I was flicking channels and saw a bit of Interview With a Vampire starring Brad Pitt. Despite my squeamishness regarding the topic, I find it’s actually well written. The dialogue is compelling, at least as much of it as I watched a long time ago.

I couldn’t get very far.

Tried watching bits of Bram Stoker’s dracula too, and couldn’t finish. It just felt ‘icky’ watching it.

I wonder if that’s what the creators of it are going for, that ‘icky’ feeling.

I’ve learned my lesson about dabbling in stuff like that.

I have a friend who feels compelled to write about dark paranormal stuff. Yet meeting her she’s probably one of the sunniest people around.

She writes about it, but she doesn’t write about it like Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling. She said it’s because she believes in it.

Hers are more cautionary type tales and recently she’s turned her hand to mystery thriller type stories.

I think people who do believe in the unseen don’t ‘go there’ in their writing. They stick to safe subjects.

What surprises me is that Stephanie Meyer seems to, at least on the surface, come from a fairly religious background.

When I read on her website, her description of how she got the idea for her Twilight series, it turned my blood cold.

Apparently she was waking from a very vivid dream and she saw two figures in a clearing in a forest, who had a kind of glow around them, and she was particularly drawn to the boy, she knew he was a vampire and he was tempted by the girl’s blood.

Anyone who thinks this idea is new is  mistaken.

In medieval times they were called incubi or succubi (sp?) depending on their gender and who they went after. (I really haven’t done much research on this stuff, so don’t take my word for it.) All I know is that the concept of the ‘demon lover’ goes back to the dark ages and was often one of the charges launched against suspected witches.

Personally, I think it’s irresponsible to write a novel that glamorizes and romaticizes the idea of a woman falling in love with a man who wants to eat her. And I’m not the only one. Many feminists have come out against the novel as well.

Not like that will make a lick of difference to her fans.

The other day I was at a school and the kids wanted to know what I thought of it all. I blurted out the first thing that came into my head. I said, “Twilight is basically a girl’s fantasy and a boy’s nightmare.”

The girls looked puzzled and the boys cheered, high-fiving each other.

Jealousy doesn’t even weigh into the equation. I’m happy to say that I don’t feel jealous about books I couldn’t or wouldn’t ever write.

But I do wonder how Stephanie Meyer reconciles her faith with her writing.

I recognize Twilight as just another phenomenon like Harry Potter, that seems to tap into what a lot of people happen to be looking for at a particular time.

To compare them, I think Harry Potter is a bit more wholesome than Twilight but I haven’t finished reading either of them so I shouldn’t comment too much. (It’s not fair.) I read the first five chapters of Harry Potter because someone told me you get hooked by then. I didn’t. To me it was too reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones The Lives of Christopher Chant. 

The only fantasy I really do like is The Lord of the Rings and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most important characters in it are the least magical. After LOTR I read way too much bad fantasy, talking stones and glowing slime kind of stuff, and I gave up on the genre ages ago.

As for Anne Rice, I find it interesting that since writing the Vampire books that she’s so famous for, she’s actually given up on the genre and turned religious. She’s a devout Catholic now, and one of her latest books that I watched her being interviewed about was on some Catholic religious history that didn’t get near the attention that her vampire stuff got.

I think it’s fascinating that she went from atheist to staunch believer. She said that the climax of Interview With the Vampire (which I didn’t get to because I didn’t watch that far) was where the two vampires are talking and somehow they ask if they’re still children of God and the answer becomes yes. (I’m remembering an interview I watched a while back, so forgive any inaccuracies.)

She seemed to regret the vampire books, but she still must make royalties and money from them, maybe, I don’t know.

And yet, for the launch of one of the vampire books she’d arrived dressed in black or something and riding in a coffin.

Just goes to show that as long as there’s life a person can always find God.

I think that’s comforting.