Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Liked Vampire Before They Were Cool

I was in eighth grade when I discovered my love of vampires. Caught in my Converse and Sharpie stage, I was a wannabe goth girl with black nails and a taste for the bloodsucking creatures that haunted the pages of books. Having grown up loving scary things, I was drawn to said vampires. So, when my eighth grade class was herded to the school library to hear about several different books, I was immediately sucked into the story of Lucy, a girl with diabetes, who believes the first vampires were diabetics. The book was called Sweetblood by Pete Hautman, and I, soon after, took it out of the local library. I hid it in a photo box, like it was some kind of dark secret I had to keep safe, and read its entirety, soaking in every bit of the story as I could.

After Sweetblood, I began visiting the library more often, thoroughly browsing the tiny young adult section. It was there that I also found Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan, which was very exciting, and the first novel I ever finished in a day. I found the Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schrieber at Barnes and Noble around this time, as well, the main character, Raven being the perfect goth girl I wished I could be.

Of course, there was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, whose book I only picked up because we had the same last name. And even though it’s embarrassing to admit how obsessed I was with that book, I can’t deny the fact that it had a huge impact on my barely teenaged self. Because of that book I read so much more, and I wrote my own vampire novel, which sucked very much.

But by then, I was high on reading. I read of not only vampires, but witches and shapeshifters and other bizarre creatures. I also began reading about regular kids, like me. Those visits to the library fortified my love of books. Reading helped me escape when things were tough, but also made my life better by giving me things to think about. They were there through my first move, which scarred me more than any vampire bite could.

When the massive vampire trend took off, I felt like I was at the front of it. I felt proud for liking vampires before they were cool. They were a way of life for me, a shy girl starting high school (and realizing how much I hated it). But even then, I found more books at that school’s library, and I continued reading and I continued writing.

Now, though I read different types of books, my love of reading and writing is stronger than ever because I was once one of those dorky kids who liked vampires. In fact, I still have the books to prove it.

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