Apparently the vampire community is gnashing its fangs about the media’s depiction of its culture.
Vampire purist and resident vampire Walter shares his disgust of mainstream vampires in the new book “Pop Culture Sucks: Manifesto of a Vampire” by Sequim author Rebecca Smith.
With the surge in popularity of vampires, Smith said, people ages 18-35 may like the book the most.
“I wrote it for people tired of shiny, brooding vampires,” she said.
While not a vampire monologue, the book opens and ends with Walter wanting to set the record straight on true vampires. The novel is in stream of consciousness, Smith said: Walter is not a trained author but simply annoyed by people’s idea of what constitutes a vampire.
Before writing “Pop Culture Sucks,” Smith developed a fascination for vampires while in school at Evergreen College. She discovered TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series. But she thinks new incarnations of vampires, namely “Twilight,” have gotten more and more popular and diluted good vampire storytelling.
“It’s eaten popular culture,” she said. “I’ve tried to read the ‘Twilight’ series but got 50 or 60 pages and couldn’t get into it.”
“Pop Culture Sucks” is her antithesis of “Twilight.”
Smith explains that Walter wasn’t born into vampirism but turned during a flu epidemic in 1918. He was about to die after eating bad food from a restaurant, but a vampire, Dotty, offered to help because recovery was not an option.
From here Walter explains his integration into the vampire culture and defines the elements of being a vampire. Through his years as a vampire he encounters a rogue vampire, World War II, a serial killer and more.
“I tried to create a 360-degree world for Walter,” Smith said.
As a history buff, she incorporates historical events throughout the book but no one needs to know history well to appreciate the story, she said.
“People might appreciate the mentions though,” she said.
While researching vampirism, Smith said different cultures typically see vampires as either demons, tortured souls or most recently sparkly fairies.
“Walter sees all the T-shirts and buttons and merchandise on people showing the love between vampires and humans (as) sickening,” Smith said.
With the release of her book, Smith has developed quite a following on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/manifesto2012, where she poses as Walter commenting on recent news stories and pop culture items about vampires.
Her plan is to keep writing in Walter’s universe by writing novellas expanding on other characters connected to her protagonist.
“For now, I’m just cultivating an audience for it,” she said.
Through Feb. 1, the e-book is available for 99 cents on Amazon; afterward it goes up to $2.99.
“If it sucks, you’ve only wasted a buck,” Smith joked.
She encourages reviews and plans to release a paperback version in the coming weeks with more e-book services in the works, too.
Smith cautions there is some strong language and violence, which may be inappropriate for some teenagers.