Fangs First: Pop Culture and Vampires

Posted April 21, 2017 by Greta in Artifacts, Phenomena, and Haunted Places, Encyclopedia and Lexicon, Guest Posts, Shadows, Slavic Mythology, Vampiric Creatures / 0 Comments

“The laugh was like candy: sweet, and infectious. If you could bottle Jean-Claude’s laugh, I know it would be fattenting. Or orgasmic.”The Laughing Corpse, Laurell K. Hamilton

Vampires in Fiction

There are several vampire franchises in the fiction world. Paranormal romance is one of the hottest genres and is selling very well. Vampires tend to be most creature of the night that you will meet in the paranormal genre.  All of these franchises have been successful and each author has tweaked the mythos and made it her own.
Anne Rice’s Vampires
Anne Rice created sensual vampires, who were not bound by one particular sexuality and tended to have affairs with both men and women. She also created vampires who could not have sex (the parts down below simply no longer worked).  Sexuality was expressed through more oral means such as biting and kissing. 
She also created two vampire archetypes. One is the lonely, melancholy vampire (Louis) who is still haunted by the ghosts (figuratively) of his wife/child and the sins of his past.  Then, there is Lestat, a very joyful vampire who simply adores killing and a little bit of mayhem. You will find these two archetypes in most vampire fiction.
Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Vampires
I will deal chiefly with Edward, since he is the main vampire in this series. This is the tween girl version of a vampire hottie. He is mysterious, can read your mind, and he sparkles in the sunlight. There is a great deal of angsty, forbidden love that is a common theme in vampire fiction, but this is in the modern day world with very modern day vampires that attend  high school.  Another feature is a love triangle between a mortal, a vampire (Edward) and a werewolf (Jacob). This series was wildly successful becase Ms. Meyer’s was able to translate vampires into a teen world and make them accessible and appealing to her demographic.
Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Series
At the center of these books is the love triangle between Anita Blake (animator), a werewolf (Edward) and a vampire (Jean Claude). It has many twists and turns, particularly in the first 5 or 6 books. There is a larger world of vampire politics and supernatural creatures are no longer a secret in society. They are out there in the open and this creates interesting fodder for discussion (rights for vampires? laws governing killing them?).
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DH’s are vampire heros. They eliminate paranormal threats to the human populace. They were re-animated at the behest of a goddess.  It is a very large franchise with Were-hunters and other supernatural beings.  Kenyon has a very large following and is a very prolific author.

Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series

There are many other creatures in this series, besides vampires. In fact, vampires are sort of social pariahs amongst all of the immortal beings in this world (lykae, demons, witches, etc.).   There are several books about the Wroth brothers.  In Cole’s mythology, when a vampire drinks blood s/he also drinks in the memories of the victim. Continuing to drink blood, from several people can make a vampire mad. It is also much more of a violation (invading someone’s mind). 

Bringing it Together…This is a very small selection of all of the vampire franchises out there.  When attempting to right a vampire romance, it is important to get a sense of what sort of vampires are creeping through the pages of the genre in order to distinguish yours from the pack.

Some Sources…

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