Article: Why Do Women Love Vampires?

DENVER -- "He met my eyes with his penetrating gaze. Suddenly, it was hard to breathe. The temperature in the room spiked into the tropical range. My heart pounded in my chest like a ritual drum, and my knees threatened to buckle. I'd never seen such a gorgeous male. My logical mind engaged in a futile attempt to regain my attention -- to remind me that I'd just met this stranger and my behavior was unacceptable. Inappropriate. But something about him felt dark and dangerous. Desirable. I lifted my chin to give him better access to my neck. He smiled, showing a hint of fangs."

Vampires are all the rage these days.

Wait, vampires?

Festering, cadaverous, hygiene-challenged bloodsuckers who crawl out of graves to steal your children? Hideous, terrifying, long-fingered, dark visions from your worst nightmare? Walking corpses?

Not even close.

That was when men ruled the horror landscape. But no more. Now, women have taken over and a new genre of fiction -- featuring gorgeous, sensuous, sexual, romantic, bad boys of the night -- has emerged. What's the name of this enticing category? Vampire Romance.

Psychotherapist Lynda Hilburn, author of the new paranormal urban fantasy novel, "The Vampire Shrink," noticed a curious thing happening in her private psychotherapy practice. In their therapy sessions, women spontaneously began sharing dreams of dark, fanged strangers. They told tales of nocturnal journeys into forbidden worlds where they encountered -- and became intimate with -- alluring, mesmerizing vampires.

After listening to stories about alien abductions, satanic cults and entity possessions for years, Lynda was intrigued and fascinated by the vampire theme. So much, that she sat down and wrote the first of many vampire books, inspired by the dreams of her clients. When a woman called Lynda's voice mail and left a message asking for referrals in another city for her daughter, who'd decided to become a vampire, "The Vampire Shrink" was born.

"The Vampire Shrink," tells the tale of Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight. She just wants a little excitement in her life. A little publishing fame and fortune. She doesn't believe in the paranormal. Especially not comic book children of the night. But when a new client pulls Kismet into the vampire underworld, and introduces her to gorgeous Devereux -- who claims to be an 800-year-old vampire -- Kismet finds herself up to her neck in the undead. Not to mention all the other bizarre creatures crawling out of Denver's supernatural Pandora's Box. And if being attracted to a man who thinks he's an ancient bloodsucker isn't bad enough, someone -- or something -- is leaving a trail of blood-drained dead bodies. Enter handsome FBI profiler Alan Stevens, who warns her that vampires are very real and that one is a murderer. A murderer who is after her. In the midst of it all, Kismet realizes she has feelings for both the vampire and the profiler. But, though she cares for each of the men, the reality that vampires exist is enough of a challenge . . . for now.

What's all the fuss about vampires?

According to publishing sources, sales of paranormal romance in general, and vampire romance in particular, have broken records over the past twenty years. But the real rise in vampire popularity occurred after the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

"There are several theories about the increase in sales of vampire romance," Hilburn said. "A recent view is that women feel less safe and secure in the world, and the previous symbols of strong, semi-dangerous males -- our law enforcement and military warriors -- were replaced by supernatural beings. Indestructible supernatural beings. Unlike the undead, real flesh-and-blood men can be killed in war or through terrorist acts. Facing a frightening daily "reality" made escaping into magical worlds, filled with all-powerful, appealing immortals, a healthy coping mechanism."

But why do we love them?

Vampires are the quintessential bad boys of the preternatural universe. They don't follow any human rules or laws. Imagine James Dean with fangs. Or, Captain Jack Sparrow rising from his coffin. They're also examples of extraordinary men.

"Women in therapy often report disappointment with the 'human' males they're in relationship with," Hilburn said. "Would a handsome vampire sit in front of the television, scratching his stomach and drinking beer? Are women lusting after the undead Homer Simpson? Probably not. Imagining a heart-stoppingly-gorgeous man hovering outside your window is much more fun. Most of my clients would open the window."

"The Vampire Shrink" and “Dark Harvest” (the second book in the series) are available from Medallion Press, and can be purchased at your favorite bookstore and online through

Author Bio:

Lynda Hilburn writes paranormal fiction. More specifically, she writes vampire books. After a childhood filled with invisible friends, sightings of dead relatives and a fascination with the occult, turning to the paranormal was a no-brainer. In her other reality, she makes her living as a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, professional psychic/tarot reader, university instructor and workshop presenter.