March 10, 2017 at 11:01 AM EST

The CW’s hit eight-season saga The Vampire Diaries may be ending Friday, but for those fans who aren’t ready to say goodbye, you can keep a piece of the series on your bookshelf. The upcoming book companion, The Vampire Diaries: Unlocking the Secrets of Mystic Falls is sure to satisfy your craving for all things TVD until you’re as old as the Salvatores.

While you’ll have to wait until the book goes on sale September 27, EW is exclusively revealing the preface, courtesy of Damon Salvatore himself, Ian Somerhalder, along with some images featured in the book.

Excerpt from The Vampire Diaries: Unlocking the Secrets of Mystic Falls

Preface by Ian Somerhalder

WHAT A JOURNEY IT HAS BEEN! My relationship with The Vampire Diaries is the longest I’ve ever had, having now spanned a generation, and it has ultimately put me in touch with the world more than I could have ever imagined. I love the relationship I have with Paul Wesley (with whom I’ve spent 250 percent more time in the last seven years than I have with my own brother), who has become my literal brother at this point. I love the relationships I have with Julie Plec, Kevin Williamson, Mark Pedowitz, Peter Roth, and all the teams at the network. I remember the exact moment I understood what we had in The Vampire Diaries. We were in London, it was December 2009, about a year after Twilight had come out and before we had started airing in the UK. We were in a hotel in Soho where hundreds and hundreds of people were standing outside, waiting for us to come out. We were basically blocked in by people on either side of the hotel, and for safety reasons, we were escorted through the back doors and shoved into a minivan. At one point, a fan saw us through the window and that prompted a hysteria of people following our van. I could see the fans’ joy, happiness, smiles, and wide-open eyes and hear their screams. One of the heads of Warner Bros. International said, “The only time I ever saw anything like this was many years ago when the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 was here.” I remember looking at Paul and saying, “Wow, this is gonna be one helluva ride!”

In one sense, you could say we were lucky, though luck is really the meeting of opportunity and preparation. After watching how Twilight and True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have affected audiences, I recognize that we struck at the right time with a genre series that was sexy and fun. For some reason, there is such an allure to a character who is sexy, yet dangerous—a creature that is beautiful, yet can kill you. It’s fear and death and sexuality—all contained within these forbidden love stories—that appeals to audiences and creates an allure we feast on.

It has really been beautiful watching the core “family” of The Vampire Diaries, the cast and crew consisting of about one hundred thirty people, grow as artists and individuals. Because we work twelve to fifteen hours a day on this show, we see each other more than we see our own families. We live and work together, and there is a shared mutual respect and love—literally across every plane. I’ve watched people come in as production assistants on the set and become unit production managers. People who were running the show on the ground level have moved up. There have been so many jumps up the ladder that have changed people’s careers and lives, opportunities that have arisen because we are so tight-knit and because the studio, the network, Julie, and Kevin have given us the ability to do it. It is really an amazing thing to see.

I never dreamed I would sign on for a seventh season. Signing a standard six-year deal is nervewracking in and of itself, because it’s very difficult to look six years into the future. Now I am going into the eighth season on a different level, as a director. Paul and I are both directing now, which is really a testament to our desire to work hard and continue telling the story. Right now I am focused on making season eight amazing and so is the entire Vampire Diaries family.

Of course, without the audience, without the fans, none of this would ever have flown. So to the audience who watches the show, I say, thank you! Thank you for allowing us to fail and succeed, sometimes in the same breath, for so many years, with so much support and love.

 

The final episode of The Vampire Diaries airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
type
TV Show
seasons
7
Genre
run date
09/15/11-03/10/17
Network
Complete Coverage

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