I say that Galefire is an Urban Fantasy series, and it is. There's magic, monsters, and gunfights. Demons and angels. But I also incorporate several elements of horror, or at least borrow from the tropes you are already familiar with, and ad my own flavor.
Take, for instance, my vampires. I call them whorchals. And they are some wicked, badass creatures. Hard to kill, harder to love.
Base stock image from http://theghostsiren.deviantart.com/
So, why didn't I just call them vampires? Part of why I love doing Urban Fantasy is the idea of taking basic tropes and adding my own flavor. Not so much as to alienate you, but to let you know my world is just a little different than what you're used to seeing.
I modelled my whorchals after the creatures in 30 Days of Night, which happens to be one of my favorite vampire mythologies of all time. I love the idea of a creature barely under control, alien beauty combined with brutal instinct.
Elsa and Ingrid are such creatures. The gangbangers of the Galefire world know them as the Drear Sisters. They are brutal and unkind, and they care for nothing except their allegiance to the 8th Street Gang, and blood. Well, except for Ingrid, who shows some indication she wants to be more than just another wicked creature in the world. Elsa is my wild card. You just never know what she's going to do, but it will usually end up a miserable time for someone.
The first few paragraphs of Galefire I : Fade Rippers hint at what life might be like at the constant mercy of these two.
Lonnie dipped the red-stained mop into the bucket of hot water, lifted it, and dropped it into the strainer, swinging the handle over to wring it. He pushed hard. His stomach curdled as the bloody strands drained into the steaminess. A pungent copper-soap scent wafted up to greet his nose.
He pressed even harder, an obligation—nay, an obsession—to get every last drop out.
The plastic groaned and creaked, forcing him to ease up before he broke it. Cheap, piece of shit.
Lonnie stood straight to let his back rest and wiped his arm across his sweaty forehead. He’d need another bucket of water soon. His third one cleaning up another mess left by one of the sisters, Ingrid or Elsa. Most likely, Elsa. That bitch didn’t care where she left corpses. Luckily for him, he hadn’t had to move the body. Just get the stains up off the hardwood in their third-floor parlor.
There was a lot of blood. An amazing amount. Always was. The pattern told the story. The victim died standing up, neck cut and blood spraying wildly around their shoes, big drops of it splashing as they fell to their knees. A big clear spot to the left where the body collapsed, blood pooling around their head. Smeary marks where they clawed helplessly in their dying moments. And then a nice, thick, undisturbed ring spreading out another two or three feet in every direction.
The bootprints of the murderer always close, lingering, the killer satisfying their morbid curiosity.
As a writer, characters like the Drear Sisters are a lot of fun because they're unpredictable. They add an unseen and continual tension to the narrative. To invoke their wrath would be unwise. Hell, you don't even have to do anything to invoke their wrath, and that's what makes them unsettling. They make writing worth writing, even though they may take you, dear reader, some getting used to.
But, as you know, characters like these are totally worth it. The payoff is a lot of fun.
What are your favorite vampire mythologies?