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.