30 Days of Vampires: What Vampires Want

December 21, 2011 | 30 Days of Vampires | 23 comments

Melissa OlsoMelissa Olsonn is a writer, mommy, and owner of two comically oversized dogs. Learn about her and her work at www.melissafolson.com.


Until a few years ago, I never really understood the appeal of vampires. I certainly wouldn’t want to be one. I would miss breathing and having a heartbeat, and though I’m already paler than your average ghost, I like at least having the option of the sun. Besides, in this digital age, you’d have to be constantly switching identities and moving around. Sure, you live forever, but think of how much of “forever” you’d have to spend trying to trick the IRS. It just sounds exhausting.

I definitely didn’t understand the humans who hang out with vampires, donating blood and doing their bidding. I get that vampires are sexy and hypnotic and all (even Dracula, and that guy had serious issues with the ladies), but it would just be so easy for a vampire to lose control and accidentally kill you, and then what are you gonna do? Look stupid, that’s what. Bottom line: we all want our significant other to like us for who we are inside, but you can’t trust someone who only wants you for your insides.

And yet…for all my protestations, I found myself reading Anita Blake and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a devotion that bordered on extreme. I rolled my eyes at the number of vampire flicks hitting theaters, but I still shelled out for everything from Dracula: 2000 to Blade: Trinity. My friends were puzzled: if I claimed that I didn’t like vampires, then why did I keep showing up for vampire stories?

I didn’t actually figure it out until I became a writer, and started pulling vampire tales apart to see how they worked. Turns out, a vampire story is pretty much the literary equivalent of a coloring book page: it’s a neat, simple sketch that the artist is able to fill in any way he or she wants to: adding sections, coloring over, scribbling out, turning into any kind of realistic or wildly impressionistic image possible. Vampires hold incredible potential for having fun, making sharp political statements, getting carried away romantically, and so on. The possibilities are as endless as they are entertaining.

A couple of decades ago a literary theorist named Michele Foucault wrote that we never just judge a work freely with no prejudices; we automatically apply some kind of restrictions or limits. Without this kind of filter, there are simply too many interpretive possibilities to process, so the human mind will find a framework. Creating a story around vampires gives us a great, immediately recognizable filter in order to understand the story that the author has to tell, and gives the author the room he or she needs to tell it. And just as you choose colors when coloring in a picture, authors get to make choices about their vampires, from what happens to them during the day to how sharp their teeth get to how much blood (or sometimes other things) they need to survive.

When I started writing my own urban fantasy series, I got pretty interested in one of these details: the question of what, exactly, vampires want. It’s a question that we humans struggle with all the time, so if you really do get to live forever, it seems like a pretty important one. You can accomplish everything on the proverbial bucket list in, say, two or three lifetimes. And then what’s your plan? Collect money and power, maybe- but even if you do that, what are you going to do with your money and power? Brood? I love the ways that authors answer this question – or ignore it to make a larger statement about the nature of hunger and monsters.30 days of vampires prize, Blood Calls

So here’s my question, blog commentators: you’re 300 years old, everyone you ever loved is dead, and most of your clothes have been popular at least twice. What do you want? Besides, you know…blood.

Web Site: Melissa Olson


  1. SandyG265

    I think I’d want someone to love who wouldn’t die.

  2. orchid7

    I would want to be in charge, and be doing something that was interesting to me so that I wouldn’t be bored. 300 years is a long time.

  3. WildAboutBones

    I too wonder what to do with all that time. Seriously? Forever? I guess the answer depends on whether or not I have my one true mate or not. And whether or not I developed a tolerance for the sun and food and what other interesting traits I have. And how much money I’d been able to stash away. I suppose there would be lots of travel involved. But think about all the changes the world went through from 1800-2000 and all the new inventions. That may be interesting from an immortal’s (well really really long-lived being) perspective to watch. And all that the time available to read, if I could stay up during the daytime, woot! I could get my “to read” list down to a manageable number.

    You are a new author for me. I checked out your website and Dead Places sounds really good. Where can I find it? I checked for info on Goodreads.com and Amazon.com but couldn’t find it.

    I love to win. Thanks for the opportunity.

  4. Viki S.

    Other than to love and be loved by someone immortal like me – I’d want to be able to taste and digest food. Thank you.

  5. Kimberley Coover

    Well, I would want to find and maintain a support system with other immortal beings. You have to have people you can talk to and hang with. I would want to enjoy food and drink.

    Merry Christmas

  6. StacieD

    It would be tough to out-live everyone you love. I would want something to me help remember my loved ones. Maybe a photo album or digital picture frame. It is important to remember your roots.

  7. sue brandes

    I would want someone like me whom I love to be with.

  8. Angela

    I would want a good friend who is also immortal to be with me so I’m not all alone

  9. MJB

    Like other commenters have said, I’d really want an immortal companion and some friends who could share my long, long life with. Vampires are always portrayed as loners even though I have read many books where there are whole vamp society, so let’s give the guy or gal a love interest that will be around just as long as they will!

  10. Deb P

    Who wants to live forever

  11. tammy ramey

    well to start with if i was a vampire i doubt that i would allow the people i loved to die, i would probably change them. this is because vampire are (IMO) basically selfish creatures.
    then as long as you are not alone would you be a dominate personality or a subissive in your group? because that would also determine what you would be doing if you are a subissive type.
    but for argument sake lets say i am a dominate type and i have my family, then i am taking care of them and protecting them from harm. that is the most important thing,then hopefully i would find myself a mate and go from there.

    sorry my answer was so nerotic, i tend to ramble about this kind of thing. LOL!

    thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway. i hope that you and your family have a very Happy Holiday Season.


  12. Sophia Rose

    The only answer that comes to mind which is what many authors put out there is: someone to spend the time with. With the right person, all those years and places would be a fulfilling time.


  13. Melissa Olson

    Awesome comments, everyone! To answer your question, WildAboutBones, I am happy to announce that Dead Spots is being published next fall by 47 North. Keep an eye on my website for an exact date and some upcoming promotions.

  14. Cathy P

    I would like to be a good vampire that has a lot of good vampire friends. I would also like a mate that was another vampire, so they would be with me forever.


  15. wanda flanagan

    To find my soulmate that perfect someone to share eternity with .

  16. Mercy Loomis

    That depends entirely on whose idea of vampirism we’re working with. ;) My vampires don’t experience time the same way humans do; they’re very in the now. And at 300 years old, I’ve probably just kicked my first fledgling out of the nest, so to speak, around 20-40 years earlier, so I’m probably still enjoying the peace and quiet. I’m not going to get twitchy to have another apprentice for another hundred years or so. So I’m probably hanging out, maintaining my territory, amusing myself with my thralls, and absorbing as much of my surrounding culture as possible.


  17. Stephanie

    I would be one hot rockin vampire that would chase after all of the hotties!

  18. June M.

    I would think someone to love who would live forever too. It would be great to live for so long, be able to see so much. But to lose everyone you love would suck.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  19. Barbara

    Well…besides a ‘forever love’…a really GREAT pair of shoes would be cool!

  20. LadyVampire

    I think top two things I would want would be someone special to spend my forever with. Someone that loves me for me, who I dont have to hide anything from. And I would also like my own home. A perminant home that I would not have to move from because I appeared not to be aging. Because I think having to keep moving and never having a perminant home to relax in would be very annoying.

  21. Lori H

    Great romantic paranormal reads and a trustworthy immortal friend!

  22. Barb P

    I would love to find my soulmate! The one person who would stay with me and love me through all eternity! LOL! Sounds good anyway. Thanks for the give away.