Vampires are hot these days. Two book series — both with long runs on The New York Times Best Sellers List — have made similarly long-lived leaps from the page to the screen. This weekend, HBO launches the third season of True Blood, which is based on Charlaine Harris' 10-book (and counting) The Southern Vampire Mysteries. And on June 30, the third chapter in Stephenie Meyer's series, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, hits theaters nationwide, with many showings already sold out.
We asked Shelley Harper, a devoted fan of both series, active contributor to Twilightlexicon.com, and the woman behind Blue's Book Club, to share her insight about this vampire phenomenon and its heroines — Bella Swan (Twilight) and Sookie Stackhouse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries and True Blood).
Here's what she had to say.
"Twilight's Bella is a popular high school girl eager to trade her soul for the love of her life — the beautiful, noble, and self-despising Edward Cullen. Sookie is a telepathic Southern belle and waitress in a small town bar, who begrudges her special ability and captures the heart (and other parts) of many a hot supernatural creature, or "supe."
"The Twilight saga, while full of romantic teen angst, certainly does not have the dirty deeds behind a bar — well, at least not that we see — found in the Sookie Stackhouse tales. What could the stories of these two women possibly have in common besides estrogen and vampire romance? More than you think."
Both Bella and Sookie Are
10. Inexperienced physically and emotionally as the story begins
9. Living with parent figures who guide many of their initial decisions
8. Thrust head first into an unreal world of supernatural creatures — whether they wanted to know about them or not
7. Loved by supernaturally strong, hot vampire men who, strangely, have to be saved time and again by physically weaker women
6. Outcasts who, for the first time in their lives, develop close social ties and inhabit a place where they can be themselves
5. Quite edible smelling
4. Possessed of a strong character that makes them attractive to supernatural creatures (and to their fans)
3. The object of attention and desire of many a villainous character (see #5)
2. Self-sacrificing and protective of their loved ones