Last week, a friend called me with a great idea for a TV show she wants to pitch to Netflix. She was contacting me because, a) She is a huge fan of my fiction, so she wishes to have me co-write with the scriptwriter for the show, and b) Because of my knowledge of horses (around which the show will revolve). All this aside, we got talking about my books, vampire books in general and then about why she loves my books (other than reviews, we authors rarely hear why people love, or even hate, our books). Of course Anne Rice came into the conversation. My books have been compared to Anne Rice’s, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. But the fact is, I am not Anne Rice (I wish I had her fame and money though); I am my own writer with my own style.
In any event, the reason Anne Rice came to play in our conversation was not to compare my books to hers (a first), but to make a point. My friend started with reference to Dracula. “Dracula was the start,” she said. “He’s the pinnacle of vampire fiction.” The culmination of all things vampire. Several vampire genres made their way into the conversation, including, of course, Twilight. “Twilight is what vampire fiction shouldn’t be!” She went on to explain that she, like most vampire fans (particularly adults), like vampires who stay on the basic Dracula path, taking their own road but remaining either to the left or right of it.
Twilight, for example, is nowhere near it! It has its own road and I have found that vampire lovers either love it or hate it. Since it’s geared towards young adults, who usually haven’t had a ton of exposure to vampire fiction of all kinds through many years, they can accept sparkling blood drinkers who don’t bleed when you cut off an appendage.
Anne Rice, on the other hand, parallels Dracula in many ways, as Dracula is one heck of a horrifying romance. Many consider the relationship between Louis, Lestat and Claudia a sort of difunctional sexual family, even though Anne Rice’s vampires can’t have sex in a traditional way. Then, of course, there’s the blood exchange. That’s where Twilight falls short; These are vampires… where’s the blood? (said in the same vein as the “Where’s the beef?” lady (Clara Peller) of 1984)
My friend made it clear that most vampire stories fall short of Dracula in too many ways, but mine are on the other parallel of Dracula, along the same (once again) vein as Anne Rice, yet quite different. “They are both unique but don’t stray too far from the original vampire stories.”
I thought it might be fun to make a chart comparing our vampires and the basic “Dracula” rules… Just the vampires mentioned here. I know many many vampire authors exist out there, but I can’t compare them all, so I will stick to Ms. Rice, Dracula and, yes, Twilight, to my vampires (I know, I am not famous yet, but It’s my Blog and I’ll say what I want to..” (think “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore, 1963). I also, believe it or not, read little vampire fiction. I have trouble liking most of the characters. I have read True Blood, Dracula, Dracula-like books, Vampire Chronicles, and Christine Feehan. I used to read older vampire fiction, such as by romance authors Karen E. Taylor and Maggie Shayne (and others).
Check out the chart below:
|FATE OF THE TRUE VAMPIRES
|Drinks Human Blood||YES||YES||YES|
|Turns into animals/mist, whatever…||NO||NO||NO|
(Today, it seems, shifters have their own genres and vampires don’t fit that category any longer)
|Killed by sun (No)||YES||No, they only sparkle!! (NOTE: How can something that drinks blood to exist be made of… what are they made of… alloy??)||Most.
(rare exceptions can walk in sun)
(In the original “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, 1897, Dracula could go out in daylight.
It wasn’t until the movie “Nosferatu” (1922) that vampires were depicted as being killed by sunlight)
|Can Fly (as a bat or other winged animal only)||YES
( as themselves, but only certain powerful ones have this ability)
|Can’t see self in mirror||They CAN see selves in mirrors||They can see selves||Can see selves in mirrors|
(so, apparently the mirror reflection thing is gone from most vampire fiction today)
|Repelled by crosses/crucifixes||Nope. As Louis says, “I’m quite fond of looking at crucifixes”||NO||NO.
Originals were considered Gods and existed long before Christianity
|Tragic romance plot||Some believe IWTV was romantic (and tragic). Other “romance” can be found in other books in series.||No tragic…anything!||Multiple romances throughout the series. Some tragic.|
|Evil, scary vampires||Some could be considered “evil”||None (not even the bad guys are scary)||Some might call Yin evil|