Genre Talk

How Do You Like Your Vampire?

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Vampires come in all flavors and sizes of character these days. What was once more or less a pasty, coffin-creeping horror villain with maybe–maybe–a hint of sensuality of you squinted hard enough has become anything from the alpha fighter who can beat up the bad guys and then fuck like a god until his mate is boneless with satisfaction to a pensive beta with a touch of nerdlinger who tussles with wolf shifters on his walk home from school. Do you like vampires who can walk in the day? See themselves in the mirror? Does their blood have some kind of special flavor? Special powers, anybody?

Dead or undead? How do you like your vampire served?

Okay. True confession time: I’m posting while hungry. So I recognize that this vampire-as-restaurant-fare analogy may not totally be working, but I’m gonna go ahead and beat that horse until it’s dead.

Speaking of hungry, do you prefer vampires who eat food or no? Vampires who drink only from each other? Only from humans? Vampires who drink from say, only animals so as not to be too villainous and murderous?  Where does your ideal vampire hail from, and what are his or her family values? What story do they have to tell?

Word on the street is, vampires are done to death. But several of the authors on this here very blog write vampires and we happen to disagree. I’m betting some of you readers do too. If you’re a fan of the genre, what turned you on to those fanged-up bad boys to begin with?  don’t know about you but I’ve been fascinated by the idea of vampires as romantic creatures ever since Michael and Star got their groove on in The Lost Boys. *fans self*

You know, I see one burger joint after another opening in my area, and nobody seems to be getting tired of burgers. The key, however, is the burgers have to be not just good but special somehow. We have the place with the juiciest burgers, the place with the delicious milkshakes, the place with the custom burgers and the place with the exotic ones made out of ostrich and bison and stuff. The place with the tried and true brand. I figure with blood suckers, the same rule applies. Take what’s familiar with “the lore,” as it were, and then find the twists, the voice, and the story that make those creatures of the night uniquely your own. Yes?

(Did you think I was done with the restaurant thing? I’m so sorry.)

For those of you who love vampires, what do you love about them? Is it the fangs? The hot, forbidden, inter-species love that dare not speak its name? What is it about vampires that draws you into their world? Is loving the undead dead? In the vast-array of vampire options, what draws you in?

And also, how do you like your burger?

*Please note that no actual vampires or burgers were grilled in the writing of this article

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55 thoughts on “How Do You Like Your Vampire?

  1. I like my vampires dangerous and with a few flaws, so I don’t like them to be able to walk in sunlight or eat food… I also like them to munch on humans. (I’m vicious! LOL)

    I think there is something inherently dangerous and sex about an immortal who could kill me but chooses to love me instead… 🙂

    Great blog Elisabeth!!!

    Lisa

  2. I think I’m into the dangerously seductive vampires that carry an ancient wisdom. Almost god-like because they’ve been around so long. If a god picks you out of a crowd, it means you must be special…for either sacrifice or loving.

  3. I think what I like about vampires is the ancient nature of them, the fact that they may have survived and experienced what for some of us, is hardly accessible in a history book. I also love myth, and the fact that vamps (or some variety) show up across almost every culture, and from very early in history – so much potential! They aren’t my favorite paranormal creature (sorry, I side with the shifters 😉 ), however, I don’t think vamps are “done.” Humans can and probably always will continue to be fascinated by the idea of immortal, blood-drinking creatures, and I think the author just needs to bring a unique twist to their story (as they need to do in any kind of story, vamps or not).

    • I find the vamps vs shifters debate fascinating in and of itself, actually. I LOVE a sexy shifter, but for me vamps are the original true love (and Christian Slater… anyhoo…) I think you’re right, I think there’s a fascination in the fact that they can be creatures who don’t just know history, but lived history. My next book, Hunter by Night, features a hero who was alive during the plagues and I love playing with that backstory and how it affected him. There’s a lot fun there!

    • Shifters used to be my second favorite, after vampires (go Team Vamp! lol) but then along came some suuuuuper sexy demons and gods from Larissa Ione, Laura Kaye and Kresley Cole… 🙂

  4. Sorry … I forgot. My all-time favorite vampires were the “Kindred Embraced” family from the short-lived television series; they could spend limited amounts of time in the sun, pass for human, lived in a clan-system, and could shape-shift into wolves if especially powerful. But, they also had screwed-up family dinners most of can relate to. 😉

  5. Great post–I love the burger analogy, and I think you’re absolutely right. Vampires aren’t going anywhere. My personal favorite is Ian from Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series. He’s dangerous, sexy, and unpredictable, and for me, that’s the best kind of vampire.

  6. I agree, a great post. I don’t think vamps are done. I love them! I love good versus evil ( good winning of course) even though vamps have a bad/dangerous side

  7. As a writer, I enjoyed the challenge of reconciling science with thousands of years of world folklore, and having it all work and make sense. My vampires love burgers, since after all meat contains blood at the molecular level, so they can survive indefinitely on normal food (assuming meat is in their diet). Science!

    • Science! Definitely. As Caridad Pineiro once said, the scariest stuff in fiction is the stuff that we can make sound believable. I read a series of books once though–I wish I could remember the title–about a vegan werewolf. Sometimes the tropes can be fun to play with.

    • Oooh cool! I like that science-y side of a vampire story too. It makes perfect sense to blur fantasy and biology! I have a chemist friend I consult with all the time on my Blood Vine books. When I told her I wanted to mention her in the acknowledgements, she worried it sounded borring, so I put in quotes. She found “chemistry” consultant more satisfying 🙂

      • How I rationalized the “harmed by sunlight” (aka ultraviolet radiation) mythos scientifically: The human body has millions of years of evolutionary tolerance for sunlight, which I personally don’t think even a vampiric mutation could alter. So, my human vampires are not harmed by sunlight. Now what about beings who evolved on a planet with full cloud cover, in darkness and shielded from direct UV radiation? Thus, my alien (extraterrestrial origin) vampires are harmed by direct sunlight/UV rays, due to no evolved tolerance of same.

        This is just one of many such scientific explanations of folklore in “Vampire Syndrome”.

  8. I like the vampires in Susannah Sandlin’s, Paranormal Romance, Penton Legacy series. Aidan Murphy of Redemption, Mirren Kincaid of Absolution and Will Ludlam of Omega. A community of vampires that use unvaccinated/untainted blood from human donors. Trying to survive in Penton, Alabama. They do spend the days in sleep, underground.

    • Thanks from my alter-ego Susannah, Roger! Yes, everybody told me not to write vampires because they were “dead” (ha) but I just had to write the Penton series. They’re a combination of ancient and young, there’s no sparkling, and like any other characters, the best vampires for me are those who are struggling with some personal issues left over from their human lives–and the women who help fix them 🙂

      • Oh, yes, the women who help fix them: Krystal Harris the doctor, Glory Cummings the cook and Randa Thomas the warrior vampire. My favorite is Randa.

      • Oooh me too, Suzanne, I’ve only read Redemption, but in that one you have a great conflict between brothers. I like family drama among vampires, I especially like to think about how family dynamics change over a long time. What does it mean to be a father and son when you are both ancient, for example.

  9. I like my vampires to be dark and deadly to those who would endanger them while soft and cuddly with me ;). Eating food is a plus so we can dine together and medium rare burgers – YUM! Thank you.

  10. For me the best thing about the vampire mystique is the ability to live for centuries. I can only imagine how incredible it would be to watch the world and mankind progress. It would be horrible to watch the people you love grow old and die though. Not much of a burger eater, but when I do make them I like them full of garlic and asiago cheese, the same way I make my meatballs.

    • It does seem like it would be both a blessing and a curse, doesn’t it? I’ve got a vampire wrestling with that in my next novel, actually. He hates humans, and sees them as biologically inferior because they die so fast, and then he falls in love with one. Theirs was a fun story to write. 🙂 And your burger / meatball recipe sounds delicious!

  11. I like the vampires who are unapologetic about who they are. I can’t stand a self-loathing vampire. If I hear “you can’t love me, I’m a monster” a la Edward Cullen, I will hurl the book across the room. I much prefer the “we are another species, but I find you incredibly attractive and delicious” approach.

    • LOL! I hear you. I think a little bit of beta hero or tortured hero can be sexy if it’s done the right way, but I agree it can go overboard. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with attractive and delicious. 😉

  12. This is a fun question. And I do like my vampires to be old, not being able to be out in the sunlight, but able to be awake when older. Okay, my favourite vampire is Jean Claude by Laurell K. Hamilton and I do love everything about him. He is rich, savvy, looks gorgeous, is an awesome lover and a fearful enemy.
    Tired of vampires? No way!
    I think the first ones I read about: The Carpathians by Christine Feehan.

  13. Ah, this is a truly difficult question to answer. There are many ways I like my vampires, ;), but mostly I like them very dark, dangerous, slightly sinister, sensuously decadent and tall, LOL! I want my heart to pound when he hunts, flutter when he seduces and stop when he’s hurt. I love me some real Bad Boys! I also like the storyline to be a bit raw, not neat and tidy, ya know. Almost a little bit of horror to it, so that you have this “OMG, I can’t look, but I have to” thing going on. The vamps I love, don’t eat human food, don’t walk in the daylight, drink from human or vampire, and the more ancient and reclusive, the better to yank them out of it with a heroine who pushes all their buttons! Vampires out of favor, I don’t think so! There are so many favorite vampires of mine that I really can’t pick just one. So, here are a few! Dage, from CLAIMED by Rebecca Zanetti, Zane, from Zane’s Redemption by Tina Flosom, Kaegen from Tessa Dawn’s Blood Curse series, Lee from The Chronicles of Yavn by Elisabeth Staab, I’ll stop talking now. 🙂

  14. I love most vampires! The whole thing is sexy to me but I mostly love the ‘turned as young adult’ vampires. I love them to feed on humans but they also need to be able to eat a Big Mac! I live in the south so walking in the sun is a necessity for me! Falling in love with a human, its interesting. Falling in love with another species of Fae, even better. Just my thoughts. 🙂

  15. Awesome post, Elisabeth about my favorite otherworldly creature. Though all that talk of burgers made me hungry, LOL. I like vampires with a pulse (i.e. J.R. Ward’s vamps and Amber Belldene’s vamps) or without (ie. Laurell K. Hamilton’s vamps, and my vampires). Definitely prefer vamps who drink human blood. Mine drink alcohol too. Remember Joss Whedon’s vamps? Spike in particular when he wanders back to SD after Dru dumps him… Night walkers all the way although daytime is fine if it’s foggy, but I do prefer the sun being a weakness for them. Above all, I love vamps with a rich history. A tortured past is always nice for both good and bad little vamps.

    • Yes! Tortured is bad in a good way, I think. Adds to the mystique and the “animal” quality, I think I love that your vamps drink. Mine do too. All sorts of fun things can happen. 🙂 THanks, Celia!

  16. I like them all ways, which is part of why they are my fav. There is so much that can be done with that myth that makes the stories all different.

    • I’m with you, and I think it was Jeaniene Frost who said (and I’m paraphrasing) that until she met a real vampire, she’d never say anybody was doing them “wrong.” I think there are a lot of ways they can be sexy so long as “the basics” still apply.

  17. I like pretty much any vampire with very few exceptions. I’m not a fan of the Edward Cullen type of vampire. I don’t mind vampires that eat food like the Black Dagger Brotherhood. But I do like vampires that drink blood from other vampires or humans or animals. Jack Fleming in P. N. Elrod’s Vampire Files usually drinks cow’s blood. Sometimes a vampire has to drink animal blood since human or vampire isn’t available. I do like vampires that are nightwalkers. Some vampires, like Jean Claude, are totally inactive during the day. Others, like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, can be active during the day, they just can’t go out in the sunlight. I’m not a fan of the angst that some vampires feel but I can understand some vampires feel some sort of ennui since many of them have been around for a long, long time. I think I like them so much because they have been around so long. And let’s face it, everyone likes a bad boy.

    I sure hope vampire fiction isn’t dead. I read a lot of it and I need my fix. Every once in a while, the media says paranormal romance/urban fantasy is dead, Well, it’s still here and the fans are getting more and more wonderful books.

    • Here, here, Cathy! I started writing vampires because I needed my fix so much that I was buying too many books! I figured I couldn’t be the only one, lol! I knew I wasn’t alone. I like vamps who eat food and can be active during the day, too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  18. Pingback: Another One Turns to Dust (Vampire parody of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”) | The Twilight Fun Blog

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