What Do You Want in a Vampire Book?

I did this over on and my readers there enjoyed it so much I thought I’d bring the book-lovin’ fun here to the vampire fans. As the title asks – what do you want in a vampire book? Most book discussions revolve around what we hated in particular books. We tend to complain constantly about cliché storylines, stereotypical characters and all of that craptastic stuff, but today we’re going to switch it up and list off what we want in a vampire book.

Here’s my list of what I would like in my dream vampire book, and of course, I’d love to read your list as well so leave a comment below telling me all about what you want in a vampire book.

What I want in a vampire book…

  • Little to no romance. I own well over a hundred vampire books and 99% of them are packed full of romance. I enjoy the occasional love story, I really do, but I’m fed up with vampire romances.
  • A strong minded female lead. As I said in my werewolf post, I can’t stand reading about pathetic damsels in distress. However, I also can’t stand reading about perfectly perfect ass-kicking women. I want a realistic female lead for once, one who has weaknesses and flaws like anyone else, but also someone who doesn’t need to be saved by a knight in shining fangs. Female leads in vampire books tend to go one of two ways – they are weak, pitiful and need to be saved every other chapter or they are overly tough, cold and cynical. I want a realistic balance, a woman that can take care of herself, but also has her bad days.
  • Folklore! I LOVE vampire folklore and I think it would be fantastic to have a book surrounding certain myths and legends.
  • No werewolves. I love werewolf books, but I don’t want another werewolf vs. vampire storyline.
  • Horror. I’m not usually a huge fan of horror, but lately when it comes to vampire books it’s what I am in the mood for. I want scary vampires, not love-struck vegetarian vamps. A touch of classic horror would be awesome.
  • Castle! Preferably a magical castle. Yeah, I am a fantasy lover and well, I love castles, so having a vampire living in a mysterious and magical castle would rock so hard.
  • Plot twists and turns. I don’t want just a regular story to read though, I want to be shocked and surprised, I want to think to myself “Wow, that’s totally not what I thought would happen!” I want a story that ends with a bang, not with a blah “the end” kinda feel.
  • Backstories. I like learning about a character’s past, what brought them to this point in their lives, what makes them tick, why they think and act the way they do and so on, which is why I want a backstory.
  • Different types of vampires in one story. I would love a book with one breed too, but I would also love to read a book that has multiple species (think Vampire: The Masquerade).  A series featuring various vampires that all have different traits and powers would be highly entertaining.
  • Art! No, I don’t want a picture book, but rather one with a few illustrations. Ever read a book that has a drawing at the start of each chapter? I think having something like that in a vampire book would be beyond amazing.

And I shall stop now, if I don’t I’ll end up writing an entire book on what I want in a book.

Now it’s your turn Dear Readers! Tell me what you want in a vampire book.

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).

13 replies on “What Do You Want in a Vampire Book?”

give me time, about 75% of what you want i’m trying to write if i ever get published i’ll send you a copy, i too want most of the stuff you want in a book but i got tired of waiting so i’m trying to write it myself

that’s sooo cool! I always try doing that but i always get stuck with no inspiration lol
are you even close to finishing? i want an ETA, ill definitely buy ur book

i also got so bored of the same old stories when vampires are involved, so i decided to write my own book. i have actually written 2 where vampires are involved, one is more Twilight-ish but i love my second story.

My second story starts with the background story bc i love learning everything i can about the characters, she is a strong female lead, but i dont intend to make her so strong she needs no help. it doesnt have much to do with romance bc i cant write romance very well, but it has a little bc he will become important to the story. there is a little mythology but not much and the fantasy is down to about zero. i dont have a werewolf in my story but i do have a wolf, and an entire background story on how the wolf comes into the story.

everything i have in my story is what i would love to find in a book. and if mine ever get published i would love to share it with you guys.

* Some consistent sense of what a vampire is, preferably linked in with folklore of some kind.
* A serious set of disadvantages to go with being undead.
* Relationships (familial, romantic, otherwise) with the complexity of such in real life.
* Take ideas seriously–if a vampire MUST kill, that has many repercussions, not least psychologically. If a the bite is addictive, ditto. And so on.
* Hints of the world ‘beyond the page’.
* Compelling plot, interesting characters, nicely readable prose, etc.
* Ambiguity. Vampires embody this, at least in my favorites they do (Let Me In, Carmilla, Interview, etc.)
* Not fond of Vampire-as-unstoppable-force a la zombies. Can be done very well, and I’ll enjoy it, but I prefer vampires who have personalities.

Hmm … no romance, a real nail biter aye? Castles and artwork, with a splash of fantasy. A strong female character and loaded with lots of backstory.

A story about Elizabeth Bathory perhaps?

Good story idea in any case. I’m still stuck on the romantic aspects of vampires, still longing for the one that hits all the high notes.

1. I can’t stand the romantic stuff. I understand there’s a market for it, but there’s a market for HORROR vampire stories too that is very neglected. But on that note…

2. I don’t want scary vampires that are merely riding the coattails of zombie fiction. Some can balance this type of vampire with something more old school, like The Strain Trilogy, but as much as I want scary, I do NOT want zombies-in-vampire-clothing, if you catch my drift.

3. A touch of the old gothic horror film style never hurt. If I’m somehow reminded of Lugosi or Lee, I’m a happy camper.

4. No vampire protagonists. I feel that the vampire is most effective as an outsider invading the space of the main characters. Not without personality, but something of a primal force that wants only a meal. Less of an explosive vampire, but more like rolling fog.

5. I don’t mind some liberties being taken, but I’ll be more impressed with an author who can do something new with the old vampire traits than an author telling stories we’ve heard a thousand times over with some drastically altered “vampires” at the center.

6. Bram Stoker understood the inherent anachronistic value of the vampire, and didn’t try to modernize him. Count Dracula was very much a product of the past. I’d prefer the vampire(s) here be handled in much the same way. I don’t want “hip” and “trendy” vampires.

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