The Increasing Popularity of Vampire Books<br />Yes Virginia, there were other vampire books before Twilight<br />
Over the past 10 years we've witnessed an interesting phenomenon:<br />Vampire books are selling in record numbers<br />
<ul><li>You may think this started with The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.
And it's true, those books helped put the vampire book genre on the New York Times bestselling lists.
But did you know that this fascination with the undead started quite a few years before Twilight was published in 2005?</li></li></ul><li>Yes, there were other authors on the block that had quite the cult following . . . .<br />Some examples are:<br />
Charlaine Harris<br /><ul><li>Charlaine Harris began writing her Southern Vampire Mystery series in the early 2000's.
The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. </li></li></ul><li>Charlaine Harris (cont.)<br /><ul><li>This fantasy series focuses on a telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, who falls in love with a vampire in a small (and some would say redneck) town in Louisiana.
Although the books center on the adventures experienced by Sookie and any number of supernatural creatures, if you take a step back you see that the books are all about cultural acceptance, diversity and tolerance . . . .</li></li></ul><li>Charlaine Harris (cont.)<br /><ul><li>The Sookie Stackhouse books became bestsellers in the 2004 time frame, shortly after it was announced that HBO would base an entire cable TV series after them.
The TV show, True Blood, help introduce the books to an even broader audience.</li></li></ul><li>Laurell K. Hamilton<br /><ul><li>Laurell K. Hamilton is probably responsible for the introduction of the female vampire slayer. Her protagonist, Anita Blake, hit the shelves in 1993 in the book Guilty Pleasures.
Anita is a necromancer that falls in love with both a vampire and a werewolf. </li></li></ul><li>Laurell K. Hamilton (cont.)<br /><ul><li>These books were best sellers throughout the 1990's and likely set the stage for other books of this nature.
Although the later books seem to be more focused on sex (and lots of it), there's no denying that Anita Blake was one of the first popular fantasy book characters involved in a human/vampire relationship. </li></li></ul><li>L.J. Smith<br /><ul><li>L.J. Smith published The Vampire Diaries book series in 1991.
It was first written as a trilogy focusing on 3 main characters: Elena (human), Stefan (vampire) and Damon (vampire).</li></li></ul><li>L.J. Smith (cont.)<br /><ul><li>The books centered on the relationship between Elena and Stefan and Damon, two brothers. Although these books are geared toward a young adult reading audience, they have crossed over to the adult market as well.
In 2009 the CW network broadcast The Vampire Diaries TV series, based on Smith's books.</li></li></ul><li>So, where does that leave us?<br />
Southern Vampire <br />Mystery Series (#11)<br />by Charlaine Harris<br />2 more books planned<br />For 2012 and 2013<br />
Tim Burton plans to direct the film version of the hit 60's/70's TV show Dark Shadows (with Johnny Depp in the lead role).</li></li></ul><li>This fascination will eventually die down but for now, the undead are the new black.<br />