Getting in the Vampire Business

It’s no secret that vampires are a big business right now. The Hollywood Reporter estimates that vampires in films, TV shows, books, and other consumable bits of pop culture have brought $ 7 billion to Hollywood since the release of the first Twilight movie in 2008. That’s a lot of allowance money.

So, it’d be no surprise to see vampires turn up in these parts. After all, we’ve got an active population of people who keep fit and have delicious blood coursing through their veins.

Vampires make their presence known here in Bloodthirsty, a YA book by Flynn Meany, due out in October from Little, Brown, and Company. A teenager moves from Indiana to Pelham—right in Westchester—to find a community overrun with vampires.

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Or, at least, a community obsessed with vampires. The main character, Finbar Frame, finds the girls in his school utterly consumed with a vampire novel, also called Bloodthirsty. Finbar is your typical teenager pop-culture nerd: lanky, thin, pale, brooding, and alone. The girls mistake these qualities for vampirism, and, well, he goes along with it to get dates.

My thought when I first heard about the Bloodthirsty premise: Finally! Vampires have had a monopoly on cool for too long. If I were any other type of monster—werewolf, zombie, mummy, gill man, Frankenstein’s monster, grim grinning ghost, Cthulhu—I’d be pretty angry that the vampires are the only ones that get to be sexy and sought after while the rest of us dodge the torches and pitchforks.

Meany, a Mamaroneck resident, is actually able to look past the hair gel and widow’s peak (and sparkly skin, if you’re into that type of vampire). She recognizes that the inability to go out in sunlight, picky eating, and pale, cold skin are not the most attractive qualities. No, they’re more the mark of your average American nerd. Yet, in high school, teenage girls read books like Twilight and swoon over the star-crossed romances, while pale nerds pass them in the hallway every day unnoticed. Kudos to Meany for the comparison.

It’s also a kick to see Meany’s descriptions of Westchester, including places like the Metro-North and the Pelham Public Library. “Pelham was bordered by the beach and the Bronx, both of which…were awesome,” she writes. Just keep your eye out for all the vampire wannabes.

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