Monday, August 17, 2009

"I Vant To Suck Yer Bluhd!"

Hello Again!

I know I have a post already up for today, but I couldn't resist talking about this:

I was on the Twilight Lexicon (yes, I am a "Twilight Saga" (by Stephenie Meyer) fan). In one of their postings, they were talking about a show coming out this fall on the CW, The Vampire Diaries based on the books by L.J. Smith. I haven't read the books, so I couldn't tell you what they're like; but based on what I'm hearing they are very different from "Twilight" (which is totally fine).

People commenting on the Twilight Lexicon were speculating that The Vampire Diaries were only becoming a show because "Twilight" was so popular. Well, the books of The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith were written before "Twilight" even came out. Of course it could be that "Twilight" was so popular that others thought they'd jump on the band wagon, but let's take a look at some of the vampire history in our culture:

Buffy and Angel both came out long before Twilight did. (The books, too).

Buffy had several episodes before it went off the air. Plus there's books available (I've seen them at at least one of my Libraries). I've seen a few shows of it, so I'm slightly familair. It's not just like Twilight and one of those reasons is because it came out before Twilight was even written (Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight in 2003).

Then came, Angel, which, spun off of Buffy (and also has books out) completing a fascination with vamps.

Then it seemed like it wasn't as huge for awhile. (or maybe I didn't notice it as much).

Then came Twilight and it was pretty much an instant success. (For myself, I fought against the urge to read the books for a long time because I'm not usually into vampires. At all). Suddenly it was really cool to like vampire stuff, again.

Then came the show True Blood and now The Vampire Diaries will premeire in September.

So was it really Stephenie Meyer who paved the way for vampires to "rise again"? Or is it simply that for eons we humans have had a strange fascination with the characters, their culture, morality and what it all means?

For example, author Kerrelyn Sparks has a series of books called Love At Stake that center around vampires. (So far, after reading the first one, How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire I can report that they are not like Stephenie Meyer's books).

I've noticed other books out there that deal with the vampire culture. They're all over the bookstores and they don't all fit the same formula as Stephenie Meyer's books.

In fact, I have vampires in Conjure A Man but they are not the focal point of the story. My vampires are extremely egocentric. My female main character, Delaney (a witch) is best friends with Caruso, a vampire. (To prove how egocentric he is, Caruso asks Delaney out to the Vampire Ball the day of the ball with only about 6 hours for her to get ready. The only reason she says yes is because she has nothing else to do and she's been friends with Caruso for over 20 years--like I said, he was awfully sure of himself!)

So what is it about writing books that either feature vampires or have them around that makes for good selling?

1. Probably because people are fascinated with them.

2. Probably because they are popular.

3. There's a chance they might sell (for the above 2 reasons).

But it didn't start with Twilight*--Twilight might've opened more doors, but it definitely didn't start the onslaught of vampire myths, books, shows, etcetera. Oh no, vampire lore was around long before the publication of Twilight.

So what's your take? To vampire or not to vampire? Do you like stories with vampires in them or are you not interested one bit? Are you a "purist" Buffy type, or willing to explore a variety of possibilities? Do you think Twilight paved the way or that it was merely riding the backs of an already open-to-vampires culture? What's your thoughts?

Have A Mysterious Monday!


Stephanie Faris said...

I am getting a kick out of people thinking Stephenie Meyer started this vampire craze. I remember writing romance novels in the 90s and EVERYONE wanted to write paranormals and vampires. They were repeatedly told no, editors wouldn't accept them, they wouldn't sell. I know Sherrilyn Kenyon ignored that and ended up skyrocketing to the top of the bestseller lists based on the Buffy/Angel success and numerous other romance authors did too. Stephenie may have reignited it, and brought it to the young adult world of books, but she certainly didn't invent the vampire genre, nor did she re-popularize it after years of dormancy. Some people need to look beyond their little tiny world of pop culture, don't they? :-)

bethanyintexas said...


I like Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series as much as the next almost-30-year-old fan (minus the Edward Cullen/RPatz obsession) but I agree with you. Stephenie Meyer assisted to make it even more popular, she didn't do it alone and she certainly wasn't the orginator.

Her books were the reason I read any other Vampire stuff, but I know that she didn't start the vampire craze.

Pink Bug said...

Dracula was the begining...end of story.

I love "Twilight". Not as a vampire book, but as a twist on a love story. I think that's what makes it popular. The idea of a perfect man who you could be with forever truthfully what every woman wants! Isn't it? (By the way, even my husband wants a Volvo.) I'm really not "into" all the vampire shows on TV.

bethanyintexas said...

Pink Bug,

I hear you. My husband got a silver car and I love it. It's not a Volvo, but it's still cool!