Monday, November 07, 2011

Vampire Monday: Shea MacLeod







Why Vampires Will Always Be Popular In Fiction

When people talk about vampires in fiction and why they’re so darned popular, they’re usually talking about one kind of vampire: Mr. Sexy Vampire.


Nothing wrong with that. I heart Eric Northman as much as the next red blooded girl (or boy). Mick St. James? Yes, please! A little Salvatore brothers? Be still my beating heart.

Sure, vampires look great in leather, look young and hot forever, and can stay up all night with Disco Fever. But that’s not the real reason vampires will always be popular in fiction.

I know, I know. I can see the look of abject horror on your face. The truth is, these sexy, sparkling minions of darkness are a fairly recent invention. And I’m thrilled with said invention, but they’re just a facet of the truth. The truth being: Vampires are us.

And that’s the real reason vampires will always be popular. Not because they’re rich or hot or eternal (Did I mention rich?), but because they embody all of our deepest, darkest fears and desires. Even the ugly ones. Especially the ugly ones.

Power


Vampirism is about power. It’s about being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. No more rules. No more pesky conscience.
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. That was never more true than when a human being is given the power over death, life, and everything in between. His (or her) only weakness the sun (and possibly garlic).

Come on, we’ve all dreamed, at least on a small scale, of having more power than we do right now. The power of money, the power of sex, or just pure, physical power. Maybe it was to get back at those mean girls in high school. Maybe it was to show the ex just what he’s missing. Or maybe, maybe just for fun. It doesn’t matter. It’s a real, very human desire.

A desire imbued in the vampires our mythology has created. There’s no safer place to explore that power than in the pages of fiction. And explore we will. As long as we have a safe face to hide behind. Not to mention a nice set of fangs.

Desire

We all desire things. Things we’re not supposed to want, things we think we can never have.

Vampires can have all those things. They’re immortal (or nearly so). Over a thousand lifetimes they can accumulate experiences and knowledge we can only dream of. They’re witnesses to history first hand. They can speak a hundred languages and play musical instruments. They’ve travelled around the world.

Notice that vampires are almost exclusively immune to human disease. Convenient that, since their sheer number of sexual conquests could put Casanova to shame (Maybe he was a vampire. Hmmm…).

Through the vampire we can explore our innermost desires while pretending to be above it all. They’re just naughty vampires, after all.

Fear

Face it. We’ve all got nightmares. Things that frighten us so badly we want to crawl under the bed.

Through vampires we can explore our fears: Death, un-death, loss, disease, old age. Vampires expose our darkest fears. They are our darkest fears. Nightmares made flesh, hungry for our blood.

The ultimate serial killer.

The popularity of vampires both now and throughout history is far less about how good looking and young they are and far more about how frightened we are. And therein lies a wealth of possibilities.

Link to buy Kissed by Darkness on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Kissed-Darkness-Sunwalker-Saga-ebook/dp/B0058PIWJ8/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&m=A7B2F8DUJ88VZ

For more information about Shea, visit:

http://sheamacleod.wordpress.com/

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Shea will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. She will post the winner in the comments section later this week. Stop back by to see if you won.

8 Comments:

OpenID sheamacleod said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Linda. :-)

5:55 AM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

You're welcome, Shea. Nice to have you.
Lynda

5:59 AM  
Blogger Lil said...

The original vampire stories were mostly scare and that was the appeal of them. I think that the appeal to me in the vampire stories I read now is that I am shown the emotions, difficulties and the frustations of them as characters. They do embody our darkest fears and desires, but it is because of the way that authors have shown us their characters' fears and desires that really draw me in.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Na said...

Vampire Monday is so fun! They are my favorite paranormal creatures after all. I think part of the appeal is definitely because the embody our fears and desire. It's quite a combination. Thank you for your post, Shea.

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

10:29 AM  
Blogger Jaz said...

What a great posting, Shea!
The appeal for dark, yet romantic, vampire stories to me is two-fold. First, I’m drawn to the visceral nature of vampires and how they often alternate between struggling against or fully embracing their innate thirst for blood. Often, the idea that a human “victim” can arouse both love and lust in them is compelling. Second, I like the idea that such dark and edgy “predators of the night” can occasionally be smitten by the love and attentions of a human counterpart which makes them rally against their darker natures.
Your novel sounds very intriguing and the cover looks great!

Kindly,
Jaz

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Bets Davies said...

How far back are you going on that not sexy? Dracula is the bible, and it is as seductive as Victorian sensibilities could let it be. Though recently, I feel the sexy has been overdone. My real gripe is that vampires aren't killers anymore. They are danger. They are danger that you could choose, be seduced into, or be stolen into. A vampire's face doesn't change, so whoever was your bestie last night could be set on killing you tonight. It prays on our fear of trusting others, and how tenuous that really is. And yes, it also poses the question, what would you be willing to give up for power?

One thing I actually don't get: Why is every vamp beautiful these days? Sure, they've got a magic mojo seduction, but is that a vampire law? You can't turn anyone into a vampire unless they are below thirty and hot as hell?

1:26 PM  
OpenID sheamacleod said...

Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments and for stopping by to read my post.

I'd like to especially congratulate Jaz for winning a copy of Kissed by Darkness! Jaz, if you'd like to send your email to shealunaria (at) yahoo (dot)com, I'll send you a coupon for your free copy on Smashwords.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Red Tash said...

Shea! I can't turn around on the whole internets without running into you. (PS, I mentioned you Wed, not sure if you saw it or not.)

And hello to Na! :D

Is this where the latest party's at? :)

Nice to discover your blog today, Lynda. I'll be back, for sure!

1:38 PM  

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