I don’t think it exists. I know we all have our loves, the books that defined us as avid fans of the monsters in question. I’m reading Fevre Dream right now and I have to say that, while the writing is more than up to standard, and the atmosphere has that gritty, sweaty New Orleans vibe that always hits the spot, but the excessive narrative, endless description, and obvious answers to a game of “spot the vampire” can become tedious. I can only take so much before I need to pause and do something else altogether. It’s not easy to juggle the slow anticipatory build towards the vampires the reader knows are coming with enticing writing, a respectfully grim and mist-flooded atmosphere, and compelling characters. Not easy, but surely plausible? The closest I can recall is Jeanne Kalogridis. Sadly, the books were screaming down the road to infamy and glorious wicked awesome when the author put the brakes on with an antagonist who was more moustache-twirling satan than woe-befallen anti-hero. Sadly, the anti-hero is my favourite vampire trope and if a story squanders it, I have the sad sad. It was a series I’d have sworn by if that little disappointment hadn’t completely wrecked the trilogy for me.
So the perfect vampire novel may be a myth thus far. The issues surrounding the creation of such a thing are mainly linked to perspectives and associated meaning. I may desire the anti-hero as one man’s antagonist and another man’s hero in the story, but not everyone will. Some people relish the poetic prose of the Ricean vampire novel where descriptions hold more weight than dialogue, and some people will likely enjoy a book that is more action than heart. If all of these things tie together, the chances remain that a audience will find something to complain about.
My challenge to myself here is to write what I would claim for myself as the perfect vampire novel (novella, really). Just the one to try and hold the notions together. It’s a project on multiple fronts. Primarily, I want to see if I can do it. I can write five to ten thousand words a day. Why then can’t I write a complete novella by the end of Friday 19th May? It’s plausible. But plausible isn’t enough. I have to grit my teeth and do it, don’t I? Yes I do, so…
One *attempted* perfect vampire novella coming right up.