“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”
C. S. Lewis
There are many different genres that go to make up the modern vampire sub-culture, the arts, entertainment, the online and offline communities and, perhaps the genre that propels the vampire into the public consciousness without fail, over and again, literature.
Most people who read vampire fiction are familiar with names like John Polidori, Abraham “Bram” Stoker, Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite and Stephanie Meyer but how many of you have heard of E. Carter Jones, Norm Applegate, Michelle Clay and Marie Treanor?
The world of vampire literature, both fiction and non-fiction is, arguably, one of the busiest and most prolific of the literary genres and one resource keeping the “finger on the pulse” of the genre is The Vampire Library.
The library’s home page introduces a very well presented and easy to search reference for pretty much all facets of vampire oriented literature and lists over 1500 titles in association with Amazon.com.
Site owner and manager Deb has been running the web-resource for around fourteen years now and we recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her passion for vampires and especially the literature about vampires.
RVL: Good evening Deb, thank you for spending a little time with us. You certainly have an impressive and well organized site at The Vampire Library, when did you first become interested in vampire stories?
Deb: Thank you for the compliment, I am glad that you enjoy my website!
I have always been drawn to horror stories and started off reading Stephen King novels from my small local library when I was about 12 years old and ‘Salem’s Lot quickly became one of my favourites. In early highschool I met a friend who shared my interest in horror stories and it was her brother that lent me his copy of Interview with the Vampire. Over 20 years later and I’m still reading vampire fiction and literature!
RVL: Do you identify yourself as a modern living vampire? And, have you come across any real living vampires in your library work?
Deb: I don’t consider myself a modern living vampire, no, but I do occasionally get emails from people who are interested in finding real vampires and think that perhaps I am one. My website has connected me with a number of vampire fans but they are usually interested in specific books, series or authors—the fictional aspect of vampirism.
RVL: You mentioned, when we first got in touch, that you were the only “staff member” of the library site, do you find it difficult to keep up some times or is it easier working by yourself?
Deb: The website arose purely out of my interest in and love for vampire literature so I see it as a resource created by a fan, not a business or job, it is one of my hobbies and of course interest waxes and wanes over the years, so yes, sometimes it is difficult to focus on the site and maintain it. When I began the website (late 90’s) e-books were just starting to gain momentum, so over the years the number of new books that come out has exploded, which is both a good and bad thing. I remember when it used to be difficult to find a new book to list… I used to use the print version of “Books in Print” to find new titles to read and add to my website (my background is actually the library field, so this is when I worked in a library). Now I can get 20 emails a month of new self-published novels to add to the site and there are numerous series that have a new book or two each year… very hard to keep up with!
RVL: If any of our readers have vampire books, either fiction or non-fiction that are not in your lists can they send you the details for indexing? And where should they send the information?
Deb: Please email any book addition suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use my general contact form on the website. I appreciate all suggestions even though I may not add them to the website immediately. My site has a very large number of books listed but I do not claim that it is all-inclusive.
RVL: Do you plan on expanding your listings to contain “vampire” music and film/ television at any stage?
Deb: I did consider this at one point but decided to stick to my focus, what I truly enjoy myself, which is fiction and literature. My favourite vampire show/movie is probably Forever Knight… I’m not an expert on that medium so I will stick to books! I think the strength of The Vampire Library website is the fact that it is focused, clean and simple.
RVL: What is your ultimate aim, or goal, for The Vampire Library?
Deb: Ultimately I would like the website to simply endure and be a good resource for all types of vampire fiction readers. It makes me happy to be able to track down the name of a book that someone read in 1991 and wanted to find again. It makes me happy to suggest different titles and series to try after someone has just been introduced to vampire fiction through the more mainstream books. My husband would like to work with me to develop some type of useful app so that is an option for the future!
It’s true that the literature genre sometimes gets overlooked or passed by as an important and formative part of the vampire sub-culture. Everybody has their own tastes, their favourite authors, be they vampire book writers or not and their favourite characters that are fictional vampires but there is a wealth of information in the other sub-genre of non-fiction and let’s be honest, even vampires like to read about vampires sometimes.
© The Vampire Library & RVL 2012
NB: If you have book titles and information to send to Deb please make sure that they are not already listed by visiting The Vampire Library
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