Fangs, but no thanks
Don’t get me wrong, I love vampire tales as much as the next person and I am sadly one of the millions of people mildly obsessed with TV shows like Vampire Diaries and True Blood – plus I have read all the Twilight books (ok, I had no choice, they were sitting in my flat and had to be read or binned) and watched all the movies so far (Team Jacob if you were wondering), but that’s just the problem. Everything in the fantasy world these days seems to be about vampires. Everything. Oh and werewolves and shape shifters and don’t forget the witches. You can’t have a good vampire story without all three of them surfacing at some point. In fact I think I’m now grossly disappointed if I watch a vampire show or movie and it only has vampires in it. My brain keeps wondering why a witch hasn’t appeared out of nowhere to cast a spell on someone or why scantily clad werewolves aren’t strutting across the screen baring their teeth at the pale skinned ones before morphing into oversized dogs (in broad daylight nonetheless).
Sometimes I long for the days when pure human willpower, some garlic, a well sharpened stake and a handy stash of holy water were all you needed to defeat a vampire. Where, oh where are we supposed to find an alliance of supernatural beings if we ever did run into a vampire in present times? And no I do not believe I’ll ever be in any danger of meeting one but you never know.
So what’s really the point of this rant? Clearly I like vampires so why have a heading that alludes to the opposite? The truth is that although I remain an unpublished writer, I hope to one day see my blood, sweat and tears acknowledged out there (even if only at the back of a badly lit dank and overcrowded book store) and as what I really enjoy writing is fantasy and mild horror for young adult readers, I’m terrified that I’ll get my perfectly okay tale about magical places and wondrous spells binned because I haven’t stuck a vampire in there somewhere. It’s a foolish fear really, if my writing is good enough it will stand out, but we all know a lot of publishers are out for one thing and its not to get good books out in the world; it’s to make money off an ever dwindling reading market (apologies to all my publisher friends but I don’t think I’m exaggerating here). I have to admit I’ve been tempted every so often to create my very own broody bloodsucker but then I remember the terrifying ashen face of Frank Langella from the first Dracula movie I saw in my childhood and I stop myself. I’ll probably make my vampire look and act exactly like he did, even though I’ve had enough Stephans, Damons and Erics to wash that impression away. Better stick to what you know best, I say. Or perhaps I should change tact and start to consider delving into the fiery world of dragons – they never really go out of fashion and it has to be said, dragons trump vampires any day. That’s settled, research commence!