Wouldn’t you know that 11-18 year olds have plenty of reasonable, thoughtful ideas about the evolution of vampires? Because of the anthology I’m a part of that comes out next week (Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead) I threw out the question –where do you think Vampires are going–or should go?— to my writing students. They are all voluntary writers who stay after school to work on their own writing (which usually has a horror-tinge to it) and they were freakin’ brilliant. I LOVE these guys.
Imagine them sitting around a grouping of four tables shoved together, in the French library of FH Collins.[Just gonna use their first names--they're cooler that way] I didn’t do any editing to this dialogue. I have some pretty smart high school kids.
Here are their thoughts:
Santana: I’m looking for more variety in vampires. I think vampires have to move away from being either completely evil or sparkly good.
Franz: They used to be the icon of horror. I think people forget that vampires used to turn into bats.
Erin: They’re vampires. They have to eat. They’re not going to drag the carcass of a deer into the forest so they can revive it. They aren’t going to be helpful.
Zeb: They need to go back to the basics. They’ve moved from Dracula to whiny good guys, and I think they need to swing back to Dracula. I’ve seen quite a few vampires in between good and evil: Dresden Files has multiple “courts” of vampires. Some of them bad and some of them really bad.
Franz: Yes, I’m tired of angsty vampires. I read about this one vampire who was all angsty and then he was bloodthirsty and killed people, but he was a lot more interesting when he got older and more complex. He wasn’t as angsty and he wasn’t as bloodthirsty. He was light hearted and pretty hilarious.
Santana: Authors shouldn’t be afraid to expand the genre–to have vampires that are neither good nor evil, but neutral. I want them as complex as real people. I want them in modern day settings dealing with our own vampire crazy culture.
Zeb: Terry Pratchett had some really cheerful vampires called Magpires who wore bright clothing but they were really evil people!
We all started citing some places that vampires still haven’t gone yet….
And then …. they started to come up with ideas about what THEY would write about these vampires. And they were such fantastic ideas, I can’t write them here… I have to let these kids tell them. But they are brilliant.
I’m hoping that they read Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead and give us a review of the book–to see if authors were able to “expand the genre” as Santana mentioned. I’d like to see how this meets their expectations of where Vampires should be going…