Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Laura Kaye

Why Twilight’s Vampires Suck

I admit it. I’m a Twihard. I bought the books. Read the books. Re-read the books. Saw the movies—multiple times. Went to TwiCon 2009. Own some t-shirts, illustrated guides to the series and movies, the DVDs of the movies, and other random Twilight paraphernalia. I even wrote two fan fiction novels called The List and While You Were Gone, just to continue to play in the Twilight universe a little more. Twilight was one of the things my best friend and I liked to share together, and, online, I made a lot of new friends who were also fans.

I liked Twilight because of the romantic plot, the average girl winning the eye and heart of the mysterious, beautiful boy. And I liked watching Edward open himself up to the possibility of love, and then become so devoted to Bella. I didn’t even mind the creepy, stalkerish side of his character, which is generally within the norm for vampire characterization. Love vampires, love their creep, stalkerish natures, I say.

However, where Twilight succeeds with its romantic plot, it largely fails with its vampire plot elements. My love of vampires goes all the way back to my earliest reading experiences, and I’ve devoured vampire fiction ever since. Twilight follows none of the “rules” or norms for vampire characterization. And, thus, as vampires, Twilight’s undead kinda suck. Here’s why:

5. With the exception of heightened abilities, none of the vampire myths apply to them. They can walk safely in the sun. Enter buildings without needing to be admitted.  They cast reflections in mirrors.  Can be photographed.  Don’t sleep in coffins or in the ground—don’t sleep at all.  Neither garlic nor wooden stakes nor silver nor holy water can harm them.  The only thing that can harm a vampire in Twilight’s world is another vampire.  This takes a bit too much of the vampire out of the vampire, in my opinion.

4. Vampires in Twilight are either all good or all bad.  And you generally know who’s who because their eyes are different colors.  The good guys have topaz eyes, earned from their ingestion of animal blood, while the bad guys have red eyes, earned from partaking of humans.  So, it’s clear cut. And, to me, that undercuts one of the things I love about vampires—their duality. Most of the vampires I love have both good/vulnerable/tortured sides and dark/beastly/monstrous sides, and the interesting thing about such characters is watching them grapple with the competing sides of their nature.  With the exception of being told Edward once went bad 80 years ago, it’s pretty black and white, or perhaps topaz and red, in Twilight.

3. Their physiology makes no sense. We’re told they’re as hard as marble. Not just really muscular, or super firm like marble, but, literally, they’re marble. As in stone. As in hard as a rock. [hehe She said hard.] And they’re absolutely unchanging. So, this raises (hehe) some, er, issues for me, of the penile variety (just one physiological conundrum among many!).  Either, they’re hard all the time, or they’re not. Which is it? Either the male vampires walk around all the time with a literally rock-hard erections, which would make them somewhat less cool at school, I might think, or, they don’t, but since they’re unchangeable, they shouldn’t be able to get erect. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the semen. Or the baby.

2. They sparkle. Do I really need to say more about this one?

1. And, the number one reason Twilight’s vampires suck? They don’t have fangs! Just really, really sharp totally normal choppers. Please, for the love of all things paranormal, don’t defang my vampires!

Now, none of these criticisms will keep me from lining up for the opening night showing of Breaking Dawn, mind you, but while I love the Twilight series for the romance and the characters, particularly the Cullen family, the story will still never rank at the top of my “favorite vampires” list.

I’ve just taken a stab at my own take on vampire fiction, with my debut paranormal romance, Forever Freed. Here’s an exclusive excerpt with a little fang, natch:

I had found Jacques. He had found Samantha. He held her in a tight embrace and was clearly feeding from her.
I bolted across, vaulting over a parked car, and aimed for the dark spot shrouded by bushes and trees under the broken fucking street light. My only solace was he didn’t seem to be reacting to the holy water in her blood yet, which I’d been giving both of my girls for months, so he’d just bitten her. I soared over Ollie’s abandoned bike and slammed into them, trying like hell to avoid Samantha’s body.
Jacques roared in outrage and dropped Samantha as he whirled on me. She slumped to the cold ground. I tore my now-inhuman eyes away from her to deal with him.
“You always did know how to ruin a good time,” he spat.
The world went fucking red with my rage at the image of Samantha’s blood dripping off his fangs. All I could see was my maker hunched in the darkness over Lena’s body, his crimson eyes and gory fangs flashing to me when I’d interrupted. But Jacques was standing too close to Samantha’s crumpled body to act rashly.
Then he coughed and sprayed a fine red mist into the air.
“How ya feeling there, Jacques?” I sneered through sharp fangs as I stalked closer.
A thin line of blood trickled down from one nostril. He fisted it away. “What the fuck?”
In the split second his eyes flashed down to evaluate the blood he’d wiped onto his knuckles, I launched myself at him. We collided in a wall of muscle and will and hate.
Jacques stumbled back, propelled by my weight, and gripped my biceps to fling me off him. But my hold was tighter. He succeeded only in spinning us so that when we crashed to the ground, I was on top and pinned him.
Then he made the last in a long line of fatal errors: he turned his head to snap at my wrist where it held his down. In a blur, I leaned forward and sank my fangs deep into his exposed neck.
He roared in outraged surprise. I grunted in disgust as I wrenched my head to the side, tearing a gaping wound partway through his neck. Blood gurgled and splattered from the breach. His eyes were disbelieving as they angled up at me.
“You did this,” I hissed as I released his arms and brought my hands to his jaw. I didn’t pay attention to his newly freed hands until the cold steel pressed against my gut. He squeezed the trigger a split second before I ripped his head clean free of his body. Through a red haze, I watched as his head unevenly rolled under a bush. His body twitched then stilled.
Then the searing fire of the silver bullet registered. I grunted and keened and clambered off Jacques’s torso. I retched up the blood that had gotten into my mouth and throat. It tasted and stank of his evil and burned where Samantha’s precious blood mixed in.
Samantha. I pushed through the paralyzing agony the silver caused and scrabbled over to her.  “Oh, no. Oh, please.” She was unconscious. Blood poured from her nose, ear, and neck. The left side of her face was swollen and bruising. Her right arm sat at an unnatural angle. That was all I could see in that moment. It was enough.

So, feel free to tangle with me on the Twilight vamps! I can take it! :)=  What are your favorite vampire traits to read about?

One commenter will win either a signed print copy of Forever Freed or an item from my CafePress store ( —winner’s choice!

Thanks for reading,
Laura Kaye
twitter: @laurakayeauthor
BUY FOREVER FREED: 20% off with code e3d9d10a3c at

Laura Kaye is a multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance with four books releasing in 2011. Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong.  Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with the supernatural.  Though an avid fiction writer as a teenager, a career as a historian took her in other directions until recently.  Now that Laura’s inner muse has awakened, she’s constantly creating new story ideas!  Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


  1. Oh my goodness, I still watch Buffy and Angel...ok, I own the entire box sets of both...*sigh* Angel.....

    Books sound great! Thanks for the awesome post!

  2. Favorite traits about vampires...hmmm...the fangs and the luvs the biting...hehe

    Thanks for the giveaway! ;)
    Katie W
    Katiewalthall AT ymail DOT com

  3. Thanks for hosting me here at Lush, Danielle!

    @nikkibrandyberry - Buffy was a fantastic series! I can't turn away from a rerun whenever I come across it!

    @Katie W - Right??? Exactly! :)=

    Keep those comments coming!

  4. Very suspenseful excerpt, Laura. Aha--so YOU'RE the author of The List. Nicely done.

    Thanks for the giveaway. jenniferlanebooks at gmail dot com

  5. I like vampires and don't mind too much if the rules change. But those twilight vampires are sort of Vanilla Ice Milk. I will be in that line with you though when Breaking Dawn opens. Through the fandom I have found some new authors that I like, especially you! Your out takes on the Cullens were better than the originals IMHO. I did just finish "Fifty Shades of Grey" by EL James, formerly known as MOTU and liked it reworked as not fan fiction.

  6. @Jennifer Lane - er, yup, that was me. hehe Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

    @Cindy Bowen - Vanilla Ice Milk! snarf! That's hilarious. And I agree--I've found lots of great authors and friends through the fandom. MOTU/Fifty Shades of Grey is one of my faves, too!

    Thanks for stopping by, guys!

  7. Awesome post. It's the fangs. Yeah, that's it. And a defanged, sparkly vampire just sucks hard. I could not make it through the Twi books for more reasons than I would want to make public. LOL

  8. one of my favorite also is the fangs...gliding across the throat yum...but the ethereal beauty of them...every paranormal romance i've read explains how they are all heavenly beautiful...after transistion...body like sculpted marble or such...that is hot!@!

    chele blades

  9. My favorite doesn't lie in physical features but on how some choose to maintain some aspect of their humanity in their vampire life. Such as was the case with Ann Rice's Tarquinn Blackwood did in "Blackwood Manor."

  10. I like fangs, fangless vamps are just silly. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your reasons why the Twilight vampires suck - they really do; like you, I'm a Twihard. I've been to every movie at midnight, counted down impatiently and read and re-read the book a bajillion times. I think I like it mostly for the romance as well - and the love triangle.

    Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction :)

  11. @Nickie Asher - yup, I agree! And it is easy to pick on the Twilight books, for sure! I enjoyed the books, but see the issues with them... :)

    @Chele - Oh, you got it down pat, girl!

    @metallifan15 - Yes, I love that too, that's the duality! And I looooved Blackwood Manor!

    @Escape by Fiction - FANGS ROCK! lol Yes, exactly on the Twilight romance! You can be a fan and poke a little fun, no??

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Keep those comments coming!

  12. I watch and love Twilight for the wolves. *snort* But then you should already know I'm a dog lover.

    Actually- I started a vamp book. I'm so in love with my hero that I'm jealous of the heroine! I'm creating a whole new vamp world- or trying to- and fangs definitely have a role! I think I just like the idea of having a man bite my neck that turns me on! Hm. Wonder if hubby would agree to wear fangs? But unlike the majority- I think the sparkle is awesome. Not that I'd want a sparkly vamp, just sayin.

    So send me my copy. :) I'm on a mission to win this book!

  13. LOL Awesome Calisa! Love your enthusiasm for your new book. Honestly, the sparkle in the book didn't come off as cheesy as in the movie, but it's a pretty easy mark for a diehard vamp lover to take aim at, no? :) Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I love vampires because they're dangerous...

    Twilight sucked all the danger out so I'm unimpressed... LOL

    But I do understand the romance of the old world gentleman in our contemporary world... I do love that! Yum! :)

    Fun blog! And good luck witht he new release!!!

    Lisa :)

  15. Hi Lisa! *waves* Would you say there was NO danger, or just YA-level danger? I think there was *supposed* to be danger, and there was tension, but compared to adult vampire fiction, it was obviously tame. Interesting point!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  16. While we're here, I might bring the official Breaking Dawn movie trailer to your attention: :)=
    I'm still gasping over the headboard...

  17. I do like my vampires a little more edgy than the Twilight ones, but I enjoyed the Twilight series. I love the true horror vampires, too. I'm looking forward to update of Fright Night. I loved the old one with all its cheesy goodness

  18. Great post. I am looking forward to your book and cant wait to read it.

    I think the best trait really is they need blood. I am not so much a fan of those energy sucking vampires.

  19. @mbreakfield - Ooh, I like the cheesy horror ones, too! I pretty much like vampires in whatever form they come in! lol

    @donnas - Thanks! And, ooh, blood is a good one!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  20. Vampires are just so sensual. Being present for it would be one thing but reading about the crisp sexual tension in the air is a whole nother ball field.

    (And they have pretty teeth. That's always a plus.)


  21. Totally laughing at Cindy Bowen's description of Twilight vamps being "Vanilla Ice Milk." Is that like "Ice, ice, baby?"

    Great column Laura, very entertaining. We're watching all of Buffy and Angel on Netflix. Plus, if you're talking a "shades of gray" vamp, oh there's Eric on "True Blood." My new fav ... so man man (errr... vamp).

  22. My favorite trait would be that vamps can teleport love that wish it was me never late lol

  23. I'm another poster that owns the full sets of Buffy's & Angel's. I love the interaction between vamps & humans... Biting, awesome lovemaking... Oooh la la...
    I enjoyed your post as I'm also a Twilight fan who still loves Twilight but I do tend to like my vamps a little racier since...
    Thanks for the giveaway! Your new book sounds great!

  24. Thank you! I tell people that Twilight was weak and made no sense but I read them all because I had to see how it ended. Now, I go to the theater to see the movies. People say why? I tell them because. Your points are so great! BTW, big Angel and Spike fan. I love the darkness of vamps. Sparkly just doesn't work for me.

  25. @Lolarific--I like the way you think! :)=

    @Oh, Louis, Eric Northman. ZOMG. Yes, I agree! Ice, ice, baby totally works for the Twilight vamps! LOL

    @Keisha--yes, they have some useful traits, don't they? lol

    @lindalou--Yes, vamps=racy! Ha!

    @Jen B.--I agree with the dark, sensual allure of vamps!

    Thanks everyone for commenting!

  26. I agree whole heartedly with your views. I as well see these non-vamp traits but that won't stop me from loving Twilight! The stories were fantastic!

    As far as "real" vampire traits that I like to read about... I love the primal need of the blood sharing.

    rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

  27. @meggerfly LOL Love Twilight, love Twilight's non-vampy vamps! Yes! The blood thing is totally true. Yep, that's a good one.

    Thanks for coming over!

  28. Twilight is vampires light. True Blood is the real thing. I like my vamps authentic in the 21st century. Thanks for the giveaway

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

  29. @Jess--Vamp-light! I like that!

  30. I think all vampires are pretty awesome-- whether they sparkle in the sun or burn :-)


  31. I love Twilight too but so agree with all that you pointed out. what happened to the vampires we grew and love, I love sensual part of a vampire as well as the tortured soul and please yes the fangs they must have fangs. Oh Yes I love that they are dangerous, now would I want to run into one in a dark alley not so sure- well okay if they look like Eric yes :)


  32. @BLHmistress--yes! I totally agree!

    Okay, folks, feel free to keep commenting, but entries for the giveaway are now closed! Winner to be announced shortly!

  33. And...the winner is donnas! Please let me know which item you prefer--the signed paperback or an item from my CafePress store!

    Thanks to everyone for commenting!

  34. I loved this post, lol, especially the pick with Serverus Snape.