El Gato Templario

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Desayuno en Júpiter Andrea ToméPaper Girls Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt WilsonEl abismo Neal ShustermanEl secreto de Emmaline Megan ShepherdEl espejo Mercedes OlivetEl actor Lucas Bilbo Àngel Burgas
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 INTERVIEW 

L. J. Smith

El Templo #9 (abril 2009) por R. A. Calle Morales y Gally


We can see that there is a "vampire boom", specially in young adult literature. Why are vampires so attractive to teenagers? What do you like about vampires as a writer?

I think there is a mystique about vampires—especially about vampires that drink human blood. In my books, not all vampires drink human blood; the ones who wish they were human, or who don’t want to hurt humans often substitute animal blood. But I think there is a thrill about the vampires that drink human blood because suddenly humans are not at the top of the food chain! They’re not hunters when a vampire is after them. They’re the hunted. That’s enough to get your blood pounding. And then there is a sort of classical idea that vampires like to go after young women and that instead of simply being painful, being bitten by one might be pleasurable. You might even want to exchange blood with a vampire.

There’s got to be some mystique or glamour about a vampire if you expect people to want to actually give them blood, or take blood from them. And so it’s often written in metaphorical terms. With my vampires, sharing blood also means sharing minds—and that’s an extraordinary experience. I also make sure that my vampires are gorgeous, because otherwise the very idea of sharing blood is just plain... ick!

So you have this very, very handsome vampire chasing you, and that’s really scary. But when he catches you, he doesn’t really hurt you. He just wants a small amount of blood from you... a very little. And to your surprise, when he bites you it doesn’t hurt. Maybe you even feel sorry for him because without your blood he will die. So you let him have some blood and suddenly you find that you can talk to him with your mind and you can see his mind—and he’s not such a bad person, after all.

It’s a little bit like a roller coaster ride. It’s really scary going up and then there’s the thrill—often happening too quickly for you to be scared—of coming down. It seems terrifying, but it’s really safe. At least, that’s the way it is in my books.

In any case—I’ll be frank here—the biting is a metaphor for sex! In YA one can’t write about sex openly. But being bitten by a vampire is okay. It’s a strange world. ^^

Each author has his own perspective about vampires. Yours are quite "classic". Which are your vampiric references?

I suppose my vampires are pretty classic—although it depends on which series you’re looking at. In my series Night World, there are vampires, called lamia, who can eat and drink and have children. That’s not very classic.

In The Vampire Diaries, the vampires are more classic, although I had to invent the lapis lazuli rings to keep them alive during daylight. I must admit I didn’t do a lot of research on vampires. I felt that I knew a lot about them already. (I mean, how can a vampire’s day go: sleep, get up, chase somebody, drink blood, maybe play a few hands of poker with your vampire friends, go back to sleep, wake up...) I also shattered some vampire/magician type myths: my vampires could change into animals, but not into mist, they can look at themselves in mirrors, they can’t fly (until the later books).

Of course I did read Dracula, and when I was about 12 I saw a month of reruns of a show called Dark Shadows. I suppose that was my research.

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