I love these creatures because they are us and yet they are not us. The most evil forsake their humanity while the noble struggle to retain it, but the idea of becoming the monster – by choice or by fate – and a need to prey on what it once was in order to survive is a very human story: the stuff of legend.
Not to slight any book or movie, but I’ve grown tired of stories about inner city vampire wars against other paranormals that paint the vampire as one among many; they are kings of the night, the ruling class of the darkness. I wanted Dracula-level ubervamps for my own novel, alphas that don’t put up with rivals or need to swear fealty to some Italian governing committee.
A true vampire should be royalty itself and treated as such; I believe this is one of the reasons Bram Stoker’s title character remains so popular today. A modern vampire should be like a Bond super-villain: lairs and minions and secrets and plans. This was the template for my own bloodsuckers, and a castle in the countryside (even if it isn’t recognized as such) is so much cooler than the penthouse of a skyscraper.