Vampire lit is fashionable (and marketable) these days–not just Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga, but all sorts of standalone titles, paranormal romance series, mysteries, and even humorous romance fiction. A quick survey of the library catalog–I entered “vampires” in the Quick Search box–yielded 587 results. Titles range from Christine Feehan’s bestselling Dark Slayer to David Wellington’s 23 Hours: A Vengeful Vampire Tale to Michelle Rowen’s Tall Dark & Fangsome.
Plots run the gamut from traditional scenarios to the whimsical concept of a small-town Oklahoma vampire single dad (Michele Bardsley’s Wait Til Your Vampire Gets Home). Clearly, this theme offers something for everyone. Amanda Grange has melded the occult trend with the Jane Austen franchise in Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.
So, what’s not to like? I should be delighted that classic cape-wearers are proving to be modern page-turners. Instead, I’m feeling a little disillusioned.
Years ago, a former Miss America confided during a TV interview that, thirty years after her reign, she refused to even take out the trash without applying makeup, styling her hair, and donning a becoming outfit. She didn’t want to destroy the public’s fantasy of the woman who could always look good!
I don’t care to see a domesticated vampire any more than I hope to spy a beauty queen in a mud mask and sweatpants. Readers may all enjoy their favorite takes on the legendary phantom, but some of those clever adaptations are bound to take the edge off the vampire’s mystique.
Do you agree?
What do you predict will be the next big trend in fictional characters?