One subject that I have not really broached yet, but that I also think is very important, is the vampire's prey. It shows a lot of character in the vampire that there is even a preference and it is yet another characteristic that makes them seem more human. It also gives a reader an idea of the vampire's personality.
In all the books we have read so far that have a vampire character (and also many books that we have not been required to read) the vampire seems to have a preference in their prey. The vampires are going after what they desire but this is not to say that they will not take anyone; it is, after all, their food. But given the choice vampires seem to have a preference, just as humans have preference or favorite food. A human might prefer to eat pasta while a vampire might prefer a healthy young woman.
We witness this in the current novel we are reading when Dracula seems to prefer beautiful young women. He preys on and finally "kills" Lucy and later Harker witnesses him stalking his next victim, a beautiful young woman. In her journal Mina describes her observation of who she will later know as Dracula:
"I was looking at a very beautiful girl... a tall, thin man, with a beaky nose and black moustache and bointed beard, who was also observing the pretty girl." Dracula (pg. 155)
Once Dracula is being hunted by the men his pursuits are then turned towards Mina. This idea of the male vampire stalking and feeding on the beautiful, innocent woman seems very typical; a man lusting after a woman. The lust that is brought into the story through the pursuit of feminine beauty seems to be a trend in many vampire novels. Vampires, blood, and sex all seem to intertwine with each other. What the reader must keep in mind is that the sexual tension between man and woman that Stoker presents here is still socially acceptable. This is not always the case.
In Carmilla we also see examples of this idea of the connection of blood and lust. La Fanu takes a much more unorthodox approach to the idea by making Carmilla appear to lust after another female. Even though this idea would not be socially acceptable in the time Carmilla was written, it doesn't mean that it was not intriguing at the time.
The vampire that really grabs my attention is Lucy with her children prey. I do not think Stoker is going for an idea as perverse as Lucy lusting after children; rather he is showing that Lucy desires children and is expressing her maternal instincts that she had in her human life. Just as Dracula must consume his desires because that seems to be the only way for him to express himself, so must Lucy.