Bookish News


Vampire Variables: Guest Post by Fangs Wands and Fairy Dust

Oct 18, 2012

By Stephanie Takes-Desbiens

Are they shiny or do they have a sun allergy?
Born of Lilith or alien fathers?
All blood diet, any red liquid, or food with a blood supplement?

Any and all of these are characteristics of popular vampires in books, TV or film. I think this is one of the more fascinating aspects of fantasy world building.

The next time you find yourself reading a vampire novel, or watching a vampire TV Show or film, take a look at the vampire characteristics.

Special Powers:

Some vampires have no special powers beyond the ability to rock a red satin lined black cape.

But many do have a special power, or the world building in the book or series allows vampires certain enhanced abilities.

Get Misty for me:
Some vampires, including Christine Feehan’s Carpathians and Dana Marie Bell’s Gray Court vampire, Jaden, can turn to mist and/or take other forms.  Other vampires like those on True Blood or Lynsay Sands Argeneaus are pretty much solid. If the Nanos living inside the Argeneaus could figure out how to do it they would because their job is to faciliate survival and create the abilities that would help.

Charlaine Harris’ and True Blood’s Eric Northman can both fly as can Christine Feehan’s Carpathians. In the past, this flight was imagined as a bat form. Lately I haven’t seen vampires who turn into bats.

Feehan’s vampires also have an animal form they can take.  While this is not entirely unique, This is not the most popular of special powers and most creators of vampire universes leave the shifting to other species.

Mind Reading, pre-cognitive visions and other ESP: A good example of this would be the Cullen family in Twilight: Jason can influence mood, Alice has visions, and Edward can read minds.

Vampires are known for a severe allergy to sunlight, but the issue really goes from it being a non-issue to there being no light at all that is tolerable.

The Cullens never sleep, don’t have coffins in their basement, and are able to go out in the sunlight, but don’t expose their skin on sunny days because they sparkle. This is why the Cullens live in the Pacific Northwest and call in sick on sunny days.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s vampire friends in the Anita Blake series can’t run about in the daylight but older vampires can wake up before sunset.  Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland vampires are also adverse to sunlight.

The Argeneau clan can go out but their particular physiology uses blood to repair all types of damage. If you’ve had skin cancer you get this one big time.

Some authors don’t offer explanations for vampirism.

In some books the vamps are a separate and unique species that coexists with humans. In most of these cases they are not turned from humans. Often their human mates share their longevity. They are still the top of the food chain.

Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed are this type of vampire. They are the result of a alien ship which crashed on earth.  Only males can be Midnight Breed and there are a special set of human females capable of breeding with these males.  They can have children and until very recently those children were always male.

Some vamps are created, mystically, magically, 
bloodily or via virus, chemical or technology:

Lynsay Sands’ vampires, sorry—they prefer Immortals, were  the result of medical experimentation that either went really wrong or really right. You can be born or turned, and it is possible to have children.  The Immortals in this series were created in Atlantis when nanotechnology went beyond repairing the infection or disease they were designed to cure.  Those “nanos” stayed active and continued to repair someone with the little Artifical Intelligentsiae running around in their bodies. The nanos use blood to do their repairs and they also gave the immortals the enhancements they would need to stay fed.

Lilith, Cain and other biblical origins.

Jaye Wells’ recently ended series featuring the vampire/mage hybrid Sabina Kane and her sister Maisie arose from biblical origins.  Cain was cursed because of his fratricide, to roam the earth forever and bear the mark of Cain—red hair.

The  Brotherhood of Blood Vampires were Templar Knights who found the false Grail which then turned them all into vampires.

We recently had a season of TRUE BLOOD when the vampire bible is taken literally and Vampires were created in God’s Image. I am uncertain where Lilith came into being and what she had to do with vampires.  Some have her as Adam’s first wife who was put aside.  They are the Undead.

Often Vampiric origins are just assumed and not explained. 

Vampires considered Undead are rarely able to breed so vampires create progeny by turning humans into vampires.
This can be
Classic/mystical:  via tranfusion and exchange, or
Modern/Bloodstream: insertion of whatever chemical or technology causes vampires into the bloodstream.

Food and Drink:

As Edward demanded from Bella, Ask what do we eat!

This runs the gamut from a full blood diet to everything. In a Katie MacAlister book I read a while ago vampires, or Dark Ones can slowly start eating again if they find their beloved.
Twilight’s vampires can’t eat anything but blood. Nor can Laurell K. Hamilton’s or Molly Harper’s (although Molly’s can drink other liquids if blood is included.

Lynsay Sand’s Argeneaus can eat, however they tend to lose interest after a few hundred years. One sign that they have found their lifemate is a renewed interest in food.  Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires can eat. Of course they never gain weight and, other than the sun, they have no allergies or digestive disorders.


There are two types of teeth, pointy fangs or straight. 
Twilight vamps have straight teeth which, as Bella says, they are really sharp. The classic vampire is fanged.
Some vamps have fangs that retract, like the vampires on True Blood. Others just have to be careful when they smile because they are already there. 

What did I miss? What have You noted?
What special vampire characteristic is most interesting to you? What have I left out?

Thank you so much Stephanie, for the fabulous post!  
You have been a such an inspiration and mentor
 and have a very special place in my heart.

Sign UP for Hallows Madness 2012 Mega Cauldron Giveaway!

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Hey thanks for having me today. This is the MOST amazing blog event I have ever seen!

  2. Great post, Stephanie! I think I like the origins of vampires best as explained in Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned. 6000 years ago, a malevolent spirit entered the freshly murdered bodies of Akasha and her husband, the king and queen of Egypt. If anyone has missed Rice's Vampire Chronicles, especially this book, you really must read them

  3. My favorite part of the holiday season are the colors changing.

  4. Thanks Stephanie. I loved this post!!


I just love hearing what you have to say. Drop me a few lines. 8-D

Search This Blog

Footer Links

Blog Archive