Arlene Russo is one busy lady. When she's not writing fascinating books on real vampires, she's editor of the gorgeous magazine Bite Me. Give her a VampChix welcome, everyone!
THE REAL TWILIGHT
True Stories of Modern Day Vampires
With the release of the TWILIGHT novels and the subsequent films vampire mania has swept the country. Yet they are fiction. What about the real thing?
I have spent almost twenty years tracking down real vampires and to me that has always been more interesting than mere fictional representations of vampires whether they be in films or books.
During my research I have been fortunate in many real vampires opening up to me and revealing their vampiric natures. I have always understood that we live in a world where real vampires are not so media-friendly and they are often the subject of ridicule in our press. Of course, the tabloids will always be interested in sensationalism, but I prefer to delve deeper into the vampire myth. Just why does one person follow a vampire path? What motivates them to take this road, with so few people they can confide their vampiric soul to? For society in general, is no more tolerant in 2010 as it was when real vampires started coming out the closet twenty years ago. They can only dream of the Vampire Rights of their vampire cousins in True Blood.
Of course, when I first started reading about real life vampires in the early nineties- thanks to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s ‘Vampires Among Us’ and Carol Page’s ‘Bloodlust’ at the beginning of my vampire research, I never dreamed that that one day my own book might be published on the subject of real life vampires…
I can’t say it was any grand plan of mine to publish a book on real vampires, it just sort of happened! I progressed from being a mere vampire fan, to launching my own vampire magazine Bite me, to eventually publishing my own book on the subject that has formed a significant part of my life and studies. I guess it was a natural progression. It’s funny how a hobby can take over your life!
I have interviewed dozens of real-life creatures of the night for this book about the modern day vampire. Alongside these interviews I was also privileged to talk to some of the world’s great Dracula scholars about the history of the vampire (for example the legend of Robin Hood may be based on a vampire).
As editor of Bite me I was privileged to be the first point of contact for many vampires, many of them sharing their stories with me for the first time in The Real Twilight.
I hope I have shed some light on this fascinating subculture.
Working from the premise that vampires do exist Arlene looks at the nature of their appeal
concluding that because the vampire embodies feelings of romance, mystery and power in a cold and computerised world we are drawn to them. Also as our culture become ever more technological so the vampire’s appeal can only grow. Equally intriguing in a society obsessed with looks and beauty the vampire doesn’t age but remains frozen at it most youthful. Finally we are drawn to the idea of living forever which would allow us to do all those things we ever wanted but didn’t have time for whether it be travel the world or learn several languages.
Arlene dispels myths including the one that vampires are heartless predators. In fact “true vampires do not need to kill at all and instead cultivate a relationship with their donor, thus ensuring a regular supply of blood”. Nor are they afraid of the sun or garlic. And they don’t bite their victims …
Combining anecdotes, personal experiences and research THE REAL TWILIGHT is an exhaustive study of true vampires and every aspect of their culture.
ARLENE RUSSO is the founder of Bite Me magazine. www.bitememagazine.com
Also available from Arlene, VAMPIRE NATION