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'Twilight' Craze Inspires Manuals For Toothy Teens

GUY RAZ, host:

And now to the main event, a fight between two groups of enemies who've been at each other's throats for centuries.

(Soundbite of fighting)

RAZ: We're talking about vampires versus werewolves. But these days, you're more likely to encounter them behaving a little different.

(Soundbite of film, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon")

Mr. ROBERT PATTINSON (Actor): (As Edward Cullen) You're my only reason to stay alive, if that's what I am.

Mr. TAYLOR LAUTNER (Actor): (As Jacob Black) Bella, I won't ever hurt you, I promise.

Ms. KRISTEN STEWART (Actress): (As Bella Swan) You're sort of beautiful.

RAZ: These clips are from the latest "Twilight" movie called "New Moon" - it's out on Friday. And if you're not familiar with the "Twilight" series, roughly speaking, it's about love struck teens and their forbidden romances with deadly vampires and werewolves.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself waking up next to a vampire or a werewolf, or find that you've become one, there are two new self-help guides to get you through the trauma.

Joe Garden wrote "The New Vampire's Handbook," and Bob Powers is a co-author of "The Werewolf's Guide to Life." Gentlemen, welcome to the both of you.

Mr. JOE GARDEN (Author, "The New Vampire's Handbook"): Hello.

Mr. BOB POWERS (Co-Author, "The Werewolf's Guide to Life"): Thank you. It's good to be here.

RAZ: Joe, first to you: the new "Twilight" movie coming out pits dreamy vampires against hunky werewolves in this battle for the hearts of teenage girls across America. Now, how do hairy werewolves stand a chance against the smooth and debonair vampires?

Mr. GARDEN: Realistically speaking, they don't stand much of a chance at all because vampires have the powers of hypnosis and flawless skin, sort of a translucent appeal or translucent look to them.

RAZ: They're much better looking.

Mr. GARDEN: Very good looking, and that's by selection, generally speaking, because a vampire chooses who it's going to turn into a vampire. Werewolves do it indiscriminately. They don't care who they turn into other werewolves.

RAZ: Bob Powers, werewolves have been sort of playing second fiddle to vampires for most of recorded history. Are we witnessing a kind of a werewolf turnaround, a sort of a paradigm shift, if you will?

Mr. POWERS: They seem to be rising in the public eye certainly, and that doesn't exactly appeal to werewolves because an important part of a werewolf's survival is secrecy and keeping a low profile.

RAZ: And these books address some of the common misconceptions about vampires and werewolves and their culture that, you know, admittedly, we in the MSM, the mainstream media, have perpetuated. Bob Powers, your book busts the myth about the silver bullets.

Mr. POWERS: Yes, bullets kill werewolves.

RAZ: Not silver bullets, they don't have to be silver bullets?

Mr. POWERS: No, they don't have to be silver.

RAZ: And Joe Garden, I learned from your book something I didn't know about vampires - that they actually have a compulsion to count things, like the Count.

Mr. GARDEN: Right. The Count is a very

Mr. POWERS: Or a rain man.

Mr. GARDEN: Both of those things - Rain Man, obviously, was not a vampire.

Mr. POWERS: He was not.

Mr. GARDEN: The Count - happy 40th birthday to Sesame Street, by the way - but that said, the Count is a very offensive stereotype to vampires. In the prewritten times, there were so few vampires, there was no vampire community. The vampires that were able to keep themselves alive were the ones that were able to - they were good counters. They would actually keep themselves occupied by counting the same sort of stack of seeds over and over again.

The best counters were able to keep their minds focused, and those that couldn't count or, you know, were bad counters would go mad with boredom and walk into the sunlight.

RAZ: If you will, in 15 seconds or less - we'll start with Joe Garden - tell me why vampires are better than werewolves?

Mr. GARDEN: Vampires, they're smart, they're alive, they're beautiful. The only real disadvantage is that they excrete through their feet. And even with a number of tube socks, you can change through - you can change tube socks any number of times during the day and that problem is eradicated, so - and also far less messy.

RAZ: Bob Powers, werewolves: why are they better than vampires? Fifteen seconds or less.

Mr. POWERS: They're human. They are not corpses. They are not trying to murder their neighbors in order to sustain themselves. They are contributing citizens to society who simply have a medical condition that they have to deal with.

RAZ: Bob Powers, co-author of "The Werewolf's Guide to Life," and Joe Garden helped write "The New Vampire's Handbook." They joined me from NPR New York.

Gentlemen, thank you so much.

Mr. GARDEN: Thank you.

Mr. POWERS: Thank you.

(Soundbite of song, "Werewolves of London")

Mr. WARREN ZEVON (Musician): (Singing) I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's, gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein. Werewolves of London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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