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Exploring the fascination humans have with the fantasy characters in literature and film will plunge you into a world of inconsistencies and contradictions. What lies in wait are the ingredients for varieties of concocted tales that rely upon the imaginative tastes of the author's pen. And from that pool of boundless fiction, many an author has produced a delicious treat that appears in the form of a mysterious, yet easily recognized figure. Though they vary from pen to pen, we are delighted to experience any new creative version of - the vampire. It is the allure of vampires itself that has puzzled many. Of all the fantasy characters available to us - werewolves, witches, elves, fairies, dragons, etc - what keeps the vampire on top? Why is the vampire king of the world? Or, I should say - worlds. Vampires seem to dominate the world of horror, the world of fantasy and sci-fi and now vampires even rule the world of romance. Amazing flexibility for a character that was originally so stereotypically stiff. Famed wordsmith, Stephen King has proven that you can take any object and make it interesting or scary. From a car to a dog to a puppet. Just let your twisted imagination run wild. So, why do so many choose to reinvent the vampire? Perhaps, familiarity among the viewing public. Widespread popularity and the ability to "set up" the reader for a unique twist by playing on their belief that they think they know where you're going. Since the beginning of horror, we were able to feed from the four basic food groups Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Werewolf and Dracula. Over the decades and with the advancements in film, these "monsters" have been reanimated many times over, often receiving a new coat of paint. Yet, none have seen the light of day more often - or in a more formats - than the vampire. We don't even refer to him as Dracula anymore. Calling on a plethora of spotty folklore and nearly a century of urban legends, the vampire now seems to be able to appear in any form or situation and the general public will welcome him/her with lustful glee. For some reason, vampires are just cool. Breaking down the lust for vampire lore, we find it based in two realms of non-reality. Some authors choose to build their vampire characters from the magical aspects we've become accustomed to. Avoiding the sun, silver and garlic. Interacting with Weres and Fairies. Probably one of the more prolific versions of this example is the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Now an HBO series called True Blood, this modern tale puts the girl-next-door Sookie into a world where vampires have "come out" and live openly among humans. Harris sticks to many of the traditional vampire cliches, keeping them out of the sun and afraid of silver. Sookie interacts with
vampires like you might do so with the mailman. It's a fun and compelling series that draws you into many scary situations involving werewolves and fairies in addition to your favorite vampires. Borderline believability built on a solid platform of magical nonsense. Entertainment at its best for most vampire lovers. By comparison, some writers lean more heavily upon the supernatural world to provide you with a darker dish of vampire stew. From the realm of angels and demons, many vampires are portrayed as tortured souls cursed to live in endless damnation. Reviled and oppressed, often hunted into extinction, these more traditional vampires represent the age-old good vs. evil story lines. Demonic creatures of the night, preying on helpless humans. Falling somewhere between these two categories, The Vampire Diaries attempts to prey on recent surges in vampire popularity by appealing to the younger audience. It does an acceptable job of offering traditional vampire cliches while relying on magical rings to let its heroes move around during the daylight. L.J. Smith has penned a series that is both timely and fun. While at times, it's hard to take it seriously; it does capture the romantic side of the vampire genre with the boy-loses-girl-boy-findsnew-girl-who-looks-like-old-girl plot. Which brings us back to the allure of vampires. Why do we never tire of a good long-toothed tale? Whether you prefer the magical side or the darker supernatural side of these tales, you can still accept them for what they are. Just good entertainment. Since vampires don't really exist and we have countless legends to draw upon, we can reinvent vampires in endless variations. But, it's the well-written versions that really suck us in. It's the romanticism of the genre. The dark creatures who live just outside reality, preying on our natural fears and skepticisms. And, who among us hasn't admitted, at least once, that it might be fun to become a vampire? To live forever. To control your prey with eye-contact. To flash those deadly fangs and spread bone-chilling fear with just a look. And then, of course, there's the sex. The sexual attraction of creatures with exceptional strength, stamina and animalistic desires. To be smitten and bitten at the same time. For some, it's a breath-taking fantasy. With vampire tales firmly planted in either magic or supernatural ground, an unexpected anomaly has risen to the top of pop culture in the form of The Twilight Saga. Vampire purists have decried Stephenie Meyer's artistic creation as fluffy gibberish. This is unfair, at best. After all, she's an author. Using her imagination and creative flair, she has produced the unthinkable. Vampires without fangs. Venom laced teeth. Skin that sparkles in sunlight but doesn't burst into flames. Twilight falls into the magical pool. There's nothing demonic or supernatural about it. And, Meyer includes shape-shifters as the vampire's nemesis. Definitely the magical genre. A tip of the hat to Stephenie Meyer for producing a compelling love story with new twists on overworked vampire myths. To do so is her right as an artist. And, the fact that she did it so well has been validated by the raging social phenomenon we know as The Twilight Saga. Who could have imagined it? Likeable vampires. Vampires that young females around the world want to fall in
love with. Vampires that young males want to emulate. Yes, even vampires without fangs are cool. Having established that vampire lore springs from magic or darker supernatural origins, one wonders when an author might attempt to offer a third option. Could these mysterious creatures exist in a reality-based world? A new novel, JUICE: Revolution has cast aside the roots of the vampire genre and created a new one. Injected with humor, sexual tension and real-world situations, JUICE follows its protagonist through encounters with "foreigners" who display unusual, yet slightly recognizable traits. Readers will find themselves enjoying a more believable journey into a world where the unexpected becomes plausible - without the help of magic. JUICE: Revolution spirals toward reality-based revelations that are both shocking and horrifying. Hang on while Revolution exposes an alternate reality that will literally rewrite the history of the world, as we know it.
Michael Clutton, a former full-time entrepreneur, now lives in south Florida. Having recently authored a full length novel, Michael now splits his time between fishing, writing and coaching friends in their online income opportunities. More about Michael's history, humor and original work at http://www.michaelclutton.com or take a sneak peek at http://www.JuiceNovel.com
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