Rival candidates - Flaxen and Mercedes
The two rival candidates in "Vote Vampire" deserve special attention. My original concept for the book was a vampire along the lines of Dracula or Dungeons & Dragons' Count Strahd von Zarovich. But I felt that this might not go down too well with the city's voters. I wanted to create a different sort of vampire which would look more appealing and run a strong campaign.
Like Moliere's Tartuffe, Mercedes appears in relatively few scenes in the book. However, her minions appear more often and her plans are usually made plain. It fascinated me when I first read Lord of the Rings at the age of nine that Sauron, the principal evil protagonist, did not appear in a single scene and never spoke a single line. But he was never far from people's thoughts and plans. In Carceron Mercedes represents a known threat but the residents and traders know very little about her as a person.
Flaxen is a familiar face in the city, but at the outset he has been retired for a long time. The book is partly a chronicle of Flaxen's rejuvenation via the energy and determination of the teenage heroes. You can sense him getting younger and younger as the plot progresses, although that does not stop him behaving like an angry dad in chapter 12...