V is for vampires and Valentines

The Vampire Diaries (season 2)

The Vampire Diaries (season 2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s coming up to Valentine’s Day, and I thought I’d yak about a special kind of love: my enduring obsession with vampire fiction.

To begin, I should explain that I’m not sure if I’m oblivious or just plain dumb, but I rarely jump on trends when they’re trending. Maybe I’m just so self-centered, I don’t pay attention to the mass pop culture trends. I only started watching The Sopranos when it was done and over. I picked up The DaVinci Code long after everyone was going on about it. Oz is just starting to get played at my house via Netflix.

But I do know one thing: I have always, ALWAYS, loved vampire fiction. ALWAYS. I watched and loved the Frank Langella version of Dracula, and equally loved Fright Night and Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman. I didn’t watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the time it aired until long after it was done (see above about trends) but I did watch and love the entire series. Same with Angel, and some really horrible horrible vampire movies over the years. The movie Let Me In is my current favorite. Don’t even get me started on how much I loved Dark Shadows (the series, not the movie).

Didn’t matter how bad/cheesy they were; I was enthralled. I still am. I’m a sucker, if you’ll pardon the pun.

So now you’re wondering what Valentine’s Day, trends, and vampires have in common enough to put them all in one post. Worry not, dear reader. I have a point to make.

Enter the vampire fiction trend. I hate that my one enduring fiction love is turning into a mass, BigMac drive-through, one-stop-shop kind of trending affair. I almost stubbornly refuse to jump on the Twilight bandwagon, the True Blood bandwagon, and The Vampire Diaries mostly because I didn’t think anyone could do vampires like my fav Anne Rice series. Plus, those trending stories were too YA for me. I like my demons dark and brooding.

Eventually, however, I know myself. If it’s vamp related, I’m gonna give in.

So you guessed it: I read Twilight. Um. Yeah. In four days, I read all four books. Well, 3.75 books. I just couldn’t take any more by the last book and gave up 3/4 of the way in. I hated the characters. Every one of them. I kept hoping that would change, and I do so dislike stopping a book/series if I’ve invested time in it, but by book 4, I figured it wasn’t going to get better and finally gave in to my frustration. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Stephanie Meyer for creating such a viral narrative, but I just didn’t cotton to it. I started to believe the trend had ruined the genre. Oh horrors for a gal who spent many nights reading, writing, and watching vampire stories.

Eric Northman

Then came True Blood. It became an almost obsession for me thanks to the Eric Northman character. Cheesy vampire fiction at its best, dear lawd, and I couldn’t get enough. I downloaded and read all the books and am eagerly awaiting the premiere of the new season. I could have cared less about Sookie, to be honest.

And now. Sigh. Well now I’m stuck on The Vampire Diaries. Woe is me. My husband, oh how he judges me for this one.

Last week I Netflixed three whole seasons and glutted myself like some folks do on chocolate. I don’t remember ever loving a character like Ian Somerhalder’s Damon. He’s delicious in just so many ways. I especially love the little references to the Buffy series that the writers have him make every now and then. His smirk, his humor. When he finally shows some humanity it’s all the more satisfying because he so relishes his dark nature.

Take an old gal with a deep love of vamp fiction that got started long ago during late night reads and movies who has begun to get sick of the genre and put her in front of a character like this, and like Eric played by Alexander Skarsgard and…well, she’s in love with the genre all over again.

Because these vamps have all the allure of the original, of the cultish bloodsuckers like Louis and Lestat, and it seems that without the trend that nearly ruined the genre for me, I’d never have found two vampire characters to love again.

Sigh.

What do you think of trends and how they can almost ruin something you love? Feel free to comment. I don’t bite.🙂

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Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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4 comments on “V is for vampires and Valentines
  1. Vampires are one of my constant loves. It doesn’t matter if there is one book out or a million, I love to read about vampires. This is probably also why I have a million different stories that have vampires in them, each with their own twist on the myth. Sometimes I will switch to other creatures, but I always find my way back to vampires.

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