Vampires En Vogue

Over the past few years, thanks to the Twilight boom and a great many other YA books that ran along the same vein (pun!) vampires have seen a boom in popularity. This has made some of us jump for joy and some of us cringe.

If your like me you probably did a little bit of both.

It was a really weird for me to witness I was in my mid twenties when my younger sister shoved a novel in my hands and told me that I absolutely had to read it. She and I had exchanged novels before and I trusted her opinion. So that evening I cracked the book and gave it a little look.

I did, in fact, read the entire thing. When I got to the end of it I set the book aside and decided I probably wasn’t going to read the next book. The story just didn’t do anything for me. I understood that the author was trying to take a mythological creature and try to make it her own by making them shiny but it just seemed to fall flat in the character department and the story felt…really dysfunctional.

About six months later everyone was talking about it. Like, seriously…everyone. I was a little flabbergasted (isn’t that an awesome word?) and I didn’t really know what to do with it. I thought perhaps I might have judged the book to harshly and borrowed the rest from my proud Team Jacob, sister and read the rest of the series.

I still didn’t like it. There were parts of the book that made me legitimately uncomfortable. But what surprised me the most is how many people were frothingly protective of the series and how many were vehemently opposed. The most amusing battle of the two wars were a gaming buddy of mine who is a middle aged African American 6’4″ guy and weighing in somewhere near 400 pounds  going up against another friend of his who was tiny, redheaded, and befreckled. The dude was Pro-Twilight. She was not.

What amused me most were the people who thought that this fandom was going to last forever. I tried to explain, so many times, that this was normal and that it wasn’t even the first time I had seen the vampire craze come and go.

Vampires were HUGE in the Victorian Era. I mean, they were the thing. I don’t know if you are aware but the oldest lore about the creature we call vampire revolves around a recently dead becoming possessed, they were more like really quick mildly fresh zombies. They smelled and were gross. It wasn’t until the publication of the (weirdly named) Varney the Vampire that they took on a more aristocratic ideal.

And it became a craze. The serialized publication became a BFD for the era. It would go on to inspire the story Dracula. Then there was Carmilla (Oh my god go read Carmilla) Which inspired…well you see how this went.

Sometime in the late 80’s to early 90’s Anne Rice’s books became a really huge deal. I don’t know if it was the publication of the White Wolf gaming books Vampire: The Masquerade (and the 90’s drama of the same name) or what. But everyone I knew was reading whatever vampire stories they could get their hands on. A while later they were declared “Like, so last year.”

Unless you were me. I continued to be pretty obsessive about the monsters of the Victorian Era.

The difference, I think, was the era that Twilight was born into. The Era of Social Media has a large impact on what’s cool and what isn’t. But it seems to me every couple of generations the bloodsuckers pop up…because they just wont stay dead.

Why is this so important to me? Because I love writing about vampires and werewolves and witches (oh my!) and the fact that people are beginning to get like, seriously upset about this subject confuses me.

“Why are there all these stories about vampires falling in love with human. I don’t fall in love with a cheeseburger” Then dude, I hate to tell you this, but you are totally eating the wrong cheeseburgers. But joking aside…I do not understand why people are STILL so angry about this.

Are you angry that women are swooning over vampire dudes? Then go write about the perfect vampire lady. It would be awesome to read that. I guess what it comes down to is I think there are far more pressing things in this world to be upset about than vampire people and their mortal love interests.

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5 thoughts on “Vampires En Vogue

  1. I dont understand why you are so concerned with the trendiness of vampires in YA fiction. Its kind of like saying “this just in: I think reality shows are becoming popular” and then trying to argue that you have better taste in them for like eight paragraphs. I love vampires and my sex, weight(?) And age have nothing to do with it.

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    1. That’s not what I was saying, at all. I’m sorry for the confusion. I was defending a person’s right to love whatever they want, YA vampire stuff included, regardless of my opinion.

      The reason I talk about the past vampire vogues is to offer legitimacy to the passion. I even say partway through my post that I’ve been vampire obsessed since my teen years, and that’s due, in no small part, to other YA vampire novels.

      The reason that I bring up any physical descriptors was to bring about an image of two forces who were very dissimilar fighting ferociously over the series in my living room. Not because I think that someone has to fit into a specific standard to be a vampire fan.

      The point of the post was to educate people who think that vampire stuff wasn’t popular until Twilight and to show that it’s a genre that’s going to have it’s highs and lows in popularity regardless of anyone’s opinion.

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  2. I do agree that some of the young adult novels being published and marketed seem incomplete, lacking character, and generally not well thought out. One of my friends even tried to force me to read twilight (I told her I would rather read imaginary characters on a toilet paper) but having just read Tolkien then, I felt it would dumb down what I have achieved in reading other substantial classics. So I chose as well to forgo the fad. I love vampires too but I love great books more.

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    1. This is very true. Because Young Adult novels have hit a relative high in the industry (making up more than 70% of novels sold this past fiscal year) they are being pushed out relatively fast.

      I am not the kind of person who likes to put one novel above another. I can say what I, personally, like and why. But I can’t say the same for someone else. I enjoyed the story for LOTR for many reasons, but I found that I couldn’t read it myself since my attention would wander. Yes, it’s a well written book. Just one that doesn’t catch me. When it comes to fantasy I prefer Friedman or Eddings.

      What I want from a book is fully realized and well rounded characters. I want a story that doesn’t have really big plot holes and if it has magic I want it to stay in its own canon.

      I’m rambling…

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