Come play inside a writer's brain, scary!

Whether you support Team Edward or Team Jacob or any other combination, the Twilight saga is the latest product from a long line of  creatures – the vampire writers. By that, I don’t mean writers who write about vampires, but writers who are ourselves vampires.

I am. We all are. It’s part of the writing deal.

Here are my 5 reasons why:

1. Writers are blood suckers.

We suck the life blood out of our fellow creatures; human, animal and fantasy. If not for the quirky thing my neighbour’s kids said – which I have mercilessly siphoned off for a story – what would I write about? The police caution that anything you may say can and will be used is 100% accurate. We admit to sitting in coffee shops, people watching. What we really mean is people stealing. We run away with fragments of your identity, your description, your intriguing words, sometimes even your soul depending on the books we write.

2. We can be killed by a stake through the heart

Thinking about it, so can most people. In this case I mean the cruel stake plunged in by an editor or a critique partner. They don’t mean to be cruel. They think they’re helping. And they are, when the red mist clears enough for us to see that. First we have to go through the agony of seeing our beautiful child called ugly and not good enough. Or worse, rejected altogether. Oh, the pain!

3. We are always looking for fresh blood

We can’t survive as writers without a constant diet of new input, or we resort to the desperate act of writing about writers. We need to read different books, explore strange new worlds, get as far outside our comfort zones as we can. Then we have something to write about. You already know I’m the Established Writer in Residence at Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in the hills behind Perth, Western Australia. I’ve made it a point to visit as many of the writing groups that meet here as I can, especially outside my usual writing. One of the most rewarding has been the poetry group. Thanks Mardi May for the fresh blood you’ve unwittingly provided.

4. We love to “turn” others

Vampires love to turn humans into vampires. We may need more than one bite to turn a non-writer into a writer, but we persist, and we succeed surprisingly often. Go to a writer’s conference – the Romance Writers’ of Australia have theirs on the Gold Coast in August. If you’re fascinated by how words morph into stories, you’re ripe for turning.

5. We hide among the normal people

As a writer, I get to “pass” as normal. I even get to go out in daylight, although I’m mostly holed up in gloom, pounding out words, during the day. I’ve sold 30 million books, yet I walk among you unrecognised, the way I like it, as I hunt for fresh blood…er…inspiration.

Are you a vampire writer? How do you know? Do tell.


Established Writer in Residence, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, Perth

on Twitter @valerieparv

and Facebook


Comments on: "5 reasons why we are all vampire writers" (10)

  1. Always knew I was evil. Now I can prove it. Thanks Valerie.

  2. […] is one of your secret fantasies. *warning: as my friend Valerie Parv says, ‘writers are vampires’ I might suck away your fantasy and turn it into a story […]

    • We’re pretty shameless about who and what we borrow. My only assurance to friends and family of writers is that you won’t necessarily recognise yourself by the time I’m done. I used to worry about using material from real life, until I found that even my mother didn’t recognise herself or the incident. The other bonus for writers is that everybody remembers the same event a little differently…okay, sometimes a lot differently, or not at all.

  3. Judy Neumann said:

    Don’t know if I’m a vampire – but I’m a vamp. Does that count?

  4. Have to admit — guilty to all of the above. 😉

  5. Definitely. I’ve found inspiration at a funeral! And I have used my friends and sat there laughing to myself the whole time as I make a story out then. And worse still, I don’t tell them what I’m going to do to them. But it’s so fun…

    Great post, Valerie!


    • Hopefully they won’t recognise themselves anyway, once the story becomes yours. It’s probably best that non writers don’t know what goes on in our heads a lot of the time. (I did say it was scary)

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