I've loved books since I was a young kid, but I credit Anne Rice and this series of books, with fueling my passion for reading when I was a teenager.
I first heard of IWTV when word got out that it was being made into a movie starring Tom Cruise. Since I've obviously been a book nerd all my life, I thought Man, I want to read that book before the movie comes out. So I did, and it blew me away! I had never read anything like it. It was scary, and sexy and incredibly compelling. As soon as I finished, I went straight to the public library for the sequel, The Vampire Lestat. This was the first series of adult books that I got hooked on. I read one after the other, staying up late at night, my nose in a book.
When I first read Twilight, I pictured Edwards as Tom Cruise's Lestat and thought Well this doesn't make sense at all. Then I realized the vampires in contemporary fiction have shifted into heart throbs who don't want to hurt the humans they fall in love with. Don't get me wrong, I do love that first Twilight book but it's completely different. Anne Rice's vampires are the real deal to me (although I realize they are a different incarnation than the "original" vampires in the time of Dracula.)
If you like newer vampire fiction, give these a try. You won't be disappointed!