The Count on Sesame Street was probably the last vampire I actually liked. Now to be fair, I tend to avoid vampires like the plague so I haven't come across too many of them since my Sesame Street years. I read Dracula in college and had to sleep with the covers completely over my head for weeks. My boyfriend (now husband) would come into my room, catch me napping, and all he'd see was a lump under the comforter with a nose poked out above the blankets. I might have married him simply because he didn't laugh after I told him I was just certain that if I left my neck on display while I slept that I was next on the bloodsucking list. I never said I was rational about it after all. But that was the last I thought much about vampires except at Halloween, a holiday I don't love anyway (the candy part is good--well, bad for the waistline but good for the taste buds--but the dressing up and trooping around the neighborhood thing leaves me cold), until now.
Now everywhere you turn, vampires are the schizzle. Romances have fanged men with rippling abdomens adorning their covers. Other books show glowing eyes and blood dripping from fangs. Twilight it totally ubiquitous. (I haven't read it and yet I suspect I should, if only to join the conversation.) Even classic authors' works are being re-imagined to include the seriously cursed blood suckers and other creepies like zombies and sea monsters.
Thus far I have avoided all of these books, not because I suspect they aren't worth the paper they are printed on (although in the interest of full disclosure, my snobbish self does indeed suspect this to be the case), but because I am a wimp and a coward and I don't see how I can convince my husband, even though he didn't laugh at my sissy-self long ago in college, that I have to sleep curled into the smallest ball possible as far under the covers as I can burrow, oh and can he not runkle around, pulling sheets, making it possible for a vampire bat to swoop in and sink its teeth into my neck either.
And much as I'd like to see this latest trend in publishing find a stake in its heart and quietly go away forever, there are more vampire books on the horizon. The latest you lovers of the blood thirsty ask happily while we cowards wince again? Wuthering Bites. Heathcliff will be a vampire in this one. And why not? He was a soul-sucking nasty in the original so it can't be much of a stretch to have him sleep in a coffin and cause Cathy's ghost to forever walk the moors. Look for it in Sept. 2010 because I clearly don't run the publishing world and won't have made it all go away by then.
Oh, and I take that back about the Count being the last vampire I liked. For some reason, I find Christopher Moore's vampires totally acceptable and more importantly, funny not scary. And I committed to the R.I.P. Challenge so maybe I will dig Twilight out and finally join the conversation. Never say never, I guess.