Why do I love stories about them? Why do I want to write stories about them, no matter how ‘done to death’ (ha!) they may – or may not – have been?
Well… I can only answer truthfully:
Because I love them.
I always have done, ever since my brother and I were young kids and would write and perform our own plays for our long-suffering parents. One of my clearest childhood memories is of looking in a mirror at my face, which was entirely covered in my mum’s green eyeshadow (hey, it was the early 80s!) and a pair of plastic vampire fangs jutting out of my mouth. Red lipstick marked ‘blood’ dripping from my chin. Purple eyeshadow beneath my eyes served to make me look… undead.
I think I was probably allowed to watch this TV movie a little too young (sorry, Mum and Dad, I just outed you as ‘irresponsible’ parents! *g*):
Holy heart attacks, Batman! I was too scared to walk up the stairs on my own at night for a week after watching it. I wouldn’t look out of my window for fear of seeing a Scary Child floating in the mist:
Mum had to stand at the bottom of the stairs with a crucifix to reassure me that she’d checked out the house for vampires – and would kick their asses if any showed their faces! (I’m not making this up.) In fact, another scene from that old TV movie (starring David Soul) even served as inspiration for one of my favourite scenes in FALLING TO ASH:
I’ve always found rocking chairs creepy rather than comforting, thanks to Salem’s Lot:
Perhaps you’re not as old as me and don’t remember the 1979 version. There was a remake in 2004, this time starring… Rob Lowe:
Donald Sutherland’s beard was probably the most terrifying thing in this version:
I definitely prefer the 70’s TV miniseries, even though there are dodgy scenes where you can actually see microphones hanging down in some of the shots. It had charm, and is still genuinely creepy.
But, for me, nothing compares to the book itself by the one and only Stephen King:
I can’t believe this book came out in 1975… I think I must have read it for the first time around 1985.
On the subject of vampires, I could of course go on for pages. My love of that particular ‘monster’ doesn’t end with Mr. King – that’s simply where it began, in my childhood. As I grew up I experienced other vampire love affairs, in books and on TV:
Spotting these two books in the UK, when they first came out, changed the course of my reading habits for the next few years.
I’ve missed a ton of stuff – I know that – but I have to end this somewhere. What about you? Tell me about your favourite vampire book(s) or TV shows/movies, and I’ll give a signed copy of FALLING TO ASH to one winner drawn at random. Closing date: Monday, October 8th 2012.