In Michael Sims' upcoming anthology, Dracula's Guest, readers can look to an earlier time when vampire literature reigned supreme: the Victorian era. The 19th century was a breeding ground for stories of the undead, which culminated in 1897 with the indelible classic, Dracula.

In Dracula's Guest, Sims has collected a wide range of tales prefaced by an introduction that charts what he calls "the natural history of the vampire." In a Behind the Book essay for BookPage, he explains the constants—and the variables—of vampire lore.

Some vampires are very pale, but then so is Taylor Swift, and she’s not a vampire. Probably. Some flee from a cross the way Superman dodges kryptonite, but others could march into a Baptist revival and not blink an eye. Many have a serious case of death breath, but clearly some sparkly tousled young boy vamps do not, or moody teenage girls would not be so eager to kiss them.

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More about Michael Sims can be found in the BookPage archives or on his blog, Kingfisher Days.

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