Instead, I was influenced by anime and manga, particularly Vampire Princess Miyu and Hellsing Ultimate. I'd read Bram Stoker's Dracula, had seen numerous films based on it. But vampire lore has existed in other countries and cultures long before Stoker penned his horror masterpiece. I knew that if I wrote another vampire story, I'd want it to be different.
One of my favorite anime is the Mermaid Saga series by Rumiko Takahashi of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha fame. Yuta is a young-looking sailor who ate mermaid flesh 500 years ago. According to the legend, those who eat mermaid flesh either become immortal, die instantly, or mutate into horrible immortal monsters known as "lost souls."
When I decided to write this current vampire story, I wanted to get away from the blood sucker who stalks his victims. Nathaniel James didn't become a vampire because he wanted to subsist on blood. He wanted to become powerful enough to stop Jack the Ripper, a man who could shapeshift into a werewolf at will. But to become a vampire, Nathan had to find someone willing to turn him. And that was Stephen, descendent of a long line of vampire masters. People like Stephen have a dilemma. They produce too much blood and need someone to drink from them. But the people they turn die instantly from blood poisoning more often than not. If a vampire master can't find an assistant, the only way to get rid of the excess blood is through blood letting, such as cutting. But this practice is frowned upon as being barbaric.
Stephen is Nathan's vampire master and also his manservant and lover.Not only do the men have to keep their vampirism secret but also their relationship. And that's not easy when a young prostitute, Charlotte, has her eyes on Nathan, a former Detective Inspector and someone she thinks is perfect to help her catch the Ripper. But Nathan has his own reasons for seeing the Ripper killed.
Here are a few videos that influenced the story.
Mermaid Forest - Lost Souls
(Unfortunately, I can't embed this video, but here's the link:)