For all the intelligent literature I tend to gravitate toward I have to own up to my love of vampire books. I have not read the Twilight series, I tried though but it did not do it for me. Not the way Anne Rice did. I do like the original in the genre, "Dracula", though it always leads me to some sort of annoyance at the fact that it is set in Romania and yet it is not any Romania that anyone I am acquainted with knows.
What is it about vampire novels that attracts me, or the millions of readers and followers? Is is the slow anticipation that the vampire is always one very attractive male? The smoldering eyes, the gallant way he woos and pursues the woman. Maybe it is the fact that they are usually so much more interesting than their mortal counterparts. They should have been demons yet we see them as the tortured heroes. The nighttime wandering of a soul in search of something that fulfills a desire so strong! The pull of those eyes as the woman lays in her bed, her breath quickening, offering one of the more sensitive and sensual areas of the body to be pierced. Let's face it you can tell that she is in ecstasy when he finally pierces the neck. Yup it's the naughty and the forbidden other world that pulls us as much as those dark looks the vampire clan seems to have perfected.
Bram's novel was based mostly on the idea that Romania and the surrounding area is a mystery to most in the Western world. Most people assume that the area he set this in had some sort of weird vampire lore but in actuality his Dracula is based very loosely on a former ruler of Romania, who was a sadist to some and a true defender of the country from invading armies to other (probably he was both). He was known to impale his enemies. That, though, is not sexy and not what a British writer may have had any knowledge of.
Now if Bram had really wanted to write a Romanian Dracula there would have been more music, smoking, lots of appetizers and tons of people offering opinions on whether or not he should befriend Renfield. There also would have been a lot more parties, political jokes, and a lot more drinking (wine, tuica - which is Romanian moonshine known to cure all ails from bronchitis to depression) without really being drunk. He would not have opened the windows so wide even if he did need to fly through them because of the draft, which in many European nations and definitely in Romania is something to be feared more than any blood sucking imaginary character. The draft would have killed Dracula much faster, since it can be attributed to anything from paralysis to ear infections. He would have loved garlic, only a British guy would have thought that would be a danger to anyone (umm bland food would have been more scary to those of us of Romanian descent). Most of all Dracula would have contemplated, discussed, taken forever to make any decision and the light of day not a worry since a good tan at the Black Sea would have been in order. The efficient way he dispatched all sent to kill him would have never been a Romanian trait....."why do today what you can put off until tomorrow" and not once did I see a little greasing of a palm to anyone to get to said Dracula.....obviously Bram you were never in Romania. Dracula would have liked to travel though, he got that right. I am very proud to be Romanian. Romanians in general are a people who love to have a good time, who value education, intelligence and who have perfected the art of making pessimism into a humor that sustains them. Now look into my eyes.....