Cat on the Keyboard

Author Christine Church's Musings, Books and Stuff…

A fresh and ultimately unique take on vampires!

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 20•18

1922 (1929 in the USA) black and white. The first vampire movie ever made

First, there was Dracula.  Well, he wasn’t first, but he was the most well-known. We all know him from the movies mostly, the very first being Nosferatu, the black and white silent of 1922. The first vampire movie, loosely based on the 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, “Dracula,” which in turn was loosely based on a real-life character from the 15th century… a violent ruler by the name of Vlad Dracul (Son of the Order of the Dragon) who was rumored to have drunk the blood of some of his victims.

From there on forth, Dracula has been the subject of numerous movies, plays and even off-shoot books spanning well over a century, and changing according to the whim of the author. Though vampire fiction was around before “Dracula,” it was Bram Stoker’s novel that made the ‘creatures’ famous.

Vampire fiction is rooted in the ‘vampire craze’ of the 1720s and 1730s, which culminated in the somewhat bizarre official exhumations of suspected vampires. source

In the beginning, Dracula was usually depicted as a hideous creature, or an animal, stalking the night in search of his victims. But, behind them all, is almost always the tragic romance between the Count and his reincarnated love, Mina. Romance with a creature who can turn into mist or animals, and even a hideous bat-like beast (such as is seen in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” starring Keanu Reeves, Wanona Ryder and Gary Oldman as Dracula). This depiction of the classic diary-entry novel comes the closest to the original book.

 

The next big (though not by any means the only) incarnation of vampires did not arrive until Anne Rice’s publication of “Interview with the Vampire” in 1976. She was the first to show vampires as beautiful, androgynous, human-like creatures who cannot turn into a bat, nor any other creature, to stalk their prey. Anne Rice’s vampires, particularly Louis, maintained a semblance of humanity and even guilt for having to kill in order to survive. The movie, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst, came out in theatres in 1994. Though the movie strayed quite a bit from the book, it was a masterpiece in its own right.

Also, in 1975, Stephen King came out with his vampire novel, “Salem’s Lot,” which was made into a movie as well. However, the vampires depicted appear more in line with Nosferatu’s creature than Anne Rice’s beauties. “Salem’s Lot” is pure in the horror genre.

Since Dracula and IWTV, there have been a slew of vampire books and movies. Romance being the number one genre in books also began to see more romantic tales of vampires and humans. The ultimate taboo relationship. But it has so much potential. And vampires have evolved and changed in many forms throughout the past few decades in particular.  Some have even brought vampires into the light, so to speak, such as Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, True Blood, which became a TV series on cable in 2008 and ran until 2014. True Blood, the books and the TV show, are told by Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress in a fictional town in Louisiana called Bon Temps. Vampires have recently “come out” of hiding and the world knows they exist. Hence, in order to keep them off humans, a synthetic blood was created (Tru Blood) and is sold in bars, convenience stores, etc. Merlottes is a bar/restaurant where Sookie works as a waitress. When a stranger arrives and she can’t read his mind, Sookie is fascinated. Turns out this stranger is Bill, a vampire, who once lived in the town long before anyone currently there was born. He’s returned to claim his original estate.

Vampire movies and books are too numerous to mention in great length.  Most are based on books, some are not, particularly in the horror genre. Romantic vampires are extremely popular in literature today, and had their jump-start when Stephenie Meyer’s book “Twilight” hit the shelves (although many view IWTV as a tragic romance). These were vampires who sparkled rather than burned up in sunlight.  Much like the “Underworld” movies series, vampires and werewolves came head to head and were sworn enemies. “Twilight” was met with much love and criticism. Vampires that sparkle? Yeah, right!

Now, I can proudly introduce a completely fresh and unique take on the vampire genre, which mixes traditional vampires (Anne Rice style) with a whole different dynamic. Ok, I am going to do a bit of shameful promotion here… because, who can write vampire books and not mention them in a blog post about vampire books!?

 

Sands of Time: Fate of the True Vampires, Book One

Fate of the True Vampires is a historical series that dates far back to ancient Egypt, even before the pyramids.  Throughout time and all over the world, archaeologists have been digging up and discovering scrolls, journals, letters and more and preserving and translating them. Eventually, a connection was made between all of them – most written by the same woman, throughout thousands of years. Others either mention this woman or those within her life, hence connecting them to hers. As the journals, etc are put in order, a story forms; a massive story spanning numerous eras throughout history, famous eras and people (such as Cleopatra and Marc Antony) and events (such as the Glencoe Massacre in Scotland). But, there is much more than just her journeys; her entire life as she traverses through these historical times is in itself a story and each book plays a part in the whole of the tale. Everything that happens to her and those around her throughout history effects the bigger story of her life. This is her journey through the “Sands of Time.”

 

 

And, if you really want to follow a different angle, a more contemporary angle, check out the “Anachronistic Dimensions” series. Very atypical, this series is more fantasy than the traditional vampire. It follows the life of Dane Bainbridge, a rich and famous rock star with a bit too much of an obsession for booze and the ladies. He wants to love, but just can’t seem to. The odd thing about Dane is that, for all his life, he has been seeing a woman appear in his mirrors at random.  After some pretty strange incidents, he is kidnapped and taken through a mirror! And beyond, he discovers an entire world, a dimension which exists in the folds of time, where the residents drink blood and the Ruler/Wizard requires Dane’s blood for his world to go on. Also, within that world is the woman he’s been seeing all his life in mirrors – she is the only woman he could ever love, as he cursed himself in a past life after the pain of losing his wife.  It’s a complicated series that includes  vampires (they don’t call themselves vampires, but they drink blood after all), reincarnation, time dimensional travel (a touch of sci fi amongst the fantasy) and romance.

 

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