Recently I have read a lot of twitter conversations and blog posts about vampire fiction. Whether it should be dark and violent, whether the recent YA trend of having 'new' vampire types has ruined the genre, and whether it romanticises disturbing relationships and depicts unhealthy relationship types for teenagers. So I thought I'd add my viewpoint :-)
Obviously I'm not going to be against YA vampire fiction...after all I write it, and I started writing it after enjoying the Twilight Saga. So here are the vampire books I have read (in order of reading them)and the ones I have on my 'to read' list.
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Vampire Armand - Ann Rice
Twilight Saga - Stephanie Meyer
House of Night series - Kristin Cast & P.C.Cast
Glass House Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine
Evernight Series - Claudia Gray
Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
The Moth Diaries - Rachel Klein
The Demon Girl (not really a 'vampire book,' but has a vampire in it.)
Vaempires - Thomas Winship
The Forever Girl - Rebecca Hamilton
Descended by Blood - Angeline Kace
Vaempires/A White Christmas - Thomas Winship
This week I read an interesting blog post on Trip the Eclipse called 'Lusting for Bloodsuckers' which raises the question of why we have sanitised our monsters. I have my own own little theory...
Yes, vampires and demons are our monsters of old, and yes they could be portrayed as evil sociopaths...and this is the original standpoint. But they aren't real right? So how can there be a right and wrong?
The world that we live in, and the news that we watch is filled with monsters, serial killers, pedophiles...hell just different coloured people killing each other because of different gods... or even worse, the gangs they belong too. We have become our own monsters, so when you want an escape, paranomal romance fills that gap. Who says it would be so ridiculous for a vampire to be sane, and have control over his appetite?
Personally I see vampires as similar to humans - some are evil and some work hard to be good, and that's what you'll find in my Witchblood series. The differences are what make them irrisistable: They're strong, powerful and dangerous...and yes that is sexy. I don't believe Bella & Edward's relationship was unhealthy - to me it depicted the awful obsessive love a teenage girl often feels. Edward watching her sleep made me a little uncomfortable, but throughout the books you know how much he cares about her. He urges Bella to remain human - it is her decision to be with him. I hated the whole sparkling bit...but every author makes mistakes, and this one was made worse with the movies. Sparkling aside, I'm still an Edward fan!
On the flip-side I also love a scary vampire, and Bram Stoker's is my favourite. I love this book (& the movie). Again it is a great love story, but the vampire lore surrounding it is brilliant. Recently I read Vaempires by Thomas Winship, which had two differing types of vampire. The original vampires have been humanised with the availabilty of synth-blood, but they have also evolved a sub-race called vaempires who thirst for vampires blood...and these are the monsters of old. They are more powerful, intelligent and ultimately evil. Due to the extreme violence which starts on the first page I really would advise a 16+ age group...and a strong stomach!
So let's not vampire bash... we are predjudiced enough. Let's love all vampires, the good and the very, very bad!