Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It’s the Anti-Twilight … Oh, Yes!

With the release of Stephanie Meyer’s newest Twilight film, I thought it might be helpful to remind readers that there is a deliciously dark and dirty alternative.  Originally copyrighted in 1997 as short stories in my 13-Taled Beast collection, then re-written into three full-length novels in 2008 and 2009, The Darkness and the Night trilogy is effectively the anti-Twilight.  For Twilight fans, that might not be a big draw; however, for those who like their vampires scary instead of sparkly, murderous instead of “vegetarian,” and lustful instead of chaste, have I got the series for you….

I haven’t read the Twilight saga, so I’m not going to pass any judgment on Meyer’s writing skills.  Stephen King already covered that, and I’m not one to argue with the King.  I have heard all about the series, however, and it seems to me that one either loves or hates Meyer’s work—with no in-between.  For most die-hard horror fans, reading about vampires with “traditional” family values just doesn’t cut it.  Mind you, I have nothing against anyone’s religious or family values.  I just don’t think they mesh (at all) with stories about monsters spanning from a long history of blood-drinking, village-infesting creatures of the night.  Bram Stoker surely turned in his grave when Meyer’s series got the greenlight.  What’s next, “born again” zombies who moan prayers before eating pig brains?

Conversely, The Darkness and the Night offers readers a contemporary alternative to the coffin-sleeping denizens of lore without attempting to tame the beast.  The storyline is dark and, at times, horrific.  The sex is raw and uncensored.  At times, there is raunchiness and there is gore.  Would Stephen King approve?  He’d likely call it dirty, rotten smut, then qualify that with a unabashed smirk.  I dare not put words into the King’s mouth, however, so instead I leave you with a proposition of my own: While the YA crowd gears up to gawk at vampire sparkles, join the numbers of readers who have turned to the dark side for their vampire fix.  Read The Darkness and the Night and follow the independent heroin Karen on her dark odyssey—from Stockholm victim, to self-realized monster, to suburban vampire mom—and make the comparison yourself.

Happy reading!


  1. Mark me down as your first "in-betweener" when it comes to Twilight. Although the writing basics in the first book are horrible and the characters as a whole are unlikeable (although Bella's also very realistic, which is probably a draw for similar emo teens), it's not nearly as bad as some claim. The key thing to remember is that they aren't horror novels at all: They're romances. Horror lovers led to believe otherwise will rightfully hate these books.

    In any case, I'm pretty sure without even reading it that The Darkness and the Night is better!

  2. I get that Meyer's series is a romance ... but I have to wonder if straight romance is really the place for bloodthirsty monsters. One might as well write Jack the Ripper as the suave and compassionate lover.

  3. Well, my novel, Birthright is a paranormal romance, but darker and not anywhere near the likes of Twilight. As much as I liked the books, I don't like the characters,as they say, "I'm on team Jacob. Edward needs to get a back bone or if not, go suck a bunny. Bella, needs to choose either one and forget the other and get a back bone herself. I understand the whole reasoning in writing this, and why teens love these novels, but if you're going to have vampires and human put together then let each one stay true to its making. The indecisiveness of both him and Bella drive me absolutely nuts. As far as vampires with morals go, my characters in my novel don't have morals, if my vampire wants to kill or get what he wants he goes after it, and my female character doesn't put up with her vampire tactics and will stick up for herself when need be. It's a more love/hate relationship if you will.

  4. Hello, Lisa. New follower here.
    Although my vampire novel is a crossover, exploring Christian themes, mine are more traditional vamps. I went for a PG-13 target, but there's definitely blood and some gore in mine.
    Thanks for asking.


  5. Some great quotes on the matter from the very talented and well-spoken George Takei: