I’m thrilled to have Phoebe Matthews on my blog today discussing the enduring popularity of vampires!
A ghost can’t manage a hug. Werewolves have that messy turning problem. The eating habits of ghouls are a turnoff. And as for zombies, dropping bits and pieces of themselves limits their shelf life. Oh sure, there are always the fairyland characters, but somehow they tend to maintain a didactic overtone of childhood tales.
For a character who can be both sexy and paranormal, it is hard to beat vampire protagonists. All a reader has to do is imagine a dream lover. An ideal. A makeover for a current flawed lover. This replacement won’t bother the real lover because, hey, unless the lover is a mindreader, he or she never knows what’s going on. Readers can simply find a perfect dream lover and enjoy an exciting romance in the privacy of their reading time. And if the novel is downloaded to an ereader, there isn’t even a visible cover to betray, with a sexy image, the subject matter.
Examples of imaginary vampire lovers? For smooth charm I nominate Henry in the Blood series by Tanya Huff, complete with courtly manners and a high rise condo. Henry supports himself by writing romance novels. As he has centuries of experience in lovemaking, his books are bestsellers, of course. Another romantic vampire is Harry Dresden’s sword wielding half-brother, Thomas, in the Dresden series by Jim Butcher. Thomas works as a hairdresser with a devoted clientele and could model for GQ except for that little self control problem. Like a rougher type? There is Charlaine Harris’s Bill in the Sookie Stackhouse novels. For sassy wickedness, remember Spike on the Buffy TV series?
Vampires can be part of packs or they can be loners, rulers or followers. Rachel Caine’s vampires control a college town where the students are human and you can imagine how well that works out. Some vampires are Regency heroines or smack dab in the center of the latest steam punk novel. They do everything from glitter charmingly in sunlight to self destruct in a burst of flame. Some are indestructible, some are extremely vulnerable. And as for taking the romantic lead, vampires can be as gorgeous as any reader or writer wants to believe them to be.
No wonder vampires continue to hold center stage in the fiction world. If one type becomes a bore, the next novel will introduce a new variety of vampire and there we all go, new fans of a new flavor and enjoying every minute. The secret to the neverending vampire popularity is flexibility.
The vampire in my Turning Vampire series is an incredibly innocent young woman with a sexy human boyfriend and not another vampire in sight to give her advice.
Many urban fantasy novels are dark, grim, serious. As none of my novels contain these elements, it seems appropriate to add the word “lite” to my site. Not “light” as in enlightening, “lite” as in beer, entertaining.
Phoebe Matthews currently writes three urban fantasy series: Mudflat Magic, Turning Vampire, and Sunspinners, all set in the Pacific Northwest where she lives. Her novels have been published by Avon, Holt, Putnam, Silhouette and others.
Vampire Career, the first novel in the Turning Vampire series published by Dark Quest, is available in ebook or print. The third novel in the series will be released in August.
Who’s your favorite vampire? Movie? Book?