I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m thrilled to bring you another fabulous guest. Bertena Varney the vampire professor is here.
Welcome Bertena, it is truly a pleasure to have you here today.
Thank you for having me. I just love talking about those sexy monsters we know as vampiresJ
For those readers who are new to you and your work, please tell them a little about yourself.
Answer: I am from Kentucky, am 38 years old and a single mother of a handsome talented college student named Tre’.
I love to learn new things, read, watch television, and have worked as a teacher, professor, counselor, book reviewer, freelance writer, event planner, and in security/private investigation. I am very hyper and love to talk to anyone about vampires.
On your website it says you are a vampire sociologist, can you tell the readers out that what that is.
Answer: Well, I like to study vampires and the fans that love them from a sociological point of view. I have a bachelor and masters in social science and education as well as a masters in sociology and criminology. I study why we as a culture as so in love with vampires. I have done research and lectures on the use of vampires as religious icons, how we are socialized as a young child not love this once feared monster, and how teens today use vampires as a socialization tool. But, my favourite is to study our love of being in love with vampires especially through vampires in literature, television, and movies.
It’s a little different take than just studying the subculture of vampires.
I must say we both share a common love. I too am a huge fan of vampires and have interest in the whole topic. What draws you to the vampire culture?
Answer: I have always loved vampires. I just remember watching the count on Sesame Street, reading Bunnicula, and eating Count Chocula from the beginning. Once I got older I saw the reruns of Dark Shadows (I was a child in the early 70’s) and watched a television show called Dracula and loved it. I was so fascinated with the sexiness, the suave coolness, the power and money that they seemed to have and I was hooked. I just loved it. Then as a teen I so wanted to be Starr in The Lost Boys.
I guess to answer your question it’s the power, confidence, immortality, and aristocracy of the vampire. It’s like a dark prince for a modern day princess. lol
What, or who inspired you to write about vampires?
Answer: Well, I had wrote several papers on vampire culture during my study for my sociology and criminology masters but it seemed like it was so much like everyone else. But, during my last semester of my master’s in social science in I found that I had run out of classes to take to graduate. So I did research and found that pop culture was a reputable academic study and that my love for vampire books and movies could actually be a viable study. So I found a professor who I had to convince that writing about vampires and its effect on our culture was an actual study. So I did and began to actually love writing for once and have been doing it ever since. It’s been hard because so many people don’t take it seriously but I love doing it so I keep on.
What do you think fascinates people about vampires and their world?
Answer: Well, it depends upon the person. If you like dark vampires like the ones from the Lost Boys and 30 Days of Night, it may be being able to live out the dark side of your fantasies, the primal brutality and animalism.
However, if you like the sexy but brutal vampires from True Blood it says that you may like bad boys in your life. The Twilight vampires are more for those that love the idea of a vampire but not really the vampire monster itself. Or maybe you like fixing and taking care of men so you may love Mick from Moonlight or Angel from Buffy/Angel.
I love the historical vampires such as Henry from Blood Ties as well as strong female vampires such as Selene from Underworld, and Vivian from Vampire Vacation.
It really is based upon the person who is watching or reading about the vampire.
But, ultimately, the vampire fulfills our fantasy whether it is our dark taboo ones or our everyday fantasies of having a lover who has spent 1,000’s of years perfecting his style for just me and I am going to be his love forever.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current published articles?
Answer: Well, I am the Lexington Vampire Examiner at Examiner.com. I pull together the latest vampire news in the real news as well as pop culture. I cover movie and book releases, events, conventions, and just discuss anything that has to do with vampires. These articles are read nationally with a little local focus for my local readers.
I am also the National Paranormal Literature Examiner. I cover book reviews, websites, signing, and events of various paranormal books but of course my love is vampires
And finally I am the National Cultural Travel Event Examiner. I cover National and even International travel and events. I have travelled to England and France and while there did some research into the vampire culture. I also cover various gaming events that include vampire role playing and conventions.
I have my own website that links to the articles and guest blogs that I have done it’s at http://searchforthelure.webs.com
Any favourite authors?
Answer: I have several. I like both mainstream authors as well as new upcoming and independent writers. I love Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse Series, Rene Lyons Templar Vampires, Melissa De La Cruz Blue Bloods- just to name a few.
I also love Vampire Vacation by C.J. Ellisson, the Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn and The Royal Blood Chronicles by Elizabeth Loraine. They are both new and can be found on my website and Facebook. I would recommend checking them both out.
I do so many great book reviews and love them all.
Do you have any favourite vampire movies or shows?
Answer: Do you have another hour or so. Lol.
Television shows- Angel, Buffy, Moonlight, Forever Knight, Blood Ties, True Blood, and Kindred: the Embraced
Movies: Underworld, The Lost Boys, My Best Friend is a Vampire, Dracula 2000, The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, and of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Anne Rice The Vampire Chronicles or Stephanie Meyer The Twilight Saga?
Answer: If I only can choose between the two? Books- Twilight, Movies- Interview with the Vampire. Sexy Vampire- Emmett Cullen and Stuart Townsend as Lestat in Queen of the Damned.
Neither are a favourite but have read, watched, and liked them both to different degrees
What do you think about the current popularity of the vampire genre? Do you think it is just a fad or here to stay? Do you think the popularity will turn people away from vampires because there is a huge flood of material on vampires?
Answer: the popularity of vampires have went up and down throughout history. The popularity of the fear came about with the Hebrew’s Talumed and the story of Lillith and her vampire connection to the Indian goddess Kali, to the revenant scare during the plague.
Then the historical figures of Vlad the Impaler and Countess Elizabeth Bathory came into history which piqued the interest of Bram Stoker. These two stories plus the pennydreadful, Varney the Vampire helped him bring back the vampire and throwing him into mainstream pop culture for the next 113 years. Dracula and his vampire relatives have gone up and down but I don’t think that they will ever go away. The way we write and see them may change- monster- lover- human may go back and forth but the vampire is here to stay
I think that the vampire was always a taboo dark subject and is becoming more main stream and this does bother many that like their monster dark, taboo and all theirs. But there is enough vampire for everyone. Twilight is simply a Romeo and Juliet story that introduces teens to vampires. Once they finish with this they will go three different ways – one type of fan will start looking into the original dark vampire and they will want more of that and will seek out books and movies showing more of the monster vampire. The second type will realize that they are more in love with the romance story and probably turn away from the vampire genre and go more into the romance types. The third type will follow the vampire romance genre.
There are several types of vampires and there is enough for everyone but honestly anything that becomes too popular becomes unpopular just as fast. So there will be those that hate it because it’s popular.
There will be a new monster to love- werewolves have taken a fast rise as well as angels and faeries..but I don’t see mummies or zombies being one of them. J
What was the best advice you ever got as a writer, and who gave it to you?
Answer: Oh wow. That would be C.J. Ellisson and Lynda Hilburn. They both have encouraged me to write what I love and to not worry about those that think I am weird or strange. They have both been very supportive and told me that just because I am not published that I am a writer..and to be true to what I want to say. I think that was when I decided that I was going to take this trip to the darkside and let the vampire seduce meJ
What message would you like readers to know about vampires?
Answer: Well, there are lots of vampires out there- aristocratic, brooding, sexy, vicious, and the original lost soul – so read a book, watch a movie- but find one that speaks to you and enjoy the night.
If you had the chance to become a vampire who you do it?
Answer: Is this who would I let do it? Uhm, well looking at how they life, their morals, and what they do for a living either Mick from Moonlighting or Henry from Blood Ties
Where can readers go to find more info about you and your work?
Well they can come see me at my Halloween Workshop and Halloween Ball on October 23rd. Information is on the website- http://adayofmysticalbloodlust.webs.com
Twitter- @tenavarney and @mysticalblood
Official Webpage- http://searchforthelure.webs.com
Lexington Vampire Examiner- http://www.examiner.com/vampire-in-lexington/bertena-varney
National Paranormal Literature Examiner- http://www.examiner.com/paranormal-literature-in-national/bertena-varney
National Cultural Events Travel Examiner- http://www.examiner.com/cultural-events-travel-in-national/bertena-varney
Associated Content- http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/785162/bertena_varney.html
Vampire Awareness Month- http://markdeniz.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/the-lure-of-the-dead-boyfriend/ and http://markdeniz.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/vampires-and-religion-vampires-used-as-religious-icons/
I am also working on a book titled, Vampire Book of Knowledge, and it is to be a type of educational book to be used in the high school or college classrooms. It is still in its early staged but I hope it will be done by the spring.
These are just a few..just google me , Bertena Varney and there will be lots more shown
Please let me know if this is ok. I got excited. I just love talking about vampires.
I do appreciate you having me here today and look forward to any comments or requests that your readers have.