I sit there, behind my table at the signing, trying desperately not to roll my eyes. Do my vampires sparkle?
I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked this when people come up to me querying the nature of the vampiric characters in my Award Winning series, The Chosen Chronicles. If, for every person who has asked me this, I had received a dollar, I’d probably be a millionaire by now. Unfortunately, not.
“No. My vampires don’t sparkle; they bite,” I reply.
The fan sighs in relief and says, “Thank God.”
Unfortunately, the reality is that the Twilight craze has left lovers of the genre in two distinct camps: Those who love disco-ball sexually repressed morose vampires and those who love vampires who bite. This dichotomy has left the future of vampire literature in a bit of a limbo.
My experiences being on panels at different conventions, where we have discussed this exact topic, has left me with some thoughts on where I believe vampires are going in genre fiction.
Let’s face it; Twilight brought the vampire back in a huge way. It opened up paranormal romance, not only for teens but for adults as well. It also opened up the genre to the vampires who will rip your throat out because you’re a nice light snack.
In the past the type of vampires we read about or watched on t.v. or at the movies were about the undead that feasted on human blood. They were monsters to be feared. It was when Anne Rice wrote her Vampire Chronicles that the image of the vampire began to change. No longer do we find vampire fiction in only the horror section of the book store. We find them in romance, erotica, fantasy, science-fiction and in literary fiction. In essence, they have become a genre all unto itself where the differences an author perceives the vampire to have can vary wildly from another. The rules of vampire fiction are gone. There are no rules.
One thing we do see over and over is the paranormal romance where the vampire is the bad boy lover. We see a lot of this because it sells…a lot! Harlequin has even started its own imprint just to deal with paranormal romance. It’s that hot. It’s also that repetitive.
We also see the return of the scary, eat you and destroy your body, vampire, such as in the movie Priest or 30 Days of Night or John Carpenters: Vampires.
What we haven’t seen much about is the explanation of the vampires and how they came to be. The last good one was Anne Rice’s and before that Bram Stoker’s. Therefore the vampire genre is open for reinterpretation since no one has done anything with it for quite some time.
This is where I come in with The Chosen Chronicles. I have taken the task onto my shoulders. It is part of the story and explanation that slowly evolves over the four books. Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen gives the reader the mysterious origin story of the Angel of Death. Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles sends the main character, the Angel, upon a quest to discover who is killing the vampires. In the process he learns more about himself, but at the sacrifice of someone he loves. Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles brings the Angel to North America where more questions arise due to the revenge his foes have enacted upon him. More and more questions abound until they will be answered in Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen Chronicles which will be out (hopefully) in 2012.
I sign copies of my book, handing them over to the happy fan. S/he will find no sparkling vampires in my books.
Karen Dales is the Award Winning Author of The Chosen Chronicles. Her books are available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Books A Million and Barnes and Noble. They are also available on Kindle. For more information about Karen and The Chosen Chronicles you can check out her website karendales.com or her Amazon page http://tinyurl.com/amazonauthorkarendales. When not writing or editing Karen can be found on Facebook and Twitter.