To many readers , the world of Vampire fiction began and ended with Stephenie Meyer 9s Twilight series published over the last few years. In fact, the resurgence of the genre owes much to the popularity of these books - and there are many excellent authors out there for fans to discover. Early Vampires While many people have heard of Bram Stoker 9s 1897 novel Dracula , few know that it was heavily influenced by a colleague.
Sheridan Le Fanu wrote a rather daring tale of a lesbian vampire, Carmilla in 1872, which was itself influenced by the serial 8penny dreadful 9 tale Varney the Vampire in 1847. While Bram Stoker was not the first vampire lit author, he certainly set the basic ground rules for vampire fiction which have been followed to some degree ever since. Most authors use the setting of Transylvania, have some kind of vampire hunter in the story, and imbue the tale with overtones of blood, death, and eroticism.
The next big development in the genre came in the 1970s, when the TV series Dark Shadows was a huge success in America, and spawned a series by writer Marilyn Ross called the Barnabas Collins series. The portrayal ... more. less.
of the vampire as dark, tragic and alluring originated from these two productions, and heavily influenced the author of arguably the most popular vampire series until Twilight 4 Anne Rice. Anne Rice Anne Rice published Interview with the Vampire in 1976 4it was the first in her best selling Vampire Chronicles series.<br><br> Rice was one of the first authors to plan multi-volume story arcs 4a staple of many authors of vampire fiction today. Her tales of the brooding and weary Lestat de Lioncourt combined elements of the Vampires in Fiction BOOKS Goth sub-culture with a first person narrative, and became enormously popular with Goths everywhere. The New Vampire Writers With Vampire fiction becoming so popular, new writers seemed to appear almost every month, and each had a slightly different spin on the genre.<br><br> Tanya Huff Canadian author Tanya Huff began a series about a retired police- woman, Vicky Nelson, who has a love triangle between a fellow police detective, and Henry, the bastard son of Henry VIII. Who just happens to be a vampire& The first book in the series, Blood Price (1991) was the basis for the TV series Blood Ties. Laurell K.<br><br> Hamilton Laurell K. Hamilton also began writing in the early nineties, and her Anita Blake:Vampire Hunter series is still being published today. Her early books focused on a power triangle between the Vampire Master of the City 4Jean Claude, Necromancer Anita Blake, and werewolf Richard.<br><br> Hamilton 9s novels have become progressively more explicit over the last few years, with many criticisms of lack of plot and excessive sex and violence. Her books are extremely popular though, and, beginning with Guilty Pleasures (1993) the series now numbers 17. Charlaine Harris Charlaine Harris began her Southern Vampire series in 2001, with the publication of Dead Until Dark.<br><br> More popularly known as the Sookie Stackhouse series, the books follow the adventures and romances of waitress Sookie Stackhouse in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Having the gift of telepathy makes Sookie an unwilling eavesdropper into the secrets of her neighbours, which usually leads to murder, mayhem and a lot of running around in the woods& Sookie 9s on-again off-again romances with Vampire Bill and Eric, the owner of the vamp nightclub Club Dead make for amusing and sometimes dramatic reading. Overall, the tone is light, sometimes humourous, although recent books in the series have had darker tones.<br><br> The series was filmed last year as Trueblood , and the books have been renamed to cash in on the TV popularity . J.R.Ward Combining the more erotic story, with a harder-edged vampire mythology, J.R.Ward became a fan favourite with the publication of her first novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Published in 2005, Dark Lover is the story of the blind vampire king Wrath, the only pureblood vampire left on the planet.<br><br> Over the series, each of his colleagues meets his mate, and has to continue to battle evil in the shape of 4wait for it 4demons who smell of baby powder& It 9s a very addictive series, from a talented writer. Vampire Romance A lighter subgenre of the vampire fiction has also emerged in the last few years, with some writers heading towards Vampire ChickLit, and others towards more classic interpretations of paranormal romance. Mary Janice Davidson Mary Janice Davidson has been very popular with her Undead series, featuring vampire queen Betsy, who is devoted to the worship of high heeled shoes.<br><br> Expensive designer ones. Beginning with Undead and Unwed (2004) , the series tracks Betsy 9s death and reemergence as a Vampire Queen, and her comic attempts to fit in in the intensely traditional vampire world. Both Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon have invented new mythologies combining aspects of classic Greek and European legend.<br><br> Christine Feehan Christine Feehan has returned to the European origins of the vampire myth, with a race of people called Carpathians, who are doomed to turn vampire unless they find their lifemate. The series began with Dark Prince (1999), about Prince of the Carpathian race, Mikhail Dubrinsky. Mikhail has almost given up hope that he will ever find his life mate, and is resigned to killing himself to prevent turning vampire.<br><br> So he will be ruthless if he suspects his true mate is out there in the world. Feehan 9s writing is firmly in the paranormal romance category, and the series has become a bit repetitive over the years. Nevertheless, it is an interesting development of the traditional vampire hero.<br><br> Sherrilyn Kenyon In contrast, Sherrilyn Kenyon 9s books have gained tremendously in popularity, and have developed a complex and intriguing mythology as they progressed. The Dark-Hunter series began with little more than a standard fantasy romance in 2002 with the publication of Night Pleasures 4 a story about a Macedonian prince trapped in the pages of a book and doomed to be a sex slave to whoever owned the book. Sounds like basic romance/fantasy doesn 9t it?<br><br> Happily for her legions of fans, Kenyon jumped off the deep end with her next title, and hasn 9t looked back since. Developing a new Pantheon of Gods to mix with the known Greek and Atlantean Gods, the author also mixes in vampiric blood drinkers, shape changers and demons. The plots have grown more complex, the characters darker and the writing more addictive .<br><br> The Younger Generation L.J.Smith A good decade before Stephenie Meyers put pen to paper to write about Edward, Bella and Jacob, author L.J.Smith was exploring the world of teenage vampires in her Vampire Diaries series. Recently filmed as a TV series, these books have been republished after several years out of print. Written in 1991, The Vampire Diaries explores the classic love triangle between high school girl Elena, and two vampire brothers 4one good, one evil.<br><br> As with all of L.J.Smith 9s books, the writing is fast and romantic, and the action never stops as Elena is torn between the two brothers, and ultimately becomes a vampire herself. After a break of almost 18 years, Smith has published a new novel this year in the series 4 Vampire Diaries-The Return: Nightfall. P.C.<br><br> and Kristin Cast 4House of Night Fantasy author P.C.Cast collaborated with daughter Kristin Cast to write this popular series, which many of the Twilight fans have moved on to. The series revolves around teenager Zoey Redbird, who becomes a fledgling vampire on her sixteenth birthday, much to her horror. As per the rules of her race, she must attend the mysterious House of Night school, where things really do go bump in the night.<br><br> And of course there is a good looking teenage boy as a romantic interest. The latest in this series, and number 6, is Tempted. Richelle Mead 4Vampire Academy Urban Gothic Fantasy writer Richelle Mead, who has a number of very successful adult series, has turned her skills to the perfect follow-up vampire series for the Twihards.<br><br> The Vampire Academy series is of a higher quality writing than normally seen in teenage genre fiction, and the books could be read easily across to adult fiction. Four in the series have been written, and follow Rose, a teen bodyguard to a living vampire. The Strigoi, or dead vampires, are a constant threat, and are dedicating to killing the living vampires, considered the Aristocracy of the vampire world.<br><br> To make matters worse, but perfect for the readers, Rose is at- tracted to an older bodyguard, which is forbidden in the code. Mead is a skilful fantasy writer, and this shows in the pace and intricacy of the plot and characters in this series. Again, this series will be read from teenage to adult with ease.<br><br> The Future of Vampire Fiction While Vampire fiction has held sway for the last few decades, it has led to the massive popularity of Paranormal Fiction, and the recent subgenre Urban Gothic Fantasy. Paranormal Romance/Fiction involves other fantasy creatures such as Demons, Werewolves and Witches, and can involve fantasy worlds. In contrast, Urban Gothic Fantasy places the action firmly in the world around us 4the streets and cities of the world.<br><br> The action tends to be nonstop, and the heroines more kickass than your usual romantic heroine - Bounty Hunters, or Investigators or Law Enforcement Officers of some kind. Look for authors Jenna Black, Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead and C.E. Murphy if you 9d like to try this emerging genre.<br><br> Sue Gammon Bundaberg Regional Library