From a guest blog at N.O.R. on
“…I want to discuss something with all of you. My newest book, Blood & Sex, Volume 2: Jonas, came out this month, and all this talk about my vampires got me to thinking. What has us so enthralled by these mythical leaches?
I’ve researched this while working on the Blood & Sex series, though each of the vampires is shaping up to represent a single fetish. The more that I write and chat with readers, the more I learn that these creatures represent a deeper need that is often hidden, even from us.
What is so danged hot about vampires anyway?
It seems that even from the first vampire story, sexuality and the vampire are permanently united. Long before the modern dark romances became acceptable, if not mainstream, the vampires were bad guys. They were frightening monsters, closely related to the modern zombie. Still, a few stories featured attractive beings such as Dr. John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” and Sheridan Le Fanu’s seductive female in “Carmilla”. Dracula and a few of his contemporaries also tempted young women into dark deeds. The mind control that generally came along with the character’s powers excused the sensual familiarity that the vampire’s embrace demanded, allowing the victim (and the reader) to experience the sexual experience without the guilt heaped on by religion and society.
After the sexual revolution of the sixties, vampires came out of the roles as villains or guilty pleasures, and moved into the hero category. Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows started the sympathetic version of the monster with the elements of undying love in the story line. This daytime gothic soap opera made the vampire an endearing personality for the masses.
Anne Rice turned the monster into a sexy protagonist with much of his humanity intact, beginning with Interview with the Vampire. For many readers, the series was their first look at sensual stories and positive homosexuality in fiction. Today, Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight saga brings the vampire hero to the next generation through Edward Cullen. Although the story is far from being an erotic romance, Edward and Bella’s relationship smolders with the promise of more throughout the series. Their sexual relationship is one of the main conflicts and is, for many teens, the first brush with eroticism in literature. Even a generation ago, this combination of vampire and teen sexuality would have been unacceptable.
What does it mean?
I’m convinced that the vampire’s ascension to the hero in our modern myths is directly tied to the sexual liberation of our society. As we grow in the acceptance of our needs and the needs of others, our vampires become more mainstream and openly sexual. For some, they still represent an acceptable submission to another through no weakness of our own, as does the fantasy of mind control. For others, it is the draw of a lover with centuries of practice. In any case, these preternatural creatures represent the darker needs in us, which have remained taboo throughout our history, especially for women.
When I asked Lisa Lane, my friend and author of the popular new vampire series The Darkness and the Night, what vampires meant to her, she replied:
“I believe the fascination so many people have with vampires stems to the primal, basic urges that course through every human being. Vampires represent the wild, hungry creature that exists within us all, and the fantasies surrounding them allow us safely to explore hard-wired issues such as control and submission. We are all animals, but we are also all civilized beings; in exploring the animal, however, I believe we are able better to understand the human.”
This reference to animals from Lisa made me thinking more about the role that werewolves play within this vampire lore, but I’ll save that for another blogging day.
In the end, vampires are all of the above, depending on my mood, and that’s obvious in the dominant natures and fetishes explored in my vamp series.
That’s why I’d like to hear from you.
What do vampires represent to you? Is it simply the strength and danger of the mythical creature? Or is it something deeper?
Post a comment today, I’ll automatically enter you in the drawing for a free copy of Blood & Sex, Vol. 1: Michael.
Until next time…
If you want to know more about me and the guys of the Blood & Sex series, check out my blog at angelacameron.wordpress.com. You can also find excerpts at http://www.ravenousromance.com/ and at my website http://www.angela-cameron.com/.”