Are vampires dead and buried - permanently?
The vampire boom may be drawing to a close according to some publishing pundits.
But if you scan through the posts in many reader forums, the bloodsuckers with the looks of an Angelina Jolie or a Johnny Depp are still attracting hosts of readers (mainly female). These paranormal romantic vampires tend to be extensions of Mills & Boon type heroes and heroines – square-jawed, sensitive, rakish, seductive and so on. Not like ‘real’ vampires at all.
Some time back I read that true vampires in the mould of Vlad The Impaler and other ‘families’ in certain parts of Eastern Europe where the vampire myths originated were actually suffering from a form of congenital haemophilia – which would explain a lot if true.
Today’s fictional vampire has become an iconic stereotype, albeit a hugely successful one as series such as ‘Twilight’ proves beyond a shadow of a doubt. But, are publishers becoming disenchanted with the fangs and the undead? If not, just what is the attraction? Have there ever been any disgustingly ugly, dissolute, savage and brutal vampire heroes and heroines in popular fiction?
Or are the undead only seductively attractive because they perform an esoteric form of rape – sucking the life blood in an agony of pleasurable excitement.