Reading material for lovers of the undead during the month of Valentine's Day: THE VAMPIRE IS JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU (2009), by "Vlad Mezrich," self-proclaimed vampire, one of several silly/satirical "guidebooks" for women who want to date vampires (men attracted to undead seductresses are on their own, I guess), is the best I've seen. For one thing, the author actually seems to know a fair amount about the subject, even if his examples and advice come mostly from paranormal romance, especially of the TWILIGHT type. The text is profusely illustrated in red and black with numerous drawings and a variety of fonts. Vlad supplements his comments with bar graphs, pie charts, flow charts, multiple-choice questionnaires, and sidebar boxes quoting personal testimony from vampires and their girlfriends as well as a therapist and a vampire-slayer (with advice about "protection"). This layout and print style could get annoying at great length but works fine for this short (176 pages with lots of white space), fast-reading book.
Some topics covered: How to tell an authentic vampire from a wannabe. Best places to meet vampires. What a vampire looks for in a woman. How to decode his dialogue and interpret his kisses. Dating etiquette. Appropriate gifts for vampires. Meeting his friends and family. Fill-in-the-blanks vampire poetry. Celebrating major holidays. Dealing with the centuries of age difference. Surviving the eventual break-up or, conversely, preparing for transformation into his eternal mate. That's just a sample of the many subdivisions. There's even a brief recipe section (real recipes, e.g. Bloody Mary and blood sausage, with the "vampire version" as alternatives).
One thing I'd like to see, and would include if I wrote such a guide, would be a comparison of different breeds of vampires. In both folklore and literature, vampires come in many different types with a wide variety of traits, powers, and weaknesses. They're not all supernatural undead who shun daylight. A romantic fling with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Count Saint-Germain or P. N. Elrod's Jack Fleming would be quite a different (and probably safer) experience from dating Anne Rice's Lestat or Dr. Weyland of Suzy McKee Charnas's THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY. THE VAMPIRE IS JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU is an entertaining book for hard-core fans. Although it's out of print, Amazon has many used copies for sale.
Margaret L. Carter
Please explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.