Vampire mythology has several common constructs in literature, television shows, and movies. As a rule, vampires are humans who have been converted to vampirism by either a bite or exchange of blood. The moment of transformation kicks off with the infected human's death. While vampires have a varying degree of humanity depending on the writer(s), they've remained intolerant of sunlight, drink blood, possess inhuman strength, have poor impulse control, and often become inappropriately enamored with the worst love match possible. Because vampires are fictional, there has always been some variation in the details, particularly around how they are converted and how much they enjoy hunting humans. In my own reading I've noticed a trend: authors are drastically deviating from the norm.
Why the variation? Why are there rules if people just break them?
Because it's more interesting. Because there are more options. If we stuck to the same rules every time, there would only be so many options, and that gets old really fast. I personally enjoy it when an author takes liberties and changes vampires to fit the world they've created. The flavors have become very interesting and make me wonder what the vampire will look like in twenty years.
Do you prefer it when authors stick to tradition, or do you like it when an author comes up with a legend of their own? What is your favorite flavor of vampire?