Not long ago I was musing about vampires. I mean, I write about them…a lot…and people ask me why…a lot…so I decided perhaps a little introspection was in order. Why DO I write about vampires all the time? Is there some deep-seated, unresolved psychological issue that compels me to always tread on the dark side? Nope—nothing that Freudian. Don’t get me wrong, I have my share of baggage but not enough to put me into permanent therapy. Am I really a Goth chick hiding beneath a prim and conservative exterior? Maybe—if I was a couple decades younger! Somehow I just don’t think that look would work for me at this age. Do I long for eternity? Not so much. The seasons of life make it rich and beautiful. I can’t see trading that for a forever without family or friends. Do I find the vampire’s power and strength sexy? Well, yeah I kind of do but that’s more of a perk than an explanation for my obsession.
No, as I thought about it, I decided the main reason I fixate on vampires is because of what I learn from them. Forget the folklore. Forget the legends. Forget the fiction. Get down to the essence of vampires and there is much to discover. My top five go something like this:
1. Don’t give up. It might look like the end but it could just be the beginning of something new and exciting.
2. Don’t be afraid of the dark. No matter how dark it might seem, the light will always come again.
3. Don’t be afraid to make friends. A true forever friend may walk into your world at any moment.
4. Don’t be intolerant. Despite differences in race, religion, sex, or sexual preference, beneath it all we’re the same: human beings.
5. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Just because something happened to you that isn’t fair and changes your life, don’t let it destroy you. Stand up, dust yourself off, and find a way to live in your new reality.
So there it is: five things I’ve learned from vampires and just a few of the reasons I’m drawn to them in my writing. It’s true, vampires might be the stuff of legends, good horror movies, and classic novels, but you know, once you get beyond the superficial, they might just have something to teach us all.