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!