dancing Crow
The Kingdoms of Blood Book One
by Des M. Astor
Published 7 December 2020
Genre: Vampire Horror, Dystopian Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 289
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Hey, I’m Ares. Big, bad, scary vampire that your kind is supposed to be afraid of. And I’m here to help save you!
They call me the “Dancing Crow”. Don’t ask me who ‘they’ is. No idea. Anyway, my kind has emerged from the shadows and ripped the mantle of ‘dominant species’, or whatever, right from your hands. Shame, really. If only you didn’t erase magic from your history.
Anyway-z, I used to prowl the streets, ripping to shreds the evils of your society. Like some twisted superhero, or something. Everything changed when other vampires had enough, and well, here we are. Now my gang and I are trying to establish harmony in this city, at least. Not many would expect a gang, of all things, to be heroes. But here we are.
Our job is to help you widdle humans by getting rid of an evil tyrant, Ash, in this unnamed city. Well, that’s hard to do, so we got allies. A half-dragon, a Tasmanian Devil shapeshifter, you know, cool stuff like that. Now, if only I could get this vampire hunter to leave me alone. No idea what her deal is, but she clearly can’t kill me despite ‘trying’ her hardest. Ah well, I know my job, and it’s to continue doing SOMETHING to help out here.
CONTENT WARNING: Heavy gore, sexual assault and rescue from it, extreme religious indoctrination/manipulation, and heavy profanity.
The Kingdoms of Blood Book Two
by Des M. Astor
Published 9 January 2021
Genre: Vampire Horror, Dystopian Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 359
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Ever see a Tasmanian Devil shapeshifter before? Well, you’re about to meet one. The name’s Darcia Deville.
We might have established harmony in Elapid City, but there’s a bunch of twisted vampire hunters eyeing us now. If they get their knives into our vampires, well, that can only end badly. So, now, we’re taking the fight to them.
Everything just had to go wrong, though.
My partner, Robert Smoke, a turned vampire, ended up captured by an insane scientist known as Doctor Astral. I need to save that brat in distress before he gets himself tortured to death. Not only that, but this woman is messing around with magic and science to an alarming extent. Wolfmen never existed before.
Apparently, they do now.
CONTENT WARNING: Extreme gore, descriptive sex scenes, profanity, rescue from sexual assault, & graphic torture.
About the Author
Des M. Astor is a dystopic urban fantasy author who twists everything you know about creatures like vampires. If you’re looking for gory, action-heavy novels that take several steps away from common myth for a flavor of her own, her works are the ones for you. She has a fascination with horror, and is unafraid of spiders, bats, and serpents. In fact, she adores all three. She takes pride in her worldbuilding, to the point where you might question if she’s stepped out of an alternative Earth onto ours in order to tell these stories…
$20 Amazon giftcard,
Audiobook of The Dancing Crow,
Audiobook of Huntsmaster City
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