So, you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a (blood) bind: you’re surrounded by vampires. Be cool, stay calm, because I’ve got your trust guidebook right here for how to survive (or, succumb to, if that’s your thing) a society of vampires:
1. Blend in with a troubled past.
You’ll notice a trend right away, especially with societies like J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. With names like Wrath, Rhage, Rehvenge, Torhment and equally dangerous and devious pasts to match, you have to blend in with a troubled past. Are you cursed and possessed by a beast? Can you see the future but never change it? Are you on a quest for vengeance? Were you held hostage by the enemy? Whatever your past is, it can’t be sunshine and roses, because you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
2. Be innocent in contrast to their worldliness
Vampires have seen the world. Odds are, you haven’t. So if a vampire like Lestat or Louis from Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice is in your midst, definitely don’t suggest that “actually Pizza wasn’t invented in Italy because they didn’t have tomatoes until the 1500’s” because they will come right back at you with the knowledge that they were there in 997 AD in Gaeta, central Italy, where it was invented, and that pizza is even referenced in the Aeneid. Instead, be charmed by their knowledge of what it was like in Ancient Rome, the Harlem Renaissance, or the Disco Age. That is, if you expect to get out with your neck intact.
3. Are you cool with being blood-bait?
This is a big one, and you better decide quick: are you okay with being a walking bloodbag? If not, I refer you to number 1, in which case you better come up with a reason why your blood is toxic to vamps. If you’re cool with it, though, it could actually prove handy, like it does in Vampire Academy and The Vampire Diaries, where it heals wounds and even increases the bond between two people. (And odds are if you’re in a Vampiric society, you’re going to get injured now and again.)
4. Pick a vampire type and don’t stray.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are two types of vampires: those who want to be good, and those who love being bad. To survive in a world of bloodsuckers, you have to decide where your allegiance lies…and do your best not to stray, because that just complicates things, and increases your chances of NOT surviving by a solid 60%. Learn from Sookie Stackhouse from The Southern Vampire Series, people: choosing the bad guy halfway through the journey is a recipe for disaster.
5. Be really good at keeping secrets.
When you join a world of vampires, your old world gets left behind. Be prepared to mourn and wrestle with whether you made the right choice in the first place, but under no circumstances should you reveal the truth to anyone around you. Even if you’re in a modern world of Vampires, threats still abound. Bella did not do a great job of keeping a low profile in Twilight, and look what happened to her! (I mean, unless you want to become a vampire with an immortal vampire baby, in which case, blab all you want, just be careful the Volturi don’t come for you.)
6. People are going to try and kill you. Accept it.
Speaking of the Volturi, another important piece of info: you’re a target now. Hanging out with vampires, willingly or not, makes you one. Werewolves, witches, other vampires, demons; every creature under the sun is going to want you deader-than-undead, so don’t be stupid and think you can beat them all yourself. You’ve no doubt made allies among the vampires by now (if not lovers, like in A Discovery of Witches), so as long as you’re human yourself, use them as shields. Trust me, with pecs and abs like theirs, they can take it.
7. Sometimes, you gotta be willing to die in order to survive.
But while all of the above is going on, you have to think of two really important things: are you willing to die for them? If you’re anything like the humans in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, you’re willing to sacrifice everything you’ve got—including your life and soul—in order to save them, knowing you might not come back. If that doesn’t appeal to you, I refer you back to #1: blend in until you can find a moment to escape, or an ally who wants to help you, and then, run.
8. Be willing to become one yourself.
And the second question is, of course: do you want to be a vampire yourself? Come to think of it, how did you end up in this pickle in the first place? Was it a curiosity about the mysteries of life you couldn’t explain, like in Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld? Was it a hunger for passion that your human existence could never provide, like in A Quick Bite, by Lynsay Sands? Have you actually wanted this all along and this survival guide has just been a waste of your time? Well, in that case, just find your vampire soul-mate and join the party.
We’ve been waiting for you.