Sookie Stackhouse novels/Southern Vampire Mysteries - Charlaine Harris
The character Bill Compton is introduced in Book 1 of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, called Dead Until Dark. Bill Compton is a vampire who lived his human life during the American Civil War. He was made vampire when returning from battle by a lonely woman. She offered him food and clothing and then made him vampire.
During his human life Bill was married and had children. He was never able to go back to his family. In the beginning of his vampire life, Bill and his maker live a life of savages, killing and drinking the blood of humans on their every whim. But after a while Bill tires of this life, feeling that living that way was making him into something he didn't want to be.
Fast forward to modern times, and vampires have "come out of the coffin". The Japanese have invented a synthetic blood and vampires feel that it is the perfect time to reveal themselves. Bill Compton decides to 'mainstream' and try to live among humans with the help of the synthetic blood, called True Blood. He moves back to Bon Temps, Louisiana, where he is originally from and meets waitress Sookie Stackhouse. The books take off from there and chronicle Bill's new life with Sookie as his muse.
If you haven't checked out the Sookie Stackhouse novels or True Blood on HBO I highly suggest it!