My affair with my vampire lovers began in 1987. That was the year I first read Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire and later, The Vampire Lestat. That was the year I saw The Lost Boys a dozen times in the theater. A year later, I would devour The Queen of the Damned when it was released. Over and over I would re-read the trilogy and eventually when I got my first VCR, The Lost Boys would be one of the first movies I owned.
Awaken My Children of the Night
In 1990, one of my favorite authors: Mercedes Lackey, got in on the vampire action when she introduced Diana Tregarde to Andre. Andre was just delectable and dark and compelling. He also protected the Romany. He wasn't a saint, but he wasn't completely a sinner either. In many ways, Andre was the ancestor of the vampire who would become Angel right down to the Romany.
The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith appeared in 1991 with The Awakening. Like the heroine Elena, we were torn between Damon and Stefan. I always did have a thing for the bad boy in the story. This was also the year I read Tanya Huff's Blood Price and met Henry Fitzroy and Vicki Nelson for the first time. Imagine my delight more than fifteen years later when I discovered their television series Blood Ties.
In 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer hammed it up in theaters and despite the bad acting (and wow was there a lot of it), the film was amusing even if Rutger Hauer phoned in his performance. Not long thereafter in 1993, we met a little lady named Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. Jean-Claude was a right bastard, but he was fun to read about in those early books when he and Anita played cat and mouse.
By 1996, vampires were definitely the thing. The White Wolf role playing game inspired the short-lived series Kindred: The Embraced which looked at the five clans of vampires scheming, loving and fighting in the city of San Francisco. Unfortunately, the show didn't last long and the death of lead actor Mark Frankel meant that it probably wouldn't come back. But vampires never go without a fight.
1997 brought Buffy the Vampire Slayer back to life on television complete with a vampire love interest, Angel. The show would run seven seasons, spin-off after the third season with a show just for Angel that lasted five years, numerous novels and even more academic works focusing on the appeal of the show. Some of the better vampires to come out of the series: Spike, Drucilla and Vamp Willow from The Wish.
Vampire Lovers and the New Millenium
By the beginning of the 21st century, vampires were heavily featured in almost every new series of urban fantasy. Some good. Some bad. Some suave. Some knaves. Some almost human. Some mostly monsters. But vampires were here to stay. A new generation of vampire lovers have encountered fairy tale vampire Edward from Twilight or Eric and Bill from True Blood. The Vampire Diaries is about to be made into a series (which looks pretty interesting) and still we're meeting more vampires from Morganville, Toronto, New York, London, Paris and of course, the most popular vampire capital in fiction: New Orleans.
As much as I love vampires, though, I've never written one into a story of my own. One would think they would be the first thing I wrote about, yet they are not. I love my vampires. I love them when they are Dark Hunters, when they are possessed by demons, when they are cursed by lost love or by gypsies. But I haven't met the vampire that I am ready to commit to in fiction.
When did you meet your first vampire lovers?
Ed Note: Since I wrote this blog originally, I have since watched the entire freshman season of The Vampire Diaries on the CW and I have to say, LJ Smith's novels and the series based on it remain in my top favorites!