Vampires are some of the hottest supernatural creatures on the bookshelves. During the “Vampires and the Women Who Write Them” panel in the Peachtree Ballroom (W) on Sunday at 2:30PM, some of the top women writers of vampires discussed the allure of the immortal creature, how their writing takes on a life of its own, and what choices they regret making for their books.
Vampires are these terrifying immortal creatures, and yet we are drawn to them, emulate them, and are no longer afraid of them. Why is that? Sherrilyn Kenyon said that evil is always beautiful, that is why people are drawn to it. According to her shaman grandfather, we are all warriors inside and no matter how much you fight it, you can’t beat death; that is why we are attracted to immortality. Jeanne C. Stein thinks that immortality is a provocative idea. Faith Hunter stated that there is nothing more terrifying than humans.
All of the authors agreed that their writing often takes different directions they never saw coming. Laurell K. Hamilton said “you just have to go with it. Your characters are alive. Trust your characters.” Delilah S. Dawson agreed and stated that you have to let your characters go where they want to go. For Kenyon, “writing is like herding cats,” and how you know the book is going well is when you have no control over it.
Book readers remember storylines and when an author makes a decision, it is final and printed. This can lead to regrets for limits in future books. Karen E. Taylor regrets killing a few people early on, but she was able to bring them back. Hamilton says she would have written fewer characters without the tri-colored eyes. Dawson really wanted to create cyborg bear cubs, but her editor wouldn’t let her.
There is no doubt that if these ladies keep writing the books they do, vampires will continue to be hot sellers.