Guest Blogger: Sara Reinke
I'm frequently asked why I think vampire fiction is so popular these days, and as someone who writes it, I have to say in all honesty that I haven't the foggest idea. It's easy to say that it's because human beings have always had a dark and sensual fascination with those of the vampiric persuasion. There's just something inherently sexy about a creature that draws blood by placing its mouth on the neck -- one of the body's most powerful erogenous areas.
Some might suggest that it's the idea of absolute surrender that makes vampires so appealing. They can control our minds, manipulate our emotions, make us give in to their every whim and desire without protest or struggle. They're dominating but not necessarily demanding; when they feed, it is often presented as an unforced and intimate act rather than something violent or invasive -- almost like lovemaking.
You could also argue that the idea of transcending death -- the greatest unknown of them all -- and being able to live forever, as vampires often are portrayed, is a basic, long-standing desire of the human race. We're intimidated by our own mortality and from our very earliest recorded civilizations have developed elaborate mythos to try and explain away its mysteries, to find a way to escape its inevitability. Is our love affair with vampires merely an extension of this primitive and deep-seeded wish?
Or maybe it boils down to nothing more complicated than the fact that we love a bad boy and vampires -- with their smouldering good looks, mesmerizing stares and penchants for neck-nibbling -- are the all-time ultimate examples.
Whatever the reason, no matter the appeal, it's clear that people today love vampires. From the teen angst of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books to the erotic angst of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, readers of all ages have embraced these legendary bloodsuckers with open, eager arms. Part of the fun comes from discovering all of the ways that an author can interpret the tried and true legends synonymous with traditional vampire lore. Or perhaps it comes from finding all of the new and exciting twists that an individual author can give his or her vampire species to completely distinguish them from any other.
So while I don't know why vampire fiction is popular today, I'm sure glad that it is. In my own experience writing it, I've dreamed up some pretty fascinating characters, and in sharing with them with others, I've had the pleasure of meeting some new and wonderful friends through my readers. And given that vampire stories have entertained, frightened and fascinated us for countless centuries, I for one don't think their popularity is going to fade anytime soon; that, like these legendary creatures themselves, vampire stories will be around eternally.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hailed by Romantic Times magazine as "definitely an author to watch," Sara Reinke has interpreted vampire legends and lore in her own unique way in The Brethren Series. The first book, Dark Thirst, called "a fascinating and unique romance" by Romantic Times is available now in mass-market paperback from Zebra Books for only $3.99. The sequel, Dark Hunger, which NY Times best-selling author Lara Adrian calls "a paranormal treat to be savored," will hit bookstores on September 2 for only $4.99. Find out more about Sara and The Brethren Series at www.sarareinke.com.