As a writer, I don't hold myself out as an expert on anything that touches on the motivations or actions of others. That lofty position is better filled by men like Mark Twain, who seemed to have laser vision when it came to discerning motives.
The first time I read "Huckleberry Finn", I knew I was reading the words of a genius at understanding human nature.
Naturally, Shakespeare, is in the same category as Twain. His ageless insights into the human condition and its Celtic Knot of passions, is still mirrored in modern story-telling. The American operatic by Leonard Bernstein, "West Side Story" is a perfect reflection of "Romeo and Juliet".
With all the insightful and thought provoking writing that is being published today, I became curious about the modern readers fascination with Vampires and Zombies.
It seems every network has a line up of shows that are about some form of the undead, or blood-sucking creatures. Our taste for paranormal violence against humans seems insatiable as new shows of this ilk are introduced nearly every season.
And the same phenomenon is found in our books today, with Science Fantasy and Urban Fantasy huge sellers. Think "Harry Potter" and say no more.
Then it occurred to me, that as an Urban Fantasy writer, I am both a consumer and provider of this genre. Now it all made sense to me and I thought I'd share my insights with you.
These stories can be viewed as part of a common human folk lore; stories of unfathomable mysterious, that surround us still as modern man.
As a species, we added story telling to our repertoire of cautionary teaching. "Don't go out after dark, when the lemurs roam" was a Roman version of avoiding bumping into the spirits of the dead. "Misbehave, and the Boogy Man" will get you." (I saw him often, lurking around our old attic as a small child)
It is only my opinion, but I think the likes of Vampires and Faeries and Zombies, are important to us, as we try to process the scary world we still find ourselves living in.
Reading a book of Fantasy with characters like ancient Vampires, provides an important escape from the real dangers of this modern world, where even the "Magic Kingdom" isn't safe any longer.