Immortality – would you really want it?

I first published this post two years ago on another blog, but recently, I got into a discussion about immortality and it made me revisit the subject.

I write about immortal characters –vampires and more recently, a siren.

If you write about vampires, immortality is a subject you give a lot of thought. It goes with the territory. Besides needing to drink blood to survive, the one constant in all vampire mythos is eternal life. In fact, it’s what distinguishes vampires from other supernatural creatures—while a werewolf, for instance, emphasizes what is mortal in us—primal urges—a vampire emphasizes what is immortal—never ending life.

As I get older, the thought of immortality sounds better and better. For the first time in my life, I may have more years behind me than ahead of me. It’s scary. I think back on all that’s happened in my lifetime. Wonders of space and technology, both for good and bad, are opening up new frontiers.

Who wouldn’t want to be around for a hundred or a thousand more years to see what will be accomplished?

But at what cost?

My protagonist, Anna Strong, a newly turned vampire, has a human family and she deals with the ramifications on a daily basis. She knows she will have to face the loss of everyone she has ever known and loved. Can she ever regain the warmth of a family? Or will her existence be reduced to mere survival?

Can vampires fall in love? Can they really care for each other? Power and control are part of the makeup of a vampire. Does being forced to associate with such beings make eternal life more of a curse than a blessing? In literature, vampires often seek relationships with humans and not just as a convenient food source. Perhaps vampires recognize that having a finite life span enables mortals to have deeper, more meaningful relationships than immortals with unbounded lives.

In the case of Emma Monroe, the siren in The Fallen Siren series, while she is not a predator, she, too, is a cursed character who has been sentenced to live as a mortal until she can redeem herself in the eyes of the vindictive goddess, Demeter.

Her crime? Allowing Demeter’s daughter to be kidnapped by Hades. No matter that she and her sisters were tricked by Hades. No matter that the loss of their friend Persephone was as devastating to them as it was to her mother. No matter that Demeter got her daughter back. Emma roams from one mortal life to another, prohibited from finding love, alone, separated even from her sisters. Redemption is her only hope and in this life, the way she tries to accomplish this is by rescuing women in peril with the FBI’s Kidnapped and Missing Persons Division.

A high price to pay for immortality.

So the question I put to you today, is would you accept the “gift” of immortality? How much would you be willing to give up to live forever?

I look forward to your comments.

PS. If you’re curious about the Fallen Siren series, there is a free prequel novella, Captured, available on Amazon. Hope you enjoy it!

Jeanne C. Stein
Jeanne Stein is the award winning, national bestselling author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles. Anna Strong was named one of Paranormal Fantasy’s Top ten Ass-Kicking Heroines by Barnes and Nobles’s reviewer, Paul Goat Allen in 2013. Jeanne also has numerous short story credits, including the novella, Blood Debt, from the New York Times bestselling anthology, Hexed. Jeanne lives in Denver, CO and is active in Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (where she was honored by winning the Writer of the Year award in 2008.) She has taught at numerous conferences and on-line academies. Her newest venture, The Fallen Siren Series, is paranormal romance written in collaboration with Samantha Sommersby under the pseudonym S. J. Harper. The first book in that series, Cursed, debuted last year. A prequel novella, Captured, is available free on Amazon and the second book in the series, Reckoning, will be released October 7. More about Jeanne on her website.

3 thoughts on “Immortality – would you really want it?

  1. I think immortality would be a blessing for the first few-hundred years…and then a curse. There’s only so much a person can do, and see, and learn, before the loss of human relationships would become torture. Also, I think there’s value to making choices based on the fact that we know we can’t do or have everything. Without those limitations, I suspect a lot of the things we love would lose their luster, sooner or later.

    Great question – and I’m going to go check out the novella!

  2. That’s a great rumination on the topic of immortality. I really like how Anna Strong mourns the inevitable loss of her family as she begins to understand what being a vampire is going to do to her. Immortality would be a curse. A long healthy life is great, but living forever? No thanks!

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