Why Do Dawn Fangs Eat Food?

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War of Nytefall: Rivalry has a bunch of celebrations and feasts.  That isn’t really a spoiler since I’m not say the who, why, and finale to those events.  Yet, it opens the door for a question that I’ve been asked a few times.  People expect vampires to drink blood, but you tend to throw many off when those same vampires are having a slice of pizza or a mug of beer.  The concept of these monsters eating human food and not getting sick gets a fairly strong reaction.  Probably see some in the comments.  So, why and how did I give this ability to Dawn Fangs?

First, I will make it clear that only Dawn Fangs can eat mortal food.  Old-world vampires can only ingest and get energy from blood.  They can get slightly around that by adding blood to a recipe, but that really only works with drinks.  Eating a steak with blood on it will still cause digestive issues that can really only be solved by slitting open their bellies and removing the meal.  Dawn Fangs don’t have to worry about that. In fact, they tend to overindulge since they have insane metabolisms when it comes to non-blood food.  Many newly turned Dawn Fangs will stuff themselves silly in an attempt to see how much they can it before they get sick.  That or they’re thrown out of the tavern.  So, eating has become a big part of Dawn Fang life because it’s a joyous activity that the older ones thought they would never be able to do again.

I was on the fence about if I would grant any benefits to this beyond me being able to write eating scenes.  For some reason, I have my characters eat and drink a lot, especially when they’re talking in a group.  Anyway, I wasn’t sure how complicated I wanted to get with the blood vs food issue.  Blood became less important when I decided that Dawn Fangs have working hearts, which means they can create and pump their own blood.  There are times where it feels like they drink it out of habit, but it definitely gives them a bigger power boost.  This way, they don’t run out of it when fighting or doing anything extraneous.  So, blood is still the main fuel of the Dawn Fangs.

Food is different because it gives them energy that they can burn through faster and more often.  The nourishment that they get from food goes primarily to their brains.  It creates pleasure that keeps them calm, but also gives them a subconscious sense of being more than monsters.  Dawn Fangs have strong emotions that can get out of hand, especially if they are struggling to figure out their place in the world.  Only drinking blood makes them feel like a monster, but food has a big cultural impact.  Friends talk over meals, families cook together, a favorite drink after a hard day, and so many other things revolve around even a snack.  The psychological impact is probably bigger and more important than the energy they gain.

So, that’s how it works, so why did I do it besides my love of eating scenes?  That’s really it . . . buy a copy of War of Nytefall: Rivalry . . . Oh, I guess that’s not a good enough answer.  Seriously, I’ve actually had the Dawn Fangs eating food thing since their earliest incarnation.  This is back when Clyde and his friends operated off of Earth with no connection to other series.  Originally, it was just a quirk that I gave to him and his friends because they were always hanging around mortals.  The scenes I tested them with felt strange with them hanging around a restaurant and not having food.  Then, Titus drank a beer when I wasn’t looking and that was basically it.  Figured that it was better to add this quirk instead of risking more screw ups when I was writing hungry.  Not the most amazing answers, but it led to an important decision later on.

Once Clyde and the other Dawn Fangs came over to Windemere, I looked at what I had and focused a bit more on the eating part.  Immunity to sunlight and eating were the only two non-vampire abilities that they really had.  The second one is what drew me to the idea of Dawn Fangs being more like mortals with heartbeats and later the ability to sexually reproduce.  After that, I came up with the idea of Clyde wanting his people to integrate with mortal society.  They had the skills and abilities to blend in with their neighbors, so why wouldn’t they do it?  Of course, it could be seen as a predatory trick, but I liked the idea of them showing they could be peaceful.  It ran very contrary to Clyde’s violent nature and demonstrated how much he’s fighting against it.  And the idea started with the eating of food.

By the way, I’ve found out that vampires eating food either for energy or with no effect has been done before.  So, there is a history to it.  What do you think about this quirk?  What food would be your first one if you were a vampire who could suddenly eat again?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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32 Responses to Why Do Dawn Fangs Eat Food?

  1. L. Marie says:

    I love food scenes. They provide more information about the cultures and the conflicts the characters have. The fact that the Dawn Fangs can eat food makes them a richer set of characters

    I would eat a steak! (Ha, can’t help thinking of the irony with stakes.)

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  2. I don’t see anything wrong with vampires who can eat real food. Also, I can see how it would help with those group talking sessions, since food is often used to avoid talking head syndrome in those kinds of scenes.

    As for what I’d eat first if I could suddenly eat food again… I’m torn between pizza, cheesy fries, marmalade on toast, strawberries, chocolate, and the jackfruit sandwich my favourite cafe does. Since pigging out is apparently not an issue, maybe I’ll just have all of it? 😉

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    • I was surprised how many people had issues with it. All of it sounds good. Keep meaning to try jackfruit, but I can’t find it. How does it taste?

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      • That’s a kind of tricky question to answer, because how it’s cooked changes how it tastes. I mean, depending on the ripeness, it can be used for either savory or sweet dishes. The sandwich I have it in usually makes it a vegetarian alternative to chicken, and the way they cook and season it gives it the slightly smoky taste of BBQ chicken, but it’s a softer and smoother texture. Does that make sense?

        I have no idea where to buy it fresh… The cafe I go to has it imported, I know that much. You can buy cans of it on Amazon though. I looked in to it, because I plan on trying to cook it myself at some point. There are two different versions. Ripe and unripe. One is for savory dishes, the other for sweet. If you buy it canned like that, you can easily figure out which is which, since one comes in syrrup.

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      • That makes sense. Thanks.

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  3. I can relate to your process. A robot girl who’s been designed to perfectly mimic humans will eventually have to eat and drink. It goes into a holding tank for later disposal. She can drink a big man under the table, because all she’s doing is pouring it into her container. Note: I’ve been seeing jackfruit at our stores lately. I want to try it too.

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  4. I like the idea of Vampires being able to eat. It expands the story and allows for more social occasions. If I were a vampire and allowed to eat I would grab a porterhouse steak. I haven’t had red meat in 30 years so it would be about the same as a vampire being allowed to eat.

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  5. Because…doughnuts.

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  6. Pingback: Seven Links…4/20/19 Traci Kenworth – Where Genres Collide

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