By Amy Fecteau
I have a confession to make.
I hate the word “vampire.”
Now, I don’t hate vampires themselves. Some of my best friends are vampires. I donate to the NVRAA (National Vampire Rights Awareness Association) every January. I just hate the word.
When did this madness start? Well, right around the time Twilight emerged as a cultural juggernaut. Don’t worry (or get your hopes up, depending on your tastes), this isn’t going to be a Twilight-bashing post. Twilight exists, I have lots of problems with it, and we’ll leave it at that.
But one of the side-effects of Twilight’s popularity was an explosion of vampires. Vampires everywhere, but especially in the romance genre. And there’s only so much a person can take before locking herself into her apartment with cotton stuffed into her ears to avoid hearing that word. One. More. Time.
“But, Amy,” you might say, if we actually knew each other, “You wrote a book called Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle.” And you would be correct, I did write a book called Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle (which came out on June 9th). But here’s the important bit: except for the title, I never use the word ‘vampire’ once.
Not one single time.
“Why?” you might ask, if you were the curious type and needed to kill a few minutes. Well, fictional reader I just made up, because I love vampires. I love the history, I love the blood, I love the fangs, I love the sex, I love the darkness. The thing about vampires is they look like us. They used to be us. They’re a perverse mirror held up to humanity, and I adore them with all my cynical little heart.
With Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle, I wanted to bring that darkness back to vampires. I wanted my vampires to kill. I wanted them to be complex, human, and something else at the same time. I wanted them to harm the innocent, and inhabit the dark places of the world. Because I think neutering vampires into fluffy human-loving vegetarians reduces them to nothing more than props. Without the darkness, vampires are pointless.
Now, if you excuse me, I have to go find some cotton.
Filed under: Journal