In most cases, although not all, we’ve seen vampires depicted by youthful, physically strong characters. While in our own youth, we might dream of that golden age of adulthood—the years when we straddle the line between maturing and ageing—few fantasize about the years that come beyond that. It would be the rare fool who says, “Man, I can’t wait until middle age, when everything hurts, my youthful beauty begins to fade, my metabolism slows, my muscles weaken, and every day is just one step closer to death!” If given the chance, no person in his or her right mind would pass up having and forever keeping that thirty-year-old body.
Vampires exist outside of time—our greatest enemy. They exist outside of death, time’s dark twin. Few people, regardless of personal or religious belief, look forward to death. It is, despite any convictions to the contrary, the great unknown—the end of who we are and our ability to leave new marks of who we were.
Ageing and death are both inevitable, and yet they are the two things we strive most to postpone.
I doubt the allure of the vampire would be what it is if vampires were more like zombies. While zombies are just as popular (if not more so at the moment), more often than not, the fiction revolves around surviving despite them—not actually joining their ranks. Vampire fiction, on the other hand, only sometimes involves characters who exist solely to destroy them. Often, vampires are the protagonists—or unwitting victims who ultimately choose mortality over lives as monsters. That doesn’t stop vampires from being alluring, however.
There’s a whole subculture of vampire enthusiasts and fetishists, some so taken by all vampires represent that they actually believe themselves to be among the undead. To me, this hints at a fear of all that humanity represents—and, most of all, a fear of the degenerative process that takes hold once our youth begins to strip away: a fear of weakness, a fear of ageing, and a fear of death. The fountain of youth, or variations thereof, have existed for as long as the first of tall tales. It’s that fountain of youth that makes the vampire so attractive.
Although other authors have taken this to even further extremes—for example, Rice’s eternal child, Claudia—I felt stopping Jane’s ageing at seventeen would allow for some profound moments in the series. I think, for me, the most profound is when Jane happens across one of her friends she last saw before the attack, a woman who represents what Jane might have been had she remained human. When her friend spots her, Jane takes on the role of her own daughter, pretending not to know the woman while secretly reminiscing about their shared youth.
About Jane the Hippie Vampire: Flashbacks: She’s broke and homeless. She’s a vegan. She’s undead.
Jane has had one hell of a time ever since she bumped into the wrong guy during the Summer of Love, but she’s taken it all in stride. Wandering from town to town, she seeks out the broken and the needy in hopes of breaking the curse that’s left her bloodthirsty and forever seventeen.
In this second novella in the dramatic urban fantasy/ horror series, Jane the Hippie Vampire, Jane must face demons from her past when she encounters a long-lost friend and a homeless Vietnam veteran with lingering demons of his own.