Tuesday, March 30, 2010

VAMPIRES, THEN AND NOW…AND THEN By Cassandra Pierce

The early descriptions of vampires that have come down to us through folklore, provide a stark contrast to today’s hunky, bare-chested bloodsuckers who no longer necessarily suck blood. It’s true that some of the old, scary vamps sometimes ran around shirtless (they might, for example, have escaped from their tombs clad only in a winding sheet), but in those cases they tended to show off discolored, cadaver-like rib cages rather than sculpted pecs and perfect six-pack abs. They also had terrible breath, bad skin, a hollow gaze, and a complete disregard for their human prey. Not exactly the stuff of sexy dreams.

Nowadays, in addition to having excellent hygiene, many vamps are also loathe to drink human blood, and those who aren’t rich (though most vampires are, probably thanks to earning centuries of compound interest) may work in life-saving professions like law enforcement or medicine. These new, sexy vamps move among humans (especially the heroine) almost the way the Greek gods were once thought to interact with their toga-clad subjects. Both alternately protect and seduce, throwing in a few punishments for the vain and wicked along the way.

As an ardent vampire fan and an avid reader and writer of vampire fiction, I couldn’t be happier with the current explosion of principled vamps. One thing does worry me, though. Now that the rehabilitation of the vampire from fearsome monster to ideal mate is complete, where do we go with the genre? I suspect that romance readers are already starting to get a little bored with detectives who use supersensory powers to solve crimes and avenging angels with archaic vocabularies. This might be why werewolf tales are starting to take up the shelf space formerly occupied by our favorite immortals.

One possibility might be a return to a traditional Gothic format, with tormented guys pacing the towers of possibly haunted manor houses. Another might be an even more extreme version of urban fantasy or steampunk, with futuristic settings and high-tech methods for the hero to slake his need for blood. There have been some rumblings about a line or two of Christian-centered vampire romances.

I doubt the vampire hero will ever devolve—Count Orlock, with his oversized bald pate and frighteningly long nails and teeth, just wouldn’t fit the bill in a romance novel. On the other hand, teen vamp dreamboats with pouty red lips and a passing resemblance to Elvis in the 1950s have already become the objects of parody (and cell phone commercials). The publishing industry will soon try to convince us that vampires are last year’s hot ticket, pushed out by shapeshifters and even zombies, but the truth is that they’ll be back on top—as soon as writers can find a new angle to sink our fanged friends’ lovely teeth into. That’s what immortality is all about.

Cassandra Pierce’s vampire e-romance, HEIRS TO DARKISLE, is currently available from Siren-Bookstrand: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/cassandrapierce/

Readers can also visit her website at www.cassandrapierce.com and check her out on Facebook!

Labels: , , , ,

5 Comments:

Anonymous Terry Kate said...

I am thinking that my unlocked window would be better served by Edward Cullen the Count Orlock. Gary Oldman also welcome. Oh my I should be so lucky.
Thanks Cassandra
Terry Kate

March 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Lacy said...

just something about those dark piercing eyes.

March 30, 2010 at 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Vampires have definitely evolved from the old black and white films! I think there will always be a place for vampires, just as there will for the Greek gods you mention. Some of us will always enjoy the shenanigans of the immortals to mortals.It may be Zeus with his love affairs, or the seductive vampires of today!

March 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Jenika Snow said...

Although Edward is dreamy in a school boy crush kind of way, and Gary Oldman is ruthless in his attractivness as Dracula, what really gets me going is the sight of a pair of big...long...white fangs...haha.

Every vampire needs a set of those.

-Jenika

March 31, 2010 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Kari Thomas said...

Really enjoyed your Blog post, Cassandra! Gotta LOVE those bad boys who can seduce with a smile and have you begging!

Im thinking I need to write about one!! (ggg)

hugs, Kari Thomas

April 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home