Vampire's Strieber Bites Again
September 28, 2001

by Sci-Fi Wire
A news service of the Sci-Fi Channel

Whitley Strieber told SCI FI Wire that he chose to write The Last Vampire, the long-awaited sequel to his novel The Hunger, in order to discover how his relationship to the material—especially the central character of Miriam Blaylock—changed over the 20 years between books. “I've matured a lot since I first wrote [The Hunger],” Strieber said in an interview. “I guess I wanted to see how it would feel to return to Miriam's world and how she had changed, the subtle ways in which she might have matured herself, although in her context 20 years is really not much time.”

The Last Vampire finds Miriam, the gorgeous creature of the night, seeking a man with whom she can procreate before she loses her immortality. Enter one Paul Ward, vampire hunter extraordinaire. Miriam becomes as obsessed with him as he becomes with her. “I didn't allow her to change too much, or I didn't find her too much changed,” Strieber said of Miriam, whose perfect man will need to have undead blood running through his system. “She's a little wiser, a little richer, a little more desperate for novelty. She's also a very skilled liar. People keep writing me, 'Well, you said in The Hunger that this had happened to her father and now, in The Last Vampire, you write that [happened to her father]. The two books don't work together.' There's more to learn about Miriam's personality and the reason she would inject false pasts into various narratives about her. That will come out in the future. I returned to it, ultimately, out of love for it. I always loved The Hunger and The Wolfen, ever since I wrote them, and she drew me back.”

Beyond promoting The Last Vampire—out now in hardcover from Pocket Books, with the film rights “in flux”—Strieber keeps busy with a radio program called Dreamland, which the author hosts each Saturday night with his wife, Anne. Strieber also oversees his official website, which boasts 10 million hits a month. Much of the site is currently devoted to news about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, though there's still room enough for a story about a wave of UFO sightings in Norway.

Returning to The Last Vampire, Strieber promises that he won't let another 20 years pass before picking up Miriam's trail of blood. “That might be a risk, for me not for her,” said Strieber, who would be 75 years old if he were to wait until 2021. “I'm writing another novel about a vampire called Vampire Dawn that has a connection to Miriam. It's not entirely about Miriam. I've got a new vampire in my world, who I've been learning about and introducing myself to and trying to survive writing about.”

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