Anne Rice's published Interview with The Vampire in 1976. I drool over it whenever I go to Barnes and Noble because the cover is so darn cool. Seriously, look at it.
You know you want one, admit it.
Through all my movie watching and book reading, I've discovered that there are no set rules for Vampires.
The Lost Boy Vampires sleep in a cave and hang upside down by their claws. Garlic doesn't bother them, but Holy Water sure burns the heck out of their skin, and a wood stake to the heart means certain death. Daylight weakens newborns and burns old ones. No mention of gifts, but the Lost vamps can fly. If you kill the Original vamp or the creator Vamp, the rest will die. A person turns vamp if he drinks the Original vamps blood. Good news, a Lost Vamp cannot enter your house if he's not invited.
The Interview Vampires prefer coffins to caves. Dawn triggers a deep, trance-like sleep. Sunlight burns newborns, but older vampires can tolerate it for short periods of time. Wood stakes and bullets wound them, but their body repairs themselves. Prolonged sunlight or fire is the only way to kill an Interview vampire. Interview vamps may possess a magical gift, say of sight or premonition, but gifts are few and far between. They cannot turn into bats, but ancient vamps can fly.
And so enters Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Stephenie created a new generation of vampire lovers. Sunlight doesn't burn Twilight Vamps, but they chose not to go into the sunlight when people are around because their skin sparkles like diamonds. (Diamonds are a girl's best friend you know, especially if vamps look like Edward) Many Twilight vamps possess a gift: mind reading, premonition, the ability to calm a crowd, shock people...All kinds of cool stuff. Wood stakes, bullets, even the removal of body parts doesn't kill a Twilight vamp. Decapitation and a toasty bonfire ensures that a Twilight vamp won't come back from the dead. Bad news, a Twilight vamp can enter your house whenever he or she wants to, and sometimes they just want to mess with you and steal your clothes or watch you sleep, because they don't sleep, EVER.
I've read a variety of other vampire stories. Most recently, A Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. Derek, the king of the Shade, with the help of a powerful witch, creates a safe haven for his coven of Vampires. The Shade stays in perpetual moonlight. (See where the title comes from) Sunlight burns a Shade Vamp, and a wood stake to the heart means certain death. Shade Vamps fight other covens of vampires and stay away from the Vampire Hunters, unless of course they need blood. Then cover your neck.
BLOOD. I haven't mentioned blood. All of the vampires crave blood, particularly human blood. The Cullen Twilight Vamps survive on animal blood. That's why they have gold/tan eyes. Most of the other Twilight vamps drink human blood, so they're eyes are red. If you ever meet a Twilight vamp, you now know if you should cover your neck or not.
The rest of the lot drink human blood when their appetite demands it. Some drink every day, others every few days, and a small number can survive for much longer periods of time, but it never turns out well for the human if she cuts a wrist...
How does one become a Vampire?
- In Lost Boys, you drink the blood of the Original/Creator vampire and Voila, you discover you're thirsty for blood and the sunlight burns your eyes.
- In most cases, vampires turn humans into vampires through a bite, typically to the neck and the transformation is painful.
- In Vampire Diaries, a human drinks some vampire blood, then the vampire twists the human's neck and Ta-dah, instant vampire.
J.R. Ward does something unique in her Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. Her vamps stay out of the sunlight, but they aren't 'turned' liked most vampires. Black Dagger vamps come from an established bloodline of vampires. Most to-be vampires don't have a clue they are destined to become a vamp until they start to change in their 20s. They can't stop it, they can't prevent it, and they might not survive the transformation. Black Dagger vamps can enter your house whenever you want. The real villains are the soulless creepy hunters. They make my skin crawl. Yuck.
Black Dagger vamps need BLOOD, but they don't need to feed as often as most vampires and they don't feed on Human Blood. These vamps find a vamp mate and they feed on each other. Very cool especially if your mate looks like one of these guys.