Despite their general aversion to the sunlight, vampires remain in fashion throughout the entire year, though no time feels better suited than Halloween for exploring our obsession with them. Here, Melissa de la Cruz, author of the bloodsucking Blue Bloods series and Vampires of Manhattan, picks her five favorite vampires in literature. The lucky few are below, and those who didn’t make the list will just have to suck it up.
When I started writing the Blue Bloods series in late 2003, I was inspired by my love of vampire literature as a teenager. In my latest novel, Vampires of Manhattan, it’s been ten years since my fallen angel vampires have defeated Lucifer in the Great War. They’re older now, no longer the prep-school Upper East Side kids, with great responsibility on their shoulders. I tip my hat to the vampires who came before them and to the ones who made our genre a blockbuster.
Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis du Pointe du Lac
Suffice to say, I would not be writing about vampires if I had not discovered Anne Rice’s novels when I was thirteen. I read The Vampire Lestat first, I had no idea it was a sequel, and I fell in love with icy, beautiful, blond, morally ambiguous, and tortured vampire Lestat. I read Interview with the Vampire after and also fell in love with sad, angsty Louis, one of his companions that he desperately wanted to keep by his side. I readInterview with the Vampire at thirteen and thought it might be real. (When teens later wrote me asking if I “really” knew any Blue Blood vampires, I completely understood where they were coming from.)
The vampires of ‘Salem’s Lot
This novel kept me up late at night convinced that there was a vampire floating in front of my window. I would peek out of the curtains every once in a while just to make sure it wasn’t there. Stephen King’s vampires are ancient and terrifying, and he made the vampire rules so believable—you are safe as long as you don’t invite them in. It’s advice I’ve taken to heart and passed on to my daughter.
You can’t talk about popular vampires without talking about the Twilight phenomenon. When Blue Bloods was published a year after Twilight, I was concerned that because Stephenie Meyer‘s book had been out first that no one would read mine. How wrong I was. Stephenie changed the cultural conversation.
Gossip Girl dominated YA literature at this point, but she ushered in an era of romantic fantasy (as well as erotica and new adult). I’m very much on Team Edward, and what I love about these books is the vampire family that surrounds him, and the camaraderie and the affection between them.
Eric Northman. Eric Northman. Eric Northman. The arrogant and sexy thousand-year old vampire owner of the vampire nightclub Fangtasia has the tragic past as well as the blunt good humor of a real hero. He brings a lightness as well as danger to the world of Sookie Stackhouse. Louisiana has never been the same.
Melissa de la Cruz grew up in Manila and San Francisco. She is the author of the novels Cat’s Meow and The Au Pairs. She coauthored the nonfiction books How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-Inch Heels and Faux Pas. Her work has been translated into many languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.