In fact, according to the WikiHow article How to Write a Novel About Vampires, the only thing a Vampire must do is drink blood.
Recently, vampire fiction has reached a whole new level of popularity. What’s up with that? Are we simply fascinated with evil and trying to glamourize it? Or is it the idea of immortality that attracts us? Do we believe that it’s impossible to live forever without a cost (like becoming the living dead and drinking blood to survive).
Apparently, Vampires becomes trendy every now and then. The first big trend was during the Great Depression, when Bela Lugosi starred in the movie version of Dracula. In a way, the Great Depression was its own kind of monster with a human face. People lived in a time of hunger and lack. Perhaps they even felt preyed on in some way.
Vampires became popular again during the time of AIDS, when Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire came out. Blood became taboo. Being able to drink it because of a natural immunity from viruses made vampires seem uber-powerful.
Recently, vampires became popular in teen fiction during the Bush era and the War on Terror. For what could be more vampiric in nature (feeding on the blood of young men) than war and terrorism? However, teens may just embrace vampires because we portray them as cool and attractive, or as people who seem powerful. After all, vampires can make people do whatever they want. They’re strong, fast, and they never age.
Now, the US is pulling itself out of another depression, where vampire fiction was thriving. No longer just the villains, vampires are now both the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’. I predicted back in 2009 (when I wrote the first draft of The Watcher) that we would turn to angels as an archetype, because we wanted our ‘monsters’ to have a kinder face. Culturally, we seek to be saved. We seek hope.
As an aside, I would disagree with WikiHow about vampires needing to drink blood. Blood is a symbol representing life force. I think vampires really crave life force. They are dead, after all.
But haven’t you heard of the term ‘psychic’ or energy vampire? People who suck all the life out of the room the moment they enter it? Maybe they feed on life force? Ever thought of that?
If you read vampire fiction or watch movies and TV shows about vampires, what draws you to it? Do you like watching good defeat evil, like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Do you find immortality intriguing? Or do you just like the ‘power’ that they seem to have?