I'm currently reading the newest (and sadly, the final) novel by Octavia E. Butler, called Fledgling. It's about a race of vampires called the Ina, and their young "experiment" Shori, who discovers that thanks to genetic engineering, she is the first black vampire.
When Ms. Butler died in February, KCRW's Bookworm replayed an interview from Fall 2005, just after the publication of the novel. She talked about how writers mine their lives for material, and in that work, you learn who you are. The host, Michael Silverblatt, asked her about the complexity of morality, and I thought about those two things together: becoming more and more yourself as you age, and at the same time accepting more and more moral ambiguity. Or maybe you have the opportunity to discover more empathy. I can't quite figure it out yet. I'm young, and idealistic.
I also encourage folks to listen to the Bookworm show, because I do a killer impression of Michael Silverblatt, and it's so far gone to waste since no one I hang out with can appreciate it. Also enjoyable, is the fact that Ms. Butler sounds exactly like Project Runway's Tim Gunn. Make it work, vampires!