Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Vampire Fantasy

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:

Vampire Fantasy


strong supernatural elements and undertones of blood, sex, and death; includes vampires


I have to confess, I got a bit confused with this genre. Is all Vampire fantasy? Or do you write fantasy and then include vampires? Any suggestions would be welcome in the comments. Here are tips for both genres:

  1. a to zVampire tips:
    • Use vampires to introduce disturbing and dark subject matter, elicit responses of fear, terror, disgust, shock, suspense, and, of course, horror from readers.
    • The modern vampire started in the 1700’s but they were seen as far back as ancient Greece. That gives you a lot of flexibility in the vampire setting and time.
    • Your typical vampire appears pale and gaunt, is burned by holy water and silver, is crippled by romantic longing, is destroyed by sunlight or a stake through the heart, drinks blood, has fangs, flees from a crucifix and garlic, is immortal, needs to be invited in, can hypnotize others, sees humans as prey, sleeps in a coffin, transforms into a bat or mist or a wolf.
    • Share the daily life of the vampire–it’s interesting to readers.
    • Pay attention to the time the book was written in, adding details of that era.
    • Decide what type of vampires are in your story and stick with that. Are they evil? Mindless? Bloodthirsty beasts? Or everyday people with one odd characteristic?
    • Give your vampire(s) a demonstrable personality that’s interesting to read about.
  2. Fantasy tips:

Reedsy is fast becoming one of my favorite writing tip folks, with well-developed articles and thorough webinars. They have a great article on writing fantasy. Here are five of their thirteen tips. Click through for more tips and the amazing supporting detail.

    • Define the setting of your novel
    • Develop your fantasy world through short stories
    • Create rules for your universe
    • Obey your own worldbuilding laws
    • Craft a plot worthy of the world

BTW: If the book you’ve written fits into any of these W-Z genres, let me know in the comments and I’ll include you, the book title, and where to purchase it.

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

@reedsyhq #vampire #fantasy

More V Genres:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Fall 2022.


67 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Vampire Fantasy

  1. I’ve always placed Vampire stories under Horror/supernatural genre not fantasy, and I’ve read a lot of Vampire books. Exception Twilight, that was not at all horror or supernatural, more paranormal romance. Bram Stoker’s Dracula definitely horror as was Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. Curious though about putting it under Vampire fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our Biology prof demonstrated his rounded education in a lab class on blood groups,
    Enter the Count himself, and a pub quiz classic question on blood groups. Which group was shared by Arthur Holmwood, Quincey Morris and Van Helsing. ? Has to be the universal donor, O-
    Bought and enjoyed Irina Slav’s The Lamiastraga .- Vampires, foodies, carefully selected blood. for the discerning vampire. ..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A genre that just doesn’t do it for me in print or on the screen. At least, that’s one thing I won’t add to my out-of-control Kindle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree that vampires should count under the fantasy genre and usually horror as well.

    I’ve always loved reading vampire novels since The Vampire Chronicles, though I’ve been very hesitant to write any vampire fiction myself. It’s hard to stack up to such epic stories that are already out there!

    Great post ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose it does fit under ‘horror’. Good point, Jonny. About being intimidated by great works in the genre–nah! If that were the case, I never would have tried to compete with Brad Thor or Jean Auel (well, I don’t compete; I just enjoy the ride!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps Vampire Fantasy is categorized that way so that it’s distinct from Vampire Romance. Anyway, the first short story I ever sold was Vampire Fantasy in the anthology Todd Sullivan Presents: The Vampire Connoisseur.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I tend to avoid Vampire books because they seem to be “done to death.” But that’s probably not fair at all, Jacquie. I did love Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire.” Maybe I just feel like nothing can top that one. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

        • What Rice did that was so innovative at the time was that she essentially combined the genres of historical fantasy and domestic drama… and then told it from the point of view of the vampires! The conceptual brilliance of that first novel cannot be overstated.

          Up through that point, vampire fiction was usually (but not exclusively) pure horror in the sense that the vampire was the antagonist of the story, as was the case in Dracula and I Am Legend and ‘Salem’s Lot. The Vampire Chronicles isn’t proper horror fiction, really — it’s more of a subgenre known as dark fantasy, which incorporates speculative/supernatural elements, but the narrative goal isn’t necessarily to frighten the reader with things that go bump in the night, merely to explore darker themes through characters that are conventionally thought of as “evil,” or at least “damned.” These days, vampire fiction more often skews toward dark fantasy over horror — Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight; Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches; etc. — which is a testament to Rice’s lasting influence on the genre.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Great points, Sean. Rice was brilliant, and the movie was entrancing too. I was not interested in Twilight at all, but I’ve seen great reviews for A Discovery of Witches. If I muster up the time, I’ll give that one a try.

            Liked by 2 people

            • This is my genre, Diana, so I’m so excited to talk more about it!

              Boy, I have not read a vampire novel that’s excited me in a long, long time. I think the genre is at one of those inflection points where it’s waiting for someone to come in and redefine it, the way Rice did in the ’70s. (Like you, I love the Neil Jordan movie, too; I hear there is a new AMC series coming out based on The Vampire Chronicles, but I sort of feel about that the way I felt about the latest iterations of Dune and The Batman, both of which I skipped: How many retellings of the same story can I sit through in a single lifetime?)

              Twilight is such silly nonsense — terrible books — and I’m not really a fan of series like A Discovery of Witches, in which the characters do nothing but talk about being vampires… and think about being vampires… and brood about being vampires. Gimme a break. They have no life — no raison d’être — outside of “being vampires.” (And they are also part of a vast vampire conspiracy — a subculture hiding in plain sight — that no one else has managed to notice!) I hate self-serious dark fantasy like that.

              That was what was so brilliant about Interview: Louis and Lestat were not part of some underground “secret society” of vampires operating outside the awareness of society at large; they were a pair of stray vampires who spent most of their time bickering about how to raise their daughter. But that was when speculative fiction was used as a metaphor for real human experiences, versus what it is now: an exercise in fantasy worldbuilding, meant to comment only on itself. I’d be curious to hear what you think about A Discovery of Witches, but dark-fantasy fiction like that is not for me.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oooh, I don’t think I’m going to pick up A Discover of Witches, Sean. Thanks for the warning. Vampire brooding about being vampires doesn’t appeal to me. (Your description cracked me up. Lol). And I agree on the remakes, they rarely can compete with the captivation of the original. I like dark fantasy… a lot, but it has to have a core human story in the darkness and at least one protagonist that I care about and want to invest my time in. 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

  7. A friend of mine who was trying to get a book published about 20 years ago joked that his problem was that he had no vampires in it. It seemed that almost every fiction book published were about vampires, but I wonder if that trend has changed. But it’s not been a genre that has excited me. I see Jill mentioned “Dark Shadows.” I remember my sister watching that when we were kids, but I never got interested.

    Liked by 2 people

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