30 Days of Vampires– The Evolution of the Vampire & Contest!

December 1, 2008 | Vampires, 30 Days of Vampires | 36 comments

30 Days of Vampires Schedule

Shiloh Walker, a multi-published author in numerous genres, stops by today to ask how exactly vampires went from ick to sick (in a good way). Post your own opinion and get a chance to win not only the big 30 Days of Vampires grand prize but also a copy of Shiloh’s Hunting the Hunter, Hunters: Heart and Soul, and Hunter’s Salvation.

How did we go from this guy…Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula
Vlad the Impaler, Dracula

To this?

We go from a man who was documented in history for impaling people in a rather gruesome manner, to a literary classic to today’s modern vamps. There are still plenty of horror-ific depictions of vamps out there. Like in 30 days of Night or I Am Legend but being a pretty voracious romance reader, I’m more drawn to the books and movies where the vamp isn’t too gruesome.

So when did the change start? Some people say it was Anne Rice, but eh, I dunno. I’m trying to think back to when I first saw the vampire as romantic, and it wasn’t Anne Rice. I’ve read the books, or at least one of them, I think, ages ago, but it wasn’t too memorable for me.

One thing that definitely made the vampire more appealing to me was seeing the 1992 movie, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

As far as books, it was Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that cinched it. Vamps went from creepy/weird to hmmmm…. the minute Diana met up with Andre.

Then of course, I discovered the books that Linda Lael Miller wrote, starting with Forever and the Night. Happy sigh…hey, wait, where did my copies of that go? ::Scowling:: I’ll find them later.

And of course, there was Buffy. Buffy changed a lot of things. As did Anita Blake. I was late coming into the world of Buffy and Anita, but I definitely enjoyed myself once I got there.

Now we’ve got Charlaine Harris, Stephanie Meyers, Shiloh Walker…hey, I can always hope, right? The vamps of the romance genre aren’t the kind of vamp you’d run screaming away from, whip out some garlic and holy water, or walk around with a cross in front as you dare down a dark alley.
The romance genre’s vamps are sexy and smart. They can range from being kind to being a damned monster in need of salvation. They can be male or female. Lackey to Miller to Rice to Hamilton…the list could go on…and on…and on. But they aren’t Vlad…thank God.

With the emergence of the True Blood series on HBO, inspired by the Sookie Stackhouse books written by Harris, it looks like there’s more life being breathed into the vampire’s popularity-and he was already pretty popular.

Do you love vampires? Hate them? Prefer to read about them in the villain spot rather than the hero?

Order Shiloh’s books:
Through the Veil
The Missing
Talking With The Dead
The Hunters: The Beginning
The Hunters: Interlude (Books 3 & 4)


  1. crystal adkins

    HI Shiloh!! I was lucky enough to meet Shiloh at RAW 2 years in a row she is the sweetest thing!

  2. Lou Gagliardi

    Vlad is not actually historically documented doing these things. The Saxons that lived in his area wrote those stories, and the Russians backed them up to link Vlad to Ivan the Terrible, as a way of making him seem barbaric to try to get sympathy for the Saxon merchants that he felt would corrupt Romania. All the forest, and the number of impalements are, are tall tales written by Germans that felt they were being mistreated.

    In his native Romania, Vlad the Impaler isn’t even linked with the vampire, except for perhaps as a vampire hunter. He’s more likely linked with a bezerker or werecreature due to his heritage, being a descendant of the Dacian people. The Romanian people, even those that have read Dracula, can not understand why Stoker wrote what he did.

    Plus, the argument now is that Count Dracula wasn’t based on Vlad at all save for the name, but Elizabeth Bathory, the blood countess.

    But I can agree with the content of your blog entry; and I’ve read your books and enjoyed them.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. flip

    Elizabeth Bathory was stomach churning. She was never punished for the 600 murders committed by her. She was placed on house arrest in her castle.

    I like Buffy type of vampires…mostly bad with a few good eggs.

  4. Lori Ann

    Hi Shiloh,

    I love vampires and like them in the hero role, especially when reading romance. I remember starting to find vampires sexy with the release of the movie Interview With The Vampire. Brad Pitt was very sexy in that movie. Then came Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Dracula 2000 movie with Gerard Butler, and I became obsessed with them. Thank goodness there are so many talented authors out there to feed my obsession. :-)

  5. Diane Pollock

    I remember when I was a child my much older sister being very taken with Barnabas Collins in the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. For me, that cemented vampires as romantic figures….

  6. Shiloh Walker

    Hey everybody…gonna dash in for a few minutes then try to get some work done. Running behind~as always.

    Sweet…lol…man, I’m pretty sure sweet isn’t the right word for me, but thank you. :cool:

    Really? :eek: It’s been years since I really did much research into Dracula, but I thought there’d been some documentation…of course, I’m also very scatterbrained. :roll:

    I do remember all the stuff I read about Elizabeth, though. Yes, I can see her inspiring some nightmarish stories.

  7. Shiloh Walker

    Daggone it… my blockquotes got messed up.

    HI Shiloh!! I was lucky enough to meet Shiloh at RAW 2 years in a row she is the sweetest thing!

    Sweet…lol…man, I’m pretty sure sweet isn’t the right word for me, but thank you. :blush:

    Vlad is not actually historically documented doing these things.

    Really? It’s been years since I really did much research into Dracula, but I thought there’d been some documentation…of course, I’m also very scatterbrained. :roll:

    I do remember all the stuff I read about Elizabeth, though. Yes, I can see her inspiring some nightmarish stories.

  8. Colleen

    Vampires are great… I love the variety that authors create… the unique personalities each gives their creations… their struggles and their ways of dealing with things in their path! :D

  9. Brooke

    I like Vampires as the hero AND the villain. Whenever they are fighting each other I can really get into it, because it’s good to see both sides of them.

  10. Sarah Ulfers

    I think romance writers have done alot to change people perseptions of vampires.

  11. ReadingIsSoMuchFun

    Hi Shiloh! Yes I love vampires. I love reading about them and watching tv shows & movies with vampires :) I don’t know exactly what it is but I find them sexy :wink:


    *waves* Hi to Lori :)

  12. Sidhe Vicious

    I am totally hooked on the hero type of vampires. But the bad boy ones who end up being the hero are even smexier in my opinion. :D Case in point: Eric Northman in Charlaine Harris’s books. And the actor who plays him in True Blood… YUMMY :!:

  13. Judith fox

    Hi all vampire fans:

    I love vampires both as the good and the bad. I don’t get as much reading done as I’d like because I write romance genre and try for anything involving the sub categories.

    I’ve had one novella e-published a few years–some sex but not really erotica. I like mild sensual sex and light paranormal, and that’s what I write. There are so many possibilities, including romantic comedy.
    Wouldn’t Pierce Brosnan make a sexy vampire, yums lol
    I’ve been aware of vampires for a long time, but this era is fantastic. I think I got interested again when I started watching
    Buffy and her friends. All the interaction between Buffy and Spike was hot to me.
    I like that vampire lore and new stories are back again.
    And they said vampire genre was dead—-
    well the vampires are but not the genre. Hurrah.
    Looks like I have a lot of reading to catch up with and I’m trying. Lori and Shiloh and all – This is so wonderful!!!
    Cheers Judith

  14. Danielle

    My favorite types of books to read are romance but my favorite sub-genre is paranormal so I LOVE vampires especially in the hero spot… :mrgreen:

  15. Jackie B

    I like a nice mixture when it comes to vampires–I want one (or ten) that make you drool and pant, but I want just as many that make your skin crawl.

  16. Kimberly B.

    I can get behind vampires either as heroes or villains, though I seem to read a lot more of the former than the latter. I don’t like horror, and a lot of “vampire as villain” story fits into that category and is too gory for me. Plus it’s the longevity of vampires that attracts me to them, and what they would have to teach us about the past. A vampire who wanted to eat me probably wouldn’t be much for conversation.

  17. Cathy M

    Ever since Angel, I have loved vampires as heroes.

  18. Debbie

    Hi Shiloh! I love vampires! I prefer vampires as heroes rather than villains.

  19. Nozomi

    I’d have to say Anne Rice did it for me. The movie may have something to do with it, because I’d already adored men with long hair.

    Spike in Buffy is another one. I believe it’s simply how vampires are protrayed in today’s media–young hot male actors are chosen or described. However, there are still vampires out there that are hideous. -shrugs-

  20. Breia B

    I like Vamps as heroes and villains. I really like them when they change their evil ways and begin to protect people. Lets face it though Vamps are bad asses who dine on humans, no matter how you slice it that can turn out bad. I think I like Vamp stories because I wonder what I would be like if I had all of their super qualities. Would I stay a good person or look down on everyone without my powers?

  21. Pam P

    I’d always been interested in the occult and paranormal. I got into vamps with Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, and then a show with vamps and others as villains watching The Night Stalker (great show, the original starring Darren McGavin). Found those Linda Lael Miller vamps, then Nancy Gideon’s Midnight series, and loving vampire romances ever since.

  22. Karin

    While I don’t know exactly when vampires went from the creepy guys trying to drain humans dry to the sexy tortured heroes/heroines they are now, I think that part of the transformation might come from the need to make something which is threatening appear a little less so. It seems a lot like what happened in the Disneyfication of fairy tales, where something that was once used to frighten children became a way of entertaining them.

    Either way, I like vampire stories, both the chilling ones and the sexy ones.

  23. Lindsey Ekland

    Love paranormal romance so love Vampires. What I like is the basic premise can be molded to fit any number of realities such as no sunlight, grey overcast day to full sunlight with age. So many authors have given Vampires their own twist and keep things interesting. Have loved all teh Hunter books and can only wait with bated breath for the next one.

  24. Deidre

    Honestly, I can read them good, bad, pretty, ugly, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve always loved them and have had an extreme fascination with them for as long as I can remember. They’ll never get old to me.


  25. Mel K.

    Ahhh, what an excellent picture of Vlad.
    I love vampires. There’s something erotic about biting the neck. The romantically tragic figure of the vampire, cursed to haunt the night, hunts or seduces his quarry seeking to quench the eternal thirst. Then at last, that moment of surrender when the tender neck is submissively revealed and the victim’s willingness to be possessed, body and soul, ends in a climax with penetration and blood. This sensuality is what attracts me to the vampire.

  26. tami

    vlad was way a bad bad boy and not in a good way

  27. Carmen R

    I love vampire and them being hero’s makes it even better. I love how vampires can now be other things besides the villain. I have always though of them as a gray area in a black in white world.

  28. Shiloh Walker

    :blush:Ack…fell behind watching comments, sorry! I have a sick kid and also got some biz stuff going on that’s kept me preoccupied.


    Thanks to everybody who’s commented…I definitely love a vampire hero, but I’m also interested in a vamp villain. Just because they are fun, too. :wink:

  29. Margie

    I’ll take my vamps as either heroes or villains!

  30. Pan Zareta

    I’ve been fascinated with vampires for years, both as heroes and villains.

  31. annalisa

    I love my vampires mostly as heroes, but every once in a while it’s nice to read a vamp villain. :D

  32. Liviania

    I think vampires work well as the hero or the villain. Or both. Who doesn’t like versatility?

  33. Bertena

    I am currently working on my thesis – The Rise of the Vampire in Literature and Pop Culture and this is definietley my line of discussion.
    In researching Stoker based Dracula on 3 stories- Varney the Vampire Feast of Blood, Vlad the Impaler( historically he did impale his enemies. they just never proved if he ate while they died or drank their blood. romanians today see him as a military hero) and of course Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Dracula was seen as a very feminist based book- with the women having power over the new technology of the time- typewriter- and of destrying Dracula. After that came the Grizzly Nosferatu who was a monster and really until Christoper Lee’s Dracula did we have fangs and some sensuality. But really it was documented that in the early 1970’s Barnabis Collins got all the homemakers hot and bothered :D
    And Anne Rice’s novels came out around that time and caught the readers attention. And from there it hasn’t stopped. I dream of men like Spike, Angel, Mick St John, Bill, Eric, And of course – too young for me- Edward Cullen.
    They release something in the modern woman who has to have control over their lives…they for one moment relax and loose control..

    Now where can I find me a good vampire??? :lol:

  34. Lori T

    Hi Shiloh~

    I definitely count you in my list of must have vampires…I absolutely adore your Hunters! For me I really think that Buffy was big in pointing me in the direction of wanting to read about vampires that are not neccesarily villianous (I am not sure this is really a word) and I too was just thinking the other day about where my copies of Linda Lael Miller’s books are.

  35. Michelle B.

    I agree about Bram Stoker’s Dracula definitely catching my attention in the erotic way and I believe my first forays in reading were Christine Feehan & Laurell K. Hamilton…

  36. Terri W.

    Welcome Shiloh!

    I love reading your books (the ones I can find at my library)!

    Hmm the movie that caught my eye was “Dracula Rising”!

    I like vampires both as a hero and as a villian.