April 7th, 2009

Vampire Fever with Chloe Neill

Happy release day to Chloe Neill!  Her fantastic debut
SOME GIRLS BITE is just out today from NAL and the sequel FRIDAY NIGHT BITES will follow quickly on its heels in October.  Bestselling author Julie Kenner says, "Chloe Neill owes me a good night sleep!  With her wonderfully compelling reluctant vampire heroine, and her careful world-building, I was drawn into Some Girls Bite from page one, and kept reading far into the night.  I love Merit and can't wait for the next book in this fabulous new series." I concur!

Without further ado, I present to you:

...is sweeping the nation. 
Of course, it's not like vampires are a new fad.  Vampires are a human archetype, from the wiley, night-stalking female succubus, to the Hebew traditions of Lilith, to the ramanga of Madagascar. 
And vampires are no stranger to pop culture.  Dracula has been popular since way back when, and Buffy brought vampires--albeit rat-faced vampires--to the television mainstream.  "Interview with a Vampire" and "Underworld" have their fan bases, of course, and each pop culture iteration has provided a different take on the vampire mythology, from the hoard of roaming vamps in "30 Days of Night," to the guns and sleek Latex of "Underworld," to Brad Pitt's lace-and-velvet take on Anne Rice's Louis. 
But recently, maybe sparked by the success of TWILIGHT, vampires have gained a new, broad-based appeal.  And more importantly, they've been transformed--from evil creatures of the night, to misfit heroes.
Maybe it's Robert Pattinson's eyes (which, I'm willing to admit, make me a little ga-ga), maybe it's the blood-and-lust appeal of the vampire myth, or maybe it's something even simpler--we like our heroes with a little bit of standoffishness (accidental or otherwise). 
Call it the Mr. Darcy factor.  It's the quality that keeps the hero apart from the heroine--either in some physical or metaphysical way--until he can finally cross the breach and come to terms with his attraction.  Whether that standoffishness derives from societal pressures (Darcy and Elizabeth) or external drama (Peter Parker and M.J.) or family fued (Romeo and Juliet), the obstacle to love is a primary component of the romance. The ability to overcome the obstacle is what makes the relationship so darn interesting. The vampire romance allows the author to make that obstacle a little more complicated.  A little more biological. 
A little more intriguing.
Is there a limit to how intriguing they should be? Of course not, you say.  The more interesting, the better! 
The downside to "interesting," of course, is that you get stories like this one, detailing rumors that students at the Boston Latin School were vampires and had been arrested by law enforcement agents.
Okay, you think, that's just plain ridiculous. 
But wouldn't it be that much more interesting . . . if it were true? Maybe that's the true test of a successful vampire series--if we throw aside the danger, and wish the predators were real. Vampire fever, indeed.