Hope you have a spooktacular day :)
Today, Marie Harte, in the spirit of Halloween, will be talking about one of my favorite blood-suckers....muhahahaha ;)....
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But it was the vampire that stuck with me. Years of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee duking it out as Van Helsing and Dracula, dozens of movies about Dracula’s bride, his daughter, heck, his dog. And let’s not forget two popular sitcoms: The Munsters and the Addams Family. The vampire remains one of the great “monsters” of all time.
The question is… why? Why are we so taken with a creature that sucks our blood and seeks to turn us into food, or worse, mindless slaves? And why as romance readers are so many of us enthralled by vampires? Think I’m wrong? Take a look at the market lately. It’s GLUTTED with vampire romance.
The vampire is a creature which feeds on a blood, that essence that makes us what we are. Traditionally, you can only kill a vampire by staking it through the heart, exposing it to sunlight or cutting off its head. Garlic and holy water will ward it away, but only temporarily. In fact, vampires, for the longest time, were considered unattractive, monstrous beasts…along the lines of the monster in the movie Nosferatu.
And then in 1976 Anne Rice published the genre breaking novel, Interview With a Vampire, introducing the world to the angst-ridden, romantic vampire figure. Hollywood followed in 1979 with a remake of Dracula, starring Frank Langella, a younger, darker, sexier vampire. Twenty years later, seems like the romance industry finally jumped on the bandwagon.
I know the first great romance I read that I can remember (involving the vampire) came from the esteemed Christine Feehan and her incredibly innovative Carpathians. Sherrilyn Kenyon became another favorite with her Dark Hunter series, and J.R. Ward has me addicted with her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Then there’s Lindsay Sands, Lynn Viehl, Nina Bangs, L.A. Banks, and many, many others. I know there are a ton more vampire romances/authors of the books I haven’t mentioned, but the aforementioned Feehan, Kenyon and Ward truly stand out.
It’s funny how one concept, that of the vampire, has morphed into so many different takes on the theme. Vampires are no longer simply monsters, but tortured creatures. Men and women diseased with an incurable virus. Mortals cursed by the ancient gods to roam the earth battling evil. A different species entirely who become evil if they don’t encounter their destined mates.
Though I admit I grow tired of vampires, seeing them again and again, I can’t bring myself to stop reading the new variations authors have on the theme. Something about immortal creatures with fangs--always beautiful predators--that possess such strengths yet have such a large weakness (hello sunlight) fascinates me. And from the myriad books still being published with a vampire hero or heroine, I’d say the same applies to many other readers and writers.
Heck, three years ago my first story was published—Blackthorne’s Light, a vampire romance. And I’m currently working on my second vampire romance for a compilation coming from Amber Quill in January 2008. What can I say? Even though the vampire’s been done to death, no pun intended, there’s always room for more.
Enjoy your Halloween, and feel free to share any vampire novels and movies, romance or otherwise, that you’d recommend.