Wednesday, June 09, 2010

From Vlad to RPatts

by Miriam

Around these parts, everyone knows that my love of vampires long precedes the Twilight phenomenon. Robert Pattinson was probably still in diapers when I was falling in love with Anne Rice’s Lestat and I remember then-starting-out agents at DGLM rolling their eyes at me when I suggested that they fill their lists with vampire books. One who took me seriously was Jim McCarthy and he’s got the delightful and talented Richelle Mead and her Vampire Academy series, among others, to show for it.

Thing is, it made sense for people to be skeptical. Before Stephenie Meyer re-energized the vampire tale with her sparkly bloodsuckers, this was a tired literary standby. As Meg Cabot reminds us vampires have been around longer even than Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, and, throughout the ages, they have preyed on our imaginations precisely because they traffic in the two most powerful human preoccupations: sex and death.

I’ve been hearing a lot about The Passage, Justin Cronin’s contribution to vampire lit (the description of which makes me think of a cross between 28 Days Later and The Road), including Stephen King’s over-the-top praise of the novel. It’s expected to be one of the summer’s blockbusters. We publishing people are forever trying to predict trends (a fool’s game in the best of times), and we at DGLM often ask ourselves whether the vampire mania is subsiding or getting ready for yet another resurgence. Is it too late to be signing up yet another vampire novel? Or am I right in thinking that this genre will, ahem, never die?
What do you all think?

10 comments:

  1. Oh, those creatures will never die. Things tend to cycle, so just when it seems vampires are on the way out, a book like The Historian comes along. I don't write vampires, but I'll always read a good vampire book (like Richelle's).

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  2. I agree with Kristi; Vamp's will never die (pardon the pun), but things are cyclical. It may lesson in popularity soon with some other genre filling the void.
    Something like paranormal thrillers such as in the style of Premonitions or Sixth Sense.

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  3. I think editors and agents will get sick of vampires, and we'll see fewer properties for a while. But the public will always be ready for more vampire stories, as soon as the gatekeepers are ready to look at them again.

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  4. I certainly hope they won't, er, die any time soon. I think the genre (or sub genres) are spreading out more. Instead of everything being dumped into "paranormal romance" they're spread to urban fantasy, even some regency-type stories now.

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  5. I think good writing will sell any concept, regardless of so called trends. Vampires, werewolves, aliens, opera singers... whatever you're writing about, write it well and someday it will be available in bookstores. You may sell other projects in the meantime, but a good book always sells itself.

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  6. I'm hoping it doesn't die (or perhaps I should say "meet a second death") anytime soon, I'm very nearly ready to query my vampire novel! (No sparkling here, btw, just some tasty pulse pounding vampiric fun.)

    Rebecca
    http://rebeccatlittle.blogspot.com/

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  7. I'm so glad you mentioned Anne Rice. People seem to think the trend began with Meyer. But Anne Rice re-started the genre with her Lestat books. Most of the vampire books/films of the last two decades follow mythology invented by Rice (the sad/good vamp who doesn't feed on humans vs. the human-feasters.) She should get more credit.

    But I think the Rice-derived books have pretty much worn themselves out. I'd love to see something that isn't derivative--as fresh as Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" was when it came out.

    I'm not sure that can be done with blood-sucking fiends (with a nod to Chris Moore, whose vamps pre-date Meyer and have some original quirks as well as being hilarious)

    How about something brand new? Sexy garden gnomes, perhaps?

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  8. Like everyone else said, vamps are immortal. What I'm predicting is that when people get sick of the sparkly love interests, half the new vampire books will try to humanize them even more and the other half will make them scary again.

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  9. I hope vampires are not going out of style, my best friend is working on a novel she described as the female version of I am Legend.

    Vampires will never go out of style. I predict that the current YA vampire trend with touchy/feely mushy hearted vampires is about to die a quick death due to the market having become vastly over saturated.

    That should create a demand for more traditional blood sucking vampires like the vampires in Berserk, The Passage and The Strain.

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  10. There are so many potential iterations of the theme that the genre will never die but rise again and again. Let's face it, the thirst for vamps can never be satisfied.

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