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  • Brianna Sugalski

STEPHENIE MEYER RETURNS + A Vampire Renaissance?

It’s been fifteen years since Stephenie Meyer shifted our literary and pop culture paradigms with the force that was the Twilight Saga. Five days ago a mysterious countdown appeared on the #1 bestselling author’s website, stirring fans new and old into hysteria. The countdown ended on Monday morning, seemingly crashing her website. The suspense then ended with Meyer’s surprise appearance on Good Morning America where she shocked Twi-hards everywhere with the pending August 4th release of Midnight Sun.

An early version of the Twilight companion novel had made a brief appearance in August 2008, when a leak of the first twelve chapters made its way around the internet, thus halting Meyer’s progress. Fast-forward twelve years later and overall fans seem all the more delighted to delve into our beloved Edward Cullen’s mind.

Based on the past few months—and certainly now that Meyer has staked her claim with a shocking return—we can only assume that vampires have returned with a vengeance… That is, if they’ve ever left to begin with. Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, Charlaine Harris, L.J. Smith, and certainly Meyer (amongst many others) might believe otherwise.

Perchance they’ve waited in the shadows all along, watching the literary trends roll in and dissipate like cemetery fog...

Our Blog and Publicity departments have accumulated a brief collection of recent and upcoming releases regarding our bloodthirsty counterparts in order of publication. We’ve included the release dates on upcoming titles and relevant sequels for your convenience.

1. Of Light and Darkness (Of Light and Darkness, #1) by Shayne Leighton - The Parliament Press (June 2011 and February 2016)

"A stunning debut that is a fiercely imaginative, multilayered dark fantasy for fans of The Bear and the Nightingale.

Raised among a secret society of Witches, Shifters, and Elves, human-born Charlotte Ruzikova finds that she is the freak in her world of magic and monsters. When she stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of survival in this coming-of-age modern fairy tale is slim. After Charlotte captures the attention of the young Elven prince, her scorn results in an all-out war between light and darkness.

Charlotte knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of the Czech Republic, where Witches draw spells of enchantment, Shifters throw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. But as genocide and war threatens life as she knows it, Charlotte will fight for what she believes in...truth, bravery, and most Fighting with a coven of rogue monsters is tougher than it seems, but she will stop at nothing to save them...and she'll do it before the sun comes up and light takes over forever."

Leighton's sequel in the OLAD series, OF BLOOD AND MAGIC, is currently in the works and scheduled for a November 2020 release!

The Blog Maven and Shayne Leighton on her vampire characters and folklore:

Who are your vampire characters in Of Light and Darkness? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

The main Vampire character in Of Light and Darkness is Valek. He’s the center of it all. But the Of Light and Darkness series also has a rich Vampire culture, including secret societies, governments, rules, hierarchies, a ton of drama, and lots of politics. Francis is Valek’s creator and liege of their small rogue coven with seven other undead characters…and that’s just the beginning. As they are in our world, the Vampires in OLAD are also wildly misunderstood. 

Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in?

The lore in Of Light and Darkness is similar to that of Anne Rice’sVampire Chronicles or the original Dracula, with some small changes. Garlic and crosses don’t bother them, but they physically die during the daylight hours and are resurrected at night. They are blood-ravenous, have fangs, and are equal parts seductive and scary. 

What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

For me, Vampires represent real-life human monsters. I think some people have monstrous tendencies. And it’s interesting how many parallels there are between addicts and Vampires. Addicts are most certainly not villains, but like the Vampires in Of Light and Darkness, I think a lot of behaviors are misunderstood. Vampires represent the darkest parts of the human experience. 

2. Clouded By Envy (Laith, #1) by Candace Robinson - The Parliament Press (February 2019)

"Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes."

The Blog Maven and Candace Robinson on her vampire characters and folklore: