Guest Post: Honey, Tom Cruise Was Such a Jerk in That Movie! by Elisabeth Staab

In the two years since I started to write King of Darkness, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about “Why vampires?” Hell, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I liked to write vampire romance, I’d be able to pay off my credit card debt and generously tip the chauffer that drives my middle child to and from preschool. And it’s no wonder. Look at the massive popularity of the Twilight series! Paranormal has practically become the new normal.

For a species that was once very niche in fandom, it’s left some folks scratching their heads.
My own husband asks me more than anyone. “Honey, I’ve seen that Tom Cruise movie. He’s all dressed up and stuff, but he’s still a monster. How can you make a vampire romantic?” And yet, Anne Rice seemed to open a gateway, there. Vampires in romance have become practically a dietary staple. I started to write my own series because I was one of those readers who needed their daily paranormal fix almost as desperately as they needed their morning cup of coffee (in either case, if I missed out I started biting hands)—and I started running out of things to read. I also started running out of money to buy e-books with.

So how have we evolved, as a culture, from humans who liked their vampires undead in horror movies to one who likes them hard-bodied, hot-blooded and naked? Is it the fangs? The Alpha male-ness? The immortality? The muscles? Okay, I think it’s safe to say we all like the muscles But really, the reasons are probably as many and varied as the people who read paranormal romance these days.

Remember Beauty and the Beast? Classic example of a monster who’s really a good guy. Who wants to be more. Who’s romantic! It isn’t a far stretch to apply that to vampires and other things that go bump in the night. Except when we’re all grown up, it’s nice to add some fangs, right? Those things are hot. And the blood drinking makes it a little forbidden and forbidden is smexy.

The great thing about vampires, is there’s something for everyone these days. Whether you like them big or small, dead or undead, Alpha or omega. Do you like your vampires to be good? Evil? A little of both? Do they drink blood? Eat food? Live in the past, present, or future (or all of the above)? Have superpowers? Pass as human? Do they drink blood from humans, or each other? Whatever your poison, we’ve got you covered.

Me, I dig the idea of vampires being a separate species that lives alongside humans. Right under everyone else’s noses. Partly because when my characters have sex I like for it to be lively. Mostly, because I enjoy the urban fantasy element that it adds. The idea that supernatural species are running around the suburbs outside of Washington DC, interacting with folks at the gas station and blending in undetected, gives me a thrill. I like giving them the ability to mate and reproduce, and have little fanged babies (aww!). And yes, I like the fangs and the muscles.

So. Your turn: What is it that you love about vampires? If not vampires, what’s your favorite paranormal species, and why?

About King of Darkness:
Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human–although, drifting among the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons’ blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the king of vampires this party girl’s life turns dark and dangerous.

Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate has gotten it seriously wrong…
King of Darkness is available NOW in ebook and in paperback on 2/7 : Amazon : Barnes and Noble : IndieBound

Elisabeth Staab lives in Northern Virginia with her hero and soul mate. She has been a telemarketer, a web page editor, a software developer, a reader for the blind, a technical trainer, a coffee shop barista, a tutor, a homemaker, a government project manager, a graphic designer, and a professional ebayer. Finally, she’s landed on being a writer – which is what her high school guidance counselor originally suggested anyway.

Elisabeth believes that all kinds of safe, sane, and consensual love should be celebrated–but she loves the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. Find out more at

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8 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Thanks for having me as your guest today, Pam!

  2. Gravatar

    Their smoldering good looks always suck me in even when I try to hate them as long as they show some remorse.

  3. Gravatar

    sounds like an interesting read

  4. Gravatar

    Great post…and the book sounds AWESOME!!!! I’ll take my vampires any which way!

  5. Gravatar

    Well, vampires have human shape and they share many of our passions. This, like you say, makes them very flexible. You can find in vampires a little bit of something for everyone. However, my favorite monster is the scariest of them all: ourselves.

  6. Gravatar

    LOVING these responses, thanks so much for stopping by, everyone! I think I agree with all of the everyone so far. Smoldering good looks? All of the above? Definite yes. As for the greatest monsters being ourselves, it’s an intriguing concept and actually makes quite a lot of sense. I’ll have to think more about that.

  7. Gravatar

    Vampires have always been a large part of our social dark side. Feeding off of another makes them intimate while at the same time horrific. They take what we need to live and stay outside of normal rules giving them that bad boy edge. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula the count is both romantic and lustful with Mina and Lucy respectively.

  8. Gravatar

    That’s an excellent assessment, Rose. :)

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