Why Vampires? (plus Giveaway)


That’s the question I’ve had from more than a few people over the years:

“Why vampires?”

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:

Don’t open the window!!

 

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:

This inspired a scene in my own novel…

 

I’ve always found rocking chairs creepy rather than comforting, thanks to Salem’s Lot:

Spoiler: he’s a vampire

 

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:


(I absolutely love the way Rutger Hauer is at the window in this publicity still. Totally NOT scary. :))

Donald Sutherland’s beard was probably the most terrifying thing in this version:

Rob can’t bring himself to look at Donald’s beard

 

The Big Bad: 1979

The Big Bad: 2004

 

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:

Buffy Season 1: That Master vamp looks sorta familiar…

 

Blood Ties and Moonlight… two cancelled TV shows I miss.

 

Spotting these two books in the UK, when they first came out, changed the course of my reading habits for the next few years.

 

It’s unsurprising that I was a major Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and Angel) fan, but even today I am loving The Vampire Diaries on TV.

 

International Giveaway:

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.

About Karen

Karen Mahoney has been a professional Tarot reader, a college counsellor, bookseller and dating agency consultant. Ever since she was six years old what she really wanted to be was Wonder Woman, but has instead settled for being a writer. Karen writes urban fantasy for young adults, and does nothing to hide the fact that she is a total geek.

She is British, but hopes that you do not hold this against her.

You can visit her at: www.kazmahoney.com.

Comments

  1. Wow, looks like I’m first! Vampires are surprisingly not my favorite and I don’t tend to like stories with vampires in them. That said, there are a few that I love reading/watching, like the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine, and I love love love the Vampire Diaries TV show (and Moth of course :)).

    By the way I love the cover of FALLING TO ASH! And thanks for the contest!

  2. Annabelle says:

    I have to add Interview With a Vampire By Anne Rice, the book is great but the Film is even better. Plus is has Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as brooding vampires!

    In the UK there used to be a Mona the Vampire tv series for children and it was so awesome! She would hunt down other supernaturals, i wanted to be her when i was younger!

    I freaking love the Vampire Diaries too! I’ve kinda lost the will to watch True Blood as it keeps getting worse! Anyway I love all things Vampires too! Hopefully I can get my hands on Falling to Ash soon too! Thank you!

  3. There are a lot of great vampire characters but the 2 that come to mind as favorites are Jean-Claude (LKH) and Bones (Jeanine Frost).

  4. I love Bones and company from Jeanine Frost, Lara Adrian’s Breed series, Vampire Acadamy and its spinoff Bloodlines. Thanks for the give-a-way, all the best.

  5. Okay, Dracula first off, just because he’s so completely evil & terrifying. : ) Also, the vampires in I Am Legend (movie & story, both)… they’re just a little different than the regular vampires I think of (Buffy-type vamps)… and finally, Stefan from the Mercy Thompson series. I love him!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Christa

  6. My fav character would by Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I always wanted him to have a spin off.

  7. Becky Lewis says:

    Angel is my favorite vampire show! I could never get enough of it. I also really enjoyed Moonlight and was bummed when it got yhe boot. As for books it would be The Night Huntress books and the other ones in that world! I just love Vlad. Hope I get this book, the cover looks great :)

  8. Buffy will always be my favorite! But I can’t wait to read your vampires.

  9. - urgh, I meant my favorite *TV show with vampires*! Sorry, that came off sounding really different than I’d intended…

  10. Jessica S. says:

    Well, a classic is Bela Lugosi! The original Dracula! Of course Nosferatu predated him I believe.

    One of my fave novels, and is what started my vampire/paranormal obsession was Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes! It was YA, simple kind of read since it’s over 10 years old now, but still back in 2001, I LOVED it!

    Sooooooo with you on Moonlight! I LOVED that show! When they said they were not going for a season 2, my heart broke! Especially with the bit of cliffhangers they left. What’s up with that? If you were not sure if there was going to be a season 2, why oh why would you throw a cliffhanger in there?! Totally insane!

    I’m kind of burning out on Vampire Dairies. I loved the original book series, there were only 4, then about the time of the show coming on, they started them up again. The real L.J. isn’t even writing them anymore. I think she did write the first 3 books of the “new” Vampire Diaries books though.

    True Blood is another decent show. I only get to watch the DVDs since I don’t have HBO, they are totally different from the books, but are not too bad.

    But yes, Buffy will always reign true when it comes to vampire slayers! Angel and Spike being our first tortured vampires, although Spike wasn’t really tortured until that final season and final season in Angel.

    Okay, I rambled enough! :D

  11. I think one of my favorites to this day is still Interview with the Vampire. It combines two of my favorite things, vampires and New Orleans. I also quite enjoy Queen of the Damned. I’m excited to read Falling to Ash and add it to my every growing collection of vampire stories.

  12. oh my gosh. Salem’s Lot looks totally creepy! But you reminded me– I saw Poltergeist when I much too young. To this day I hate clowns and Jello because of that movie. :)

    Loved Blood Ties and early LKH! (Still haven’t got through season 1 of Buffy.)

    Right now I’m really enjoying Suzanne McLeod’s vampires.

  13. I absolutely loved watching Moonlight. It was utterly amazing. When it comes to vampire books, I have enjoyed reading the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast, the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine, and I could not go without mentioning the Vampire Academy series and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead.

  14. Senita Mahoney says:

    It’s a toss up between Rochelle Mead’s Vampire Academy/Bloodline series and Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles.

  15. I’m totally with you, Karen! Vampires are *the* Other for me. The creepy, the crawly, the brooding and the heroic. I must at the point admit I probably won’t ever get enough.

    I start with Nosferatu and Anne Rice’s vampires – very disparate depictions. I loved them both.

    Cannot wait for Falling to Ash!

    P.S. Actually laughing aloud at Rob’s issues with Donald’s beard. :)

  16. I like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show.

  17. Salem’s Lot was my first and will always be my favorite vampire book.

    I read it when I was 13 and babysitting my cousins in their new house overnight. Dont ask what made any of the adults think a 13 yr old could stay overnight in a house with two kids under the age of 3 yrs, forty miles from my own home. Alone. Did I say overnight? With no one but me and the kids?? No tv. No phone.

    Aaanyway, they were still living out of boxes and had no curtains on the windows. What book did I sneak to read? (I was always sneaking my Dad’s books.) Well, I picked Salem’s Lot of course.

    Yeah.

    Lets just say I finished the book and did not sleep a wink. And I dont think I slept without a nightlight for a month.

  18. Kristina L. says:

    Aside from Blood Ties and Moonlight (haven’t seen them), I’ve enjoyed all of those shows/movies/books! The ‘Salem’s Lot movie terrified me as a child, but even before that I enjoyed reading about vampires. Also, did you ever watch Fright Night? That movie (the 80s original) was right up there with ‘Salem’s Lot for creepiness!

  19. Nikki Egerton says:

    As a Stephen King fanatic, I was also terrified of Salem’s Lot as a child. I have never seen the older TV series, but have seen the Rob Lowe one.
    Gosh I inhale anything to do with vampires, I don’t know how to pick a favourite. Buffy & Angel (obviously), Anne Rice, Blade! The Underworld films are awesome, and Justin Cronin’s The Passage is kind of about vampires and is one of my favourite books.
    I could go on for ages….

  20. I love all things vampire-related too! Buffy is probably my ultimate fave, but the thing that got me into vampires in the first place was the film The Lost Boys. Love that film – I’ve seen it so many times and it never gets old. It’s so quotable and fun and the vampires are actually scary (which is how vampires should be, I think).

  21. I think my affection for vampires began with The Lost Boys. I adored that film and watched it so many times I could quote most of it. Probably still can. Ahem. I enjoyed the film of Interview with a Vampire but haven’t read any Ann Rice (gasp). I haven’t tried The Vampire Diaries but I love Buffy and Angel with an eternal passion.

  22. I did enjoy watching Moonlight. It was a very compelling show. Tragedy that it was cancelled.

  23. CrystalGB says:

    I like the Vampire Diaries and enjoyed Buffy and Angel when they were on tv. :)

  24. HI, I would love to win a copy of Falling to Ash :) to read about this kick-awesome Moth!
    My favourate television show to watch is The Vampire Diaries. I think it explains the life of a Vampire pretty well with lots of details and there is an actual story line with the main protagonist, Elena (a Human) who has a connection to Katherine a Vampire and that’s where the story unfolds. There’s action, fighting, Vampire kick-ass, romance, Werewolves’, Witch’s and Human Hunters!! Everything is so imaginative and unpredictable, surprises and twists and I hope Falling to Ash is as awesome as The Vampire Diaries. I cannot wait to read it!

  25. SandyG265 says:

    I like the older vampire movies. The Universal and Hammer ones.

  26. Michelle C. says:

    I like Buffy, Rachel Caine’s Morganville series, Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series, and I know there are more that I just can’t remember the names of right now.

  27. I was really into the Anita Blake novels for a while, but she lost me by book 11 — too much sex, not enough plot.

    I watched Buffy and Angel off and on… I liked them but never managed to watch regularly.

    I loved Underworld. Kate Beckinsale made an awesome vamp.

  28. My favourite vampire TV show is Buffy the vampire slayer, I grew up with Buffy, it was my Saturday evening ritual: watching Buffy, and I’ve read about 40 Buffy novels. I really like Vampire Diaries, and Moonlight was nice too…
    As for books… hmm the Vampire Academy series rates high, but so does the Morganville Vampires. I have good memories of Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles, too… And I’m very curious about Moth’s world as well!

  29. My favorite vampire series is The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and favorite vampire movie is the Underworld series. Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I heard of it, wish it was sold in the US or Book Depository :P.

  30. I’m still sad that Blood Ties and Moonlight got cancelled :( I think I saw part of the Salem’s Lot remake once, but I didn’t really like it compared to the book, which was one of my first vampire books. I still think it’s brilliant.
    As for movies I also love The Lost Boys! It’s so funny but still creepy. Other faves are Richelle Mead’s Vampire Acadmy and Bloodlines series, as well as the way Kim Harrison constructed her vampires in The Hollows. Oh, and Jeanine Frost’s books! I’m sure I forgot some of my faves… Oh! I love the old Universal movie with Bela Lugosi ^^ “I don’t drink…. wine.”

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! If I wasn’t on a book-buying-ban I would’ve ordered Falling To Ash already >.< I'm glad I have the web comic to read :)

  31. Probably the Vampire Diaries TV series and the Vampire Academy book series. I also really enjoyed the Strange Angels book series by Lili St. Crow!

  32. Barbara Elness says:

    I’ve watched just about every vampire television show that has come out, from Forever Knight, Blood Ties, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Moonlight, The Gates, Sanctuary, to Being Human. My favorite vampire books are Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series and Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series.

  33. My favourite vampire books are the black dagger brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. They have been my favourites for a while and I don’t see that changing anytime soon :) I also miss Moonlight! I couldn’t believe that they cancelled it! It had so much potential, it wasn’t given a fair chance I don’t think. My mum and I used to stay up late when I was younger and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel on tv, love these series and watch them over and over again now that I have both of them on dvd. Nothing like a vampire-y tv series marathon on a lazy weekend!

  34. I love The Vampire Diaries, and I’m also a Vampire Academy fan. :)

  35. I don’t think I ever read about a vampire I didn’t like. (What can I say? I just can’t resist them!) But if I had to name a few favorites, I could never forget Louis and Lestat (from Anne Rice’s books), Joshua York (from Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin) and Dracula (in his many different appearances).

  36. Carrie S. says:

    My sister is really the vampire nut in the family! She even wrote a paper in college about how the vampire changed over time. Much like this post really! I like vampires, but I guess I don’t really love them like she does. Although I do remember watching the original The Lost Boys! Fabulous!

  37. Oh, there are so many. I like the Sookie Stackhouse books, the House of Night Series, Strange Angels and A Discovery of Witches (I haven’t read the 2nd book yet, it is on my TBR). I read pretty much any Vampire novel I can find. I hear that The Historian is really good.

  38. Best vampire books?
    Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead for sure, also Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine! <3
    Stopped halfway through the Anita Blake series but can't wait to get back to it~
    Constantly searching for more vamp actions ^^
    Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  39. Creepiest book is totallly Salems Lot for vampires. The first time I read it I was scared to look out the windows, well ok that still happens when I read it, but its such a good book.

    For movies I am a Lost Boys fan.

  40. When I was in high school my grandmother gave me Interview with the Vampire and it became not only my gateway to reading more but it started my love of the paranormal. I really enjoy Jeaniene Frost’s vampires (Cat and Bones) and Faith Hunter’s Vamp Slayer Jane.

  41. Vampires are a ‘trend’ that will never die. I was trying to think of my favourite vampire book, and to be honest I think it has to be THE ETERNAL KISS (with your short story about Moth.) I thought that all stories were so original and gripping. And I can’t wait to read more about Moth!!!!!! :D

  42. I loved Moonlight, it was really getting good at the end of the first season, so I was really bummed when it got cancelled. Now, I watch the Vampire Diaries and vampire books I like are the Southern Vampire Mysteries and the two YA vampire series by Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy and Bloodlines. I’ve only read the first one, but I also really liked Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth.

  43. My first encounter with vampires was the Night World books by L.J. Smith. Which lead me to the Vampire Diaries (still some of my favourite books) and then of course to the show! Still I think Buffy is my favourite vampire show. I also loved the orginal 1997 movie verson. The vampires were amazing looking and I loved how they could fly even if it was pretty cheesy! :D

  44. Vamps are my favorite paranormal creatures. I like reading about them and seeing them on tv shows. One of the earliest vampire movie I remember watching Dracula and Interview with a Vampire. I also wish there were more shows like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer around.

  45. I’m not a huge vampire nut, but there are a few cases when I’ve been hooked by a good vampire story. The Morganville Vampire series is amazing; maybe it’s because the characters are snarky as hell and can take care of themselves, but I find that I can’t put them down. Two other good reads with vampires are The Vampire Academy series and The Eternal Kiss (short stories). While I’m loath to mention it, I have read the Twilight series, and I’m glad it ended with just four books; when I was reading them, I didn’t want to stop for food or sleep, but after digesting the story for a few weeks, I found that I had absolutely NO desire to re-read them – ever.

  46. I love vampires! The Buffy and Angel series were big favorites of mine and the DVDs have gotten many rewatches. Lately I’m totally loving The Vampire Diaries TV show though I never really got into the book series.

    For books I have so many favorites I can’t name them all. Though interestingly one of my favorite vampires is not from a vampire series at all but from the Kitty Norville werewolf books by Carrie Vaughn. I love Rick and wish he had a bigger role in the books really.

  47. My favorite show’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and my favorite book… I don’t have a particular series, but I really liked the Eternal Kiss anthology.

  48. I really liked Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ books and The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. In terms of tv, I really enjoyed the first season of being human (the bbc one).

  49. Janie McGaugh says:

    For TV series, Buffy would be my favorite. In books, I love Frost’s Night Huntress series, Sands’ Argeneau Vampires series and Sparks’ Love at Stake series, among others.

  50. Caitlin F. says:

    My fav vamp show definitely has to be Moonlight (I was so sad when it was cancelled!). As for books, vamps aren’t my go-to paranormal creature usually, so I’ll have to stick with a classic and go with Dracula. If you’re gonna go monster-y you might as well go all out and Stoker’s Dracula is deliciously creepy.

  51. My first vampire addiction was The Lost Boys, then there was Dracula the series. I was hung up for years on Forever Knight, I even snuck out of bed to watch it since it was on two hours past bed time and I kept the volume down (mom was a sound sleeper & dad worked nights). I’d read The Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith but wasn’t into vampire stories until I’d picked up Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton in college. Vampires are what I love to write about but I don’t limit myself to the fang gang. All of the paranormal are fun to write about. Oh, and I thought Blood Ties the tv series was much more fun than the books by Tanya Huff.

  52. NatarshaOz says:

    The Lost Boys started it for me – the Vampire Obsession. Anne Rice and Josh Whedon (first with his movie – then with the tv series Buffy and Angel) nurtured it. Laurel K Hamilton nearly killed it with her later books in the Anita Blake series. But my passion has been reignited by Kim Harrison – while not solely vampire novels her Rachel Morgan books saved me.

  53. Personally I prefer a little comedy with my fright (which is why I love witty one-liners so much), and for that reason why I have to include Terry Pratchett’s Discworld vampires… Yes I know his books are positively ancient but there’s such a feel good feeling about a vampire who has decided to be a photographer, no matter that he effectively ‘dies’ every time the flash goes off.

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  2. […] 3) Giveaways! A reminder that there are currently two chances to win Falling to Ash (but not for much longer): here and here. […]

  3. […] Life is giving away a signed copy of Eileen Wilk’s Mortal Ties – ends Oct  7th.Karen Mahoney is giving away a signed copy of Falling to Ash – ends Oct 8th.Shawntelle Madison is giving away a copy of Kept […]

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