Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nancy Holzner Guest Post & Giveaway

*Contest is closed*

Day 11 of my Giveaway-A-Day Countdown to My Birthday Bash brings us Nancy Holzner for a super-fun guest post!

Nancy Holzner,Bday Bash

Twenty-Five Years of Vampires in Popular Culture

“Quarter of a century—makes a girl think.”

       –Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kowalczyk in Some Like It Hot

Billy Wilder’s 1959 movie (itself now more than half a century old) has nothing to do with vampires. But I always liked that Marilyn Monroe line. I like the way it suggests we pay attention to milestones, that we use them as a time to look back and take stock.

So when Amanda invited me to be part of her 25th birthday countdown (Happy Almost-Birthday, Amanda!), I thought it would be fun to celebrate the Not-Really-Southern Vampire Chick’s milestone by looking back at some of the vampires who’ve influenced popular culture over the past 25 years. They’ve come a long way, baby.

Here’s my highly selective, highly subjective timeline of some of vampire highlights from 1985 to today:


1985: Anne Rice published The Vampire Lestat, the second book in her Vampire Chronicles series featuring vampires as sexy, tortured heroes. At the time, Library Journal’s review said: “Don't expect the usual stake-in-the-heart story; Rice is creating a new vampire mythos, mixing ancient Egyptian legends into her narrative, and weaving a rich and unforgettable tale of dazzling scenes and vivid personalities.”

1987: Vampires meet ’80s-style MTV—and the result is a blend of horror and comedy in the movie The Lost Boys. A gang of teenage vampires, led by Kiefer Sutherland, terrorize a California town. What’s fun about this cult film is the way it explores coming-of-age issues—teen angst, rebellion, and refusal to grow up—through a lens of horror, humor, and vampirism.

1992: The movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Kristy Swanson and ’90s heartthrob Luke Perry, laid the groundwork for the television series that later redefined vampires in popular culture. This film, written by Joss Whedon, is a parody of horror films, much lighter in tone that the TV series. In fact, Whedon wasn’t happy with the overtly comic treatment of his script. In five years, he’d have a chance to shape the characters and their story to his original vision.

1993: Laurell K. Hamilton’s first Anita Blake novel, Guilty Pleasures, was published, featuring a vampire hunter/necromancer attracted to vampire Jean-Claude, who would become Master of St. Louis. Readers argue about Hamilton’s claim that she started the urban fantasy genre, but there’s no question that this series had a huge impact on the genre’s direction and popularity.

1994: Based on Anne Rice’s 1976 novel, the film version of Interview with the Vampire was released. Although there was some controversy about casting Tom Cruise as Lestat (Anne Rice initially objected), this moody, atmospheric depiction of elegant vampires in New Orleans was the top box-office draw when it opened.


1997: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a powerhouse show whose impact continues to influence popular culture, premiered on the WB. The series, which ran through 2003, was darker and edgier than the film that shares its title. Whedon said he developed Buffy to subvert the Hollywood stereotype of “the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie.” And did he ever. Through strong writing, imaginative storylines, and great dialogue, Buffy, Spike, Angel, Willow, and the others created a compelling, action-packed series that also explored social issues like gender roles, the ethics of violence, and the nature of the family. But most of all, it was FUN. Much of the current appetite for vampire fiction can be traced directly back to Buffy.

1998: Blade, a vampire action film starring Wesley Snipes, was the first in a trilogy loosely based on a Marvel Comics character of the same name. Half-human, half-vampire Blade, partially infected with vampirism in his mother’s womb, sets out to avenge her death and rid the world of vampires. Fast-paced and bloody, the movie has a larger-than-life comic book feel.

1999: Buffy spin-off Angel premiered, following the story of a vampire who regains his soul and sets out to atone for his evil acts. Compared to Buffy, Joss Whedon described Angel like this: “It’s a little bit more straightforward action show and a little bit more of a guys’ show.” Grittier, more urban, and darker still than Buffy, the series ran through 2004.


2001: A vampire walks into a bar . . . Ace Fantasy published Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, introducing Sookie Stackhouse to the world. Set in small-town Louisiana, the story begins when Sookie, a psychic, realizes she can’t hear the thoughts of the vampire sitting in the bar where she works. She gets drawn deeper into the world of vampires and solves the murders terrorizing her town. Well written and as appealing to mystery readers as fantasy fans, this novel started a phenomenal series.

2004: In Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson, fantasy meets chick lit. Reluctant vampire queen Betsy wakes up dead, reclaims her designer shoe collection, and defeats an evil vampire. This series uses humor and a light tone that sets it apart from other vampire fiction.

2005: Little, Brown published Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Whether you love sparkly vampires or hate them, you can’t argue with this series’ success—Twilight has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide. Like The Lost Boys, this series uses vampires as a metaphor for adolescent issues, although the two could hardly be more different in feel and tone. Millions of teen girls (not to mention their big sisters and their moms) have sighed along with Bella Swan over Edward Cullen, the ultimate misunderstood outsider.

2008: True Blood premiered on HBO. With a great advertising campaign promoting TruBlood synthetic blood as though it were a real product (remember “Friends don’t let friends drink friends”?), this series was an instant hit, sending a whole new audience to Charlaine Harris’s books.

2008: Released in November, the film version of Twilight made Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner stars—not to mention more than half a billion dollars in sales.

Okay, I know I’ve left lots of stuff out. What are some of your favorite vampire moments from the past 25 years? And where do you think vampires might be headed in the future?


Thank you so much Nancy! Here are a few of the places around the web you can find Nancy:

Website/blog: http://www.nancyholzner.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Holzner/163746834500?ref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NancyHolzner

Nancy has been super generous and is giving away an awesome prize pack that I wish I could get!


Nancy Holzner,Bday Bash,contest,giveaway

~1 winner will receive:

  • signed copy of Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
  • The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  • bookmark Newborn Hunger by Rebecca Sinz

This contest is open internationally to followers of my blog. Contest ends May 31st as do all giveaways in my birthday bash. For any other questions, see the rules.

To enter, answer Nancy’s questions AND fill out the FORM.

*Contest is closed*


Nancy Holzner said...

Hi, Amanda! Thanks for inviting me to help celebrate your birthday. This was a fun post to write, and I'm looking forward to seeing your readers' vampire highlights from the past 25 years.

mbreakfield said...

Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler (Yummy!)
I'm hoping to see more hot vampire romances but would like some of the horror variety thrown in for good measure.

Amanda Makepeace said...

Anne Rice's vampires are still some of my favorites.

I love the romance too, but would like to see more of the monster variety--or at the very least Adult storylines.

I've been wanting to read Deadtown, so fingers crossed!


Amanda Leigh said...

@Nancy- Thanks so much for taking part in this! I LOVE the post! It covers a lot of my favs of the past 25 yrs especially through the 90s. Books wise I don't know if I could ever narrow it down to my highlights, but I think the ones you picked were fabulous. I still haven't read MaryJanice Davidson's series. I need to do that... As far as for the future. I like a bit of everything. Books start to get a bit boring for me if I read too much of the same thing at one time so I try to switch it up a little. Variety is wonderful!
Thanks again!

@mbreakfield- LOL Dracula 2000 was a lot of fun. I spent most of that movie laughing, but Gerard Butler is a yummy vampire!

@Amanda- There are some really good adult stories out there now. Hopefully we'll continue to get more!

AllTheWiser said...

My favorite was when Louie started taking heads. As for the future I think there are going to be more "king of the world" Vampire stories.

Nancy Holzner said...

I have to admit I missed Dracula 2000, but it's a great suggestion. Better add it to the Netflix list. ;)

Jessica said...

Taking it old school... I used to love watching THE LOST BOYS. Thats the pivitol moment when I fell in love with Vampires. I've been hooked since. :)

As for the future... I don't know. Vampires are dark, mysterous, scary. Thats how I want to remember them. I loved Twilight (the books!) but the whole sparkly thing kind of takes away from that.

Thanks for the guest post. I really enjoyed this one. :)


Amanda Leigh said...

@AllTheWiser- I would be up for a few more stories like that.

@Nancy- It's a great campy movie! Love watching it w/ a group of friends.
I saw Dracula 3000 a few weeks ago.. Dracula in space!! Bwahahaha I was tweeting making fun of it the whole time. It was hilarious!

@Jessica- The Lost Boys is fantastic! I did read and love Twilight too. Overall though, I prefer less sparkles and more bite. v--v

AE Rought said...

It's a toss up between Gary Oldman's rendition of Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mark Frankel in The Kindred. I swoon a little every time I see Gary in that gray suit with the long hair and top hat. And gods, nothing was more gorgeous than Mark Frankel with fangs.

Giada M said...

I love Buffy and Sookie Stackhouse series!*_* About the future? Steampunk vampires, of course! :P

Thank you for the interesting post and great giveaway!^O^

Giada M.

fabgiada @ gmail.com

misskallie2000 said...

Great info when and who..Vampires. Thanks for the info update had not really thought of the time line before. I filled out form. Thanks

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Julie said...

Gotta say I'm a huge fan of the Buffy series and of course the Sookie Stackhouse series.


mountie9 said...

I've loved the Buffy and Angel series and have become quite a fan of the Sookie books and tv show
I also think we are going to get some more interesting vampire fiction where Vampires are the hero's and treated as normal or some scientific explanation of it as in the Casa Dracula series by Marta Acosta

Nancy Holzner said...

Speaking of vampires and the future, there was a rumor last year that Robert Downey Jr. was in talks to play one of Anne Rice's vampires n a new film. What do you think about that? Has anyone heard any more about it?

Amanda Leigh said...

@AE Rought- I can't for the life of me think of why I don't own those... need to add to wish list.

@Giada M- I'm loving the Steampunk trend!

@misskallie- Glad you liked it. :)

@Julie- Yay for Buffy! LOL

@mountie9- Great choices. Oh, I have Marta's books on my TBR shelf!

@Nancy- I've only heard a few rumors too. Actually I heard more at some point, but don't remember. I would love to see RDJ play a vampire!!

Candace said...

That was a great post! I loved being reminded of some of my favorite books and shows. I'm still in love with Buffy and Angel and could re-watch those shows FOREVER. Moonlight (I think that's what it was called) was a show that only lasted one or two seasons but I LOVED it! Mick St. James was one HOT vampire!
Where are vampires headed in the future? Is there anything left? Not sure but I think they'll just keep growing in popularity, if that's possible. But I think we're already starting to feel like some books are getting to be "been there, done that". But only a few as authors are still managing to put together a unique story!

Anonymous said...

Seeing as I was born in '89, my first real memory of any type of vampires in entertainment were Buffy the vampire slayer, and then Angel. Of which I've been a David Boreanaz fan since.

The past two years has really had me exploring on the literary side of vampires, and I have to say that that the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice is probably one of my favorite series by far.

As for the future.. Well they've transformed from monsters/villians to lead romantic interests/heroes, why not a justice league of vampires? Take the hero thing one step further.

MissBohemia said...

Hi Nancy,

I loved your post :-) It's good to read the history of Vampires in books & moveies and it brings back lots of old memories and some of my favourite books including Interview With a Vampire & The Lost Boys movie.

Some of my favourite moments are reading my first Anne Rice book and falling in love with Vampires in books, Watching the Lost Boys, Sookie Stackhouse & True Blood!

Not sure about the future of vampires but I feel they will revert back to being more evil and inhumane in future books or possibly a different mix i.e. half vamp & half wolf?

Lastly, happy birthday Amanda! (almost there)

Robin K said...

I love that Twilight sparked a new love for reading in both the young and old. I enjoyed the series and the movies.

I wish Moonlight had not been canceled. I bet the producers are kicking themselves now!

Marianna said...

We cannot forget the Count from Sesame Street. He was always kinda sketchy to me...

Let's see, where do I see vamps going? I wouldn't mind some vampire cave-people. Vamps are always portrayed as cultured and superior. I wanna see some pooh flingin', wheel inventing, female head bonking, action!

Nastassia said...

I love your time-line. I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I like the Underworld movie series,and I love the Anita Blake series .

@Robin k - I loved Moonlight too

Martha Lawson said...

Well, this was alot longer than 25 years ago, but I remember like it was yesterday! Rushing home from school to watch the original "Dark Shadows"!!! My first encounter that I remember with vampires and i've been hooked ever since..

throuthehaze said...

I used to watch Dark Shadows too! I thought it was s weird and cool because it was a paranormal soap opera lol

Amanda Leigh said...

@Candace- I'll forever love Buffy and Angel too. I have all the Seasons on DVD. I need to get Moonlight too...

@Jen- All great choices! Oh, love the vampire justice league thing. It would be fun!

@Miss Bohemia- I think we'll be seeing more evil vampires again too. I love some of the hero types, but a great villain is wonderful too!

@Robin K- I'm with you. For all the Twilight hating that happens, I can not get on board. I did enjoy the books, and they've helped so many people start reading again. Also, they've helped up vampires popularity which means we all get more books to read!

@Marianna- Sesame Street! lmao! Maybe that's where my love for vamps started?

@Nastassia- Underworld is awesome!!

@Martha- I wish I could have seen it. :(

@throughthehaze- At least I'll get to see the movie version! And Johnny Depp too!!!

EVA SB said...

I loved the billboard adverts for True Blood. It really felt like vampire fiction had come out into the open like the vamps did in the stories. I remember 15-20 years ago when people laughed at me for watching and read vamp fiction and now everyone is doing it.
In the future I think vampires will become less hysterically popular as something new comes along but they will stay mainstream and not be marginalized as before.

SiNn said...

I love me some Ann rice! and Happy Birthday again! Nancys books totally rck and the billboard adverts were cool

and i agree but vamps wll always be an iconic trade mark of what the genera is now i lioved horror and vampires for ever so reading them in romance was just an added bonus

Moonsanity said...

Wow, you covered my favorite things- It's always a toss up for me if I loved Buffy more or Angel's show-- we own both on DVD. Angel was more "grown up" in it's themes, but Buffy was first and had Spike longer. Forever Knight was in there some place and I did love that show too, but not as much.

Amanda Leigh said...

@EVA SB- I agree. I think other things will move into the forefront, but vamps won't be as unpopular as they once were. As long as I have my books, I'm happy!

@SiNn- Thanks again! True Blood did have the best advertising campaign ever. They still do an awesome job every season.

@Moonsanity- I have all the DVDs too. I agree about liking Buffy better too, Spike might be the winning point. ;)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I love the time line setup. :) I have to admit I have not read any Rice books. Sorry!!! I have them on the list, after hearing so many great things of them. I do have to say I was a big Buffy fan though. :) Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...


dracula 2000,
of course, GERARD BUTLER

dust before dawn, george clooney andit was stupid silly fun one

bram stoker dracula, with keanu reeves

angel and spike

( ithink you get the trrend of CUTE/SEXY/DARK/HUNKY vampires, lol)


JenM said...

I blame Barnabas of Dark Shadows for my vampire obsession. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old and we used to watch Dark Shadows after school every day. As a teenager, I started reading SF and discovered Anne Rice. I can't remember all the vamp books I read back then, but there was a fantastic Dracula series by Fred Saberhagen (first book was called the Dracula Tapes) and another series by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro featuring a vampire called the Count de Saint-Germain that I was totally in love with.

As for movies, my favorite Dracula of all times was the 1980 or so version with Frank Langella. OMG was I ever in love with him after that movie.

Amanda Leigh said...

@Melissa- LOL It's ok. It happens. You can't have read everything. That's what I keep trying to tell SOME twitter peeps. LOL

@blackroze- Yes, hottie vamps are much fun!

@JenM- Oh I have the Saint-Germain books on my wish list but haven't gotten to them yet! They sound good!

Aik said...

This is so interesting! :)

angie said...

Thanks again for the great giveaway! One of my favorite vampire movies is still Lost Boys and Interview with the Vampire. I do enjoy vampire things of today also. Actually last night I just watched Daybreakers which I really liked, too!!

Sharli said...

I love Interview with a Vampire and The Lost Boys. And I'm really enjoying the new vampire stuff also. I'm really looking forward to the new season of True Blood :)

Great post!

Amanda Leigh said...

@Aik- Glad you like it!

@angie- Yeah, those are still some of my favs as well. I still need to see Daybreakers. I kept waiting to see it w/ a certain person in theaters, but that never happened. *sigh*

@Sharli- Can't wait for more True Blood!!

debbie said...

I still like the move the lost boys. I think vampires in the future will be going more into the psychic abilitity.

YA Vampire Books said...

Well, I love most things vampire ;) My favorite tv shows are Buffy, Vampire diaries, moonlight & Blood Ties!

In the future, well it seems like there's no end to the popularity of vampires. New books are being released every month!

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Hi Nancy, thank you for this great giveaway and especially for making it international!!

My favourite vampire moment? Buffy! That show was amazing! Loved the tongue-in-cheek humour, the passionate love story and the high school drama, it was a really amazing series!

I'm realyl glad that vampires are so in, because we have the choice between great new TV series (Vampire Diaries, True Blood) and movies, books! Our hunger for vamps can be satiated (if it can ever be.)!

heatwave16 said...

You hit on so many great moments, Buffy as my favorite, Blade, and Underworld, too. For me, I can't have too many vamps, so I think they'll always be around. Although, I think we'll see a small dry period after the Twilight/True Blood haze wears off.

One thing that is always great, are all of the B grade vamp movies. I love 'em.

draconismoi said...

Sorry Anita, but I do believe Sonja Blue came on the scene a few years before you. I'd have to give that half-vampire vampire-hunter credit for revitalizing horror/inventing urban fantasy.

Aha! The internets inform me that Sunglasses After Dark came out in 1989.

Kelly said...

Awesome giveaway! :)

Book Sake said...

Some of my fave vamp moments have been Anne Rice's vampires along with Joss Whedon's vision of the vamp's (and vamp slayers). I'd really like to see Joss Whedon tackle vampires mixed with Serenity in the future. :) That would be fantastic!