A Love Affair with Vampires in Fiction
I’ve had a love affair with vampires ever since I saw the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi when I was a kid. There was just something about those ebony eyes, sparkling, commanding, as they peered over the rim of his black satin cape that took my breath away. In my later years, I was introduced to the
world of Stephen King through Salem’s Lot, which still today remains my very favorite King book. King took us through the world of vampires with eerie ease, and while the Rob Lowe telemovie was a bit truer to his tome, I have to confess I’ll always be partial to the David Soul two parter (who could ever forget Bonnie Bedelia in that coffin, trying to seduce her ex-lover into getting – gasp – THE BITE!
When I was a teenager I was obsessed with a certain gothic soap opera – yes, that’s right. I was – and still am – a confirmed Dark Shadows addict. I’ve even gone to the conventions! I was such a freak that I managed to wrangle myself an invite down to the studio where I met my biggest star crush of all time – Jonathan Frid. I was, of course, tongue tied (what do you expect, I was 15) and I think the thing that amazed me most was the fact that his real voice was NOTHING LIKE BARNABAS’S! Ben Cross was good in the 1991 nighttime remake, but oddly – it just wasn’t the same, although now I watch the old DVD’s and think, “They actually got paid for this? Cripes, I can see them looking at the teleprompter!” We won’t mention the 2012 Johnny Depp remake. Let’s just let that lie there, shall we?
Vampires in paranormal romance today are steamy and sexy, and there really are no hard and fast rules. Like Angel, some can walk in daylight (just not direct sunlight) some prefer the nightlife, some are just damn bloodthirsty while others fight on the side of humanity. I have a few vampire heroes in my books. They’re a breed of vamps known as INHERITOR.
Now, I’d like to take credit for the breed, but I actually came across the information on the Internet. To wit:
Inheritor vampires TYPE ONE: These vampires are much like the Genetic vampires, except they are born. Like Sanguinarians, the vampire trait will lay dormant inside them until around the age of 13 – 26, when they awaken. When the body reaches the late stages of puberty, it releases a chemical which awakens the vampire and begins many physical changes in the body. As a result of this, most Inheritors look around 19 – 20 years old their whole life. Most of the time the parents of the vampire will be human and vampire, or both vampires. There must be one vampire parent. Inheritor vampires live to around the age of 350-400 years old.
Inheritor vampire TYPE 2: Sanguinarians are the “mortal version” of the Inheritor vampires. They still require and crave blood, are sensitive to sunlight,
and have many of the traits the Inheritor and Classical vampires have. However, Sanguinarians do not live much longer then the average human being. Of course, to make it my own, I’ve taken some liberties – my Inheritor vamps are more human than humans, and age to a VERY HOT mid-30’s, but you get the idea. There are more types of vampires out there than just the typical Dracula/Barnabas sleep in the coffin during the day, rise at night to suck a maiden’s blood type. As a matter of fact, that type (referred to now as a “classical”) is getting pretty passé. After all, didn’t Angel show us just how a vampire can survive among humans, and how hot one can be?
The mystique of “the bite” never changes though. Considered the ultimate sexual experience, in old lore people thought after 3 bites the victim turned into a vampire. Other mythology had the victim rising as a vamp after the vampire drained them of their blood. Another way to “turn” someone was to bite them then have them drink their blood. There are no hard and fast rules concerning vamps anymore – or any other type of creature for that matter! Isn’t that great for us writers?! We can create whole new worlds of vampiric hotness for you, the reader! (And for us, too!)
There are a TON of paranormals featuring vamps out there, some good, some bad. You just have to shop around to find the vamp that most appeals to
you. And in case you’re interested, here’s a link to find out more about types of vampires:
Happy reading! And if you have a favorite paranormal romance featuring vampires, share it in the comments!
Toni LoTempio is an admin by day, writer by night! In addition to writing the suspense column for Night Owl Reviews, Toni writes paranormal suspense and mysteries, among them Raven’s Kiss, My Superhero Sister, Raven’s Quest and No Rest for the Wicca. Toni’s cat, Rocco, occasionally lets her write on his blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, which features interviews with authors and giveaways each month. Toni and her blogging cat Rocco also volunteer for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read, (Rocco is its official spokescat!) and Toni is featured in the paranormal anthology, Every Witch Way But Wicked, available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, whose proceeds benefit the charity.
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