Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, March 30, 2009

Can I Get a Ruling: Are Vampires Finished?

We have seen quite the string of vampire novels in publishing the last few years. From Anne Rice to THE HISTORIAN to TWILIGHT, every time I have heard someone in the publishing business say the whole vampire thing had run its course... along came another successful vampire book to prove that it had not.

America apparently loves vampires! And I'm still getting more vampire novels in my Inbox than perhaps any other genre/trope.

What do you think? Is the public still ready for fresh takes on vampirism? Or is it time to break out the garlic?







195 comments:

bryngreenwood said...

I don't necessarily want to run a stake through the vampire genre, but please, could it take a vacation? Vampires do hibernate, right?

Anonymous said...

Kid's still love it, and look for it.

Jeremy Robb said...

Personally, I don't think Vampire stories will ever die. They were classic tales through history, and during the Victorian era they became somewhat erotic in nature. Put the together, and you have a draw for a story. Granted, it still needs to be well written...

Anonymous said...

LOL. Three years ago, I had an idea for a vampire novel. My agent said vampires were passe so I didn't develop it...

Like with many subjects, I think it's all in the way you present it.

other lisa said...

I'd like to think they are dead, but probably not.

In the meantime, here is a way to understand the entire Twilight series inone page! (this was all over the Twitterverse the other day so apologies if you've seen it. Still cracks me up!)

Jennifer Roland said...

I have always loved vampires--since I was a little girl. I have seen the genre ebb and flow, and we're due for another ebb soon.

The problem is that when it ebbs in one form of media (e.g., books), it flows in another (e.g., movies). It can make the genre seem completely overdone to the casual vampire fan but insanely limited to the voracious fan.

Beth Dolgner said...

I think good vampire novels will always be in demand...emphasis on the word "good." Bram Stoker ignited something in our imaginations that has proven to be timeless.

panhistoria said...

I've been tired of vampires for about ten years now. It's kind of disgusting that the most popular romantic trope is now dead people risen and sucking the blood out of your neck. It's so wrong and in oh so many ways.

Jennifer Hendren said...

Personally, I never get tired of vampires, but a friend and I were discussing it just yesterday and agreed we'd like to see something other than the classic effeminate vamp. Instead of frilly linen shirts with leather pants, how about some work boots and jeans for once? Is it wrong to make them a little more...manly? (g) Perhaps have them turn when they're past being prepubescent boys for once?

Just a thought... (g)

Rachel said...

I was sick of vampire novels until Twilight came out and then, suddenly, it was like a whole new world...all over again. Like anonymous @ 11:49, I think it's all in the way you present it. Saying that, after something like Twilight, I think the next vampire novel would have to be very fresh and different to catch people's attention for long.

Rose Pressey said...

I still enjoy vampire novels. Probably always will.

Crystal said...

Vampire books aren't dead, that doesn't mean that I'm not sick of seeing them on every book shelf. Seriously authors, go to another genre already! Perhapssomething super natural that isn't about blood-sucking romance?

Dara said...

They will probably go through cycles. I said their dead because to me, they are. I've not been one for vampire stories though (even though I did read Twilight to see what the hype was about).

Kristi said...

The Historian was a great book! While I have no desire to write a vampire novel myself, I do love reading about them. I believe people will always be fascinated with the concepts of death and immortality, and vampires are often portrayed as highly sexual as well, which gets a whole other set of people reading. Most books out there are just familiar topics with a fresh twist anyway. Long live vampires! :)

ella144 said...

Stories about immortals have been popular for about 5000 years now, right? Apparently that trend isn't ending anytime soon.

Debra Mullins said...

First there was Frank Langella. Then Buffy and Angel. That about does it for me and find myself avoiding vampire books that are out there these days and have no desire to write one.

Dara said...

Oops. Spelling error. "They're"
not "their." :P

Alice said...

I love vamps! Have loved them since I was 5 and watched cheesy late-night horror with my dad. Can't get enough of (well-written) vamp books.

Anonymous said...

I don't even read them but I want them to go away. Then again, maybe that means nothing really is ever dead, which is a good thing, especially in this grim economy (or, the perception of this grim economy)

davidf said...

Unfortunately, I don't think the vampire genre will ever die. Can we just start referring to it as the "ironic genre"? (Or is that name in use for something else?)

Michael Pickett said...

I personally don't do the whole vampire thing unless its a new take on the subject like in "I Am Legend" (the book, not the movie; I am fully aware that since the book was published about fifty years ago, it's hard to call it a "new" take, but I still think the idea is fresh, which is more than I can say for a lot of other stuff written fifty years ago). I think that if people start publishing Twilight ripoffs, people will start to think that they are tired of vampires, but they're really just tired of Twilight ripoffs. If someone can use vampires intelligently, I think they can go on forever. After all, they've been around for hundreds of years. And can't they live, or unlive, forever?

Anonymous said...

If you look at the NYT Children's bestseller list, especially in the series category...you'll see various vampire books listed...but here's the thing...they are all different. From Twilight to the Vampire Academy series, to the House of Night books to the Vampire Diaries....they all have their own mythology and history....so as long as it's different, it will sell.

and in my opinion no one wrote it better than Joss Whedon.

behlerblog said...

Reading about your over-stuffed inbox of vampy stories reminds me of the days of The DaVinci Code. I actually put up a blurb in our submission guidelines promising that all like-minded stories would be fed to my beagle. Oy,, what a headache.

Elissa M said...

I would like to see vampires become scary again. Most of what I've seen lately has dropped the creepy, undead, blood-thirsty stuff and made them all romantic and full of angst. I want my vampires BAD.

Margaret Yang said...

"...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end."

I wish. Heh, heh.

Richard Kriheli said...

I actually blogged about this very topic in november of 2008. i invite all of you to give it a look and chime in as well: http://kriheli.com/2008/11/the-bastardization-of-the-bloodsucker/

i personally think the whole mythos is lost on the current generation.

Ash D. said...

I voted undead.

If people are writing stories with the intention of sponging off previously successful vampire stories, then that's just totally lame, in my humble opinion. I liked Twilight but I certainly do not want to read a hundred more angsty, teen romance driven vampire stories that only came about after being inspired by said bestseller.

But, if someone writes a unique and compelling vampire story simply because they love vampires? More power to them and to fans of the genre!

Chuck H. said...

I like stories about immortals but the only vampire story other than Bram Stoker's I liked was Vampirella.

Scott said...

I said "dead", only because I kind of think they need to die for a bit. When a genre reaches the WB, it's time for everyone to step back and evaluate what's going on.

In a similar vein (yuk yuk), Zombies need to stay down, too. But this is mostly in film, where the metaphor is being done to undeath. I vote everyone just give it a break until World War Z is released in 2010. Maybe by then someone will have found a way to make them fresh again. And that goes for you, too, Romero.

As a rabid horror fan, I love that the myths are perpetuating. I just find the abuse of them to be desensitizing. Vampires used to be scary, now they're dreamy and kind of irritating. Makes me pine for the days of George Hamilton!

Ash D. said...

other lisa -

Thanks for posting that link for the "condensed" Twilight series! I hadn't seen that.

I enjoyed the series (with the exception of the last book) but that thing was TOO funny! Especially the "Book 4" part. It literally made me laugh out loud.

Thanks :)

Mary Caffrey said...

Portions of a wildly funny vampire novel are read every week in my writer's critique workshop.

I live to hear more of this work, though I never was particularly fond of vampires, myself. This vampire character sets a new bar for blood suckers. Therefore, I'm with the group that appreciates fresh approaches,or transfusions, to the genre.

Ink said...

I am a vampire. And dead sexy. So, really, this whole vampire romance trope is really helping me score big with the chicks. Have you seen those "Bite Me Here" tattoos on girls' necks? Aces.

Jordan Summers said...

Considering the popularity of True Blood, Blood Ties, Moonlight, and Twilight, I don't think they'll be going anywhere for a while.

I know that vamps have been done to 'death', but I'm still looking for a very specific type of vamp book that blends super dark with a little romance. Thus far, it hasn't been written. There are some books that have come close, but didn't quite hit the mark.

Ink said...

I joke, I joke...

(It's funnier if you hear it with the Transylvanian accent)

Jo said...

I don't mind as long as they are well-written and I have found there are some new takes on the whole myth. What I am tired of is the whole tragic, romantic undead dude approach.The vamp with soul. We need some scary bad guys. And throw some heroines with fire in there too. Enough of girls being rescued all the time.

Marilyn Peake said...

I think that, oftentimes when someone crafts a well-written book in any genre on any theme, the entire genre/theme appears to be resurrected. Was it ever dead in the first place? Obviously not. Readers just get tired of the same old, same old.

Mira said...

I imagine they'll continue to be hot for awhile. Vampires have become an icon for rebellion, power and outsider status in the 14-24 set.

Then someone will hit a new mythos that will speak to kids, or everyone, and vampires will fade for a time.

Only to rise again....

Roland said...

My horror and fantasy trend predictions for the next 5 years goes like this:

Epic fantasy set in a post-apocalypse world not unlike The Road.

Eastern Vampires replace Western Vampires. The Indian rakshasa and the Malaysian penanggalan are ripe, and hey with the success of Slumdog Millionaire I foresee creative companies (publishing or film) looking to Asia for new spice. The first writer there will make bank.

Marilyn Peake said...

That reminds me that, right before the first Harry Potter book was published, there was news everywhere that children's novels were really hard to sell. It took two years before that novel was picked up in the United States. At the time, J.K. Rowling's literary agent told her not to quit her day job as a professor.

T. Anne said...

As much as I would like Vampires to take flight for a good long while, it seems they've embedded themselves as a literary mainstay. I think the other commenters are correct in stating that presentation is key.

Mira said...

Oh. I wanted to add that as a - shoot, what's the word I'm looking for - Joseph Campbell - archetype (I had to look it up.)

Vampires as an archetype.

They're a powerful archetype. Powerful seducers who feed off defenseless victims until the victim becomes nothing, or turns into a predator themselves. The only real way to kill them is to piece their heart (i.e. show them they have a heart.)

It's always been a sexual archtype.

That's my interpretation, anyway. But archtypes are complex.

Vieva said...

I've been told that to "break in" I should write a vampire teen novel.

Clearly *the masses* don't think it's dead, if they think that would sell.

(and no, I'm not writing it! There's no way I could do one well, and I refuse to put that much effort into something I know AHEAD of time is a stinker! (as opposed to all the stinkers I didn't realize stunk ahead of time (not that I write those, of course (help I'm caught in parenthetical statements and can't get out!))))

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised by the vote total saying vampires are still viable. Really? I see so many books piled on one another at bookstores that I can only imagine the volume of the ones that aren't finding an agent or getting sold.

Nathan, I know it's a "Ruling" question for us, but can you offer some insight into what you or other agents are feeling when you receive these queries? I know it's all in the execution, but are agents reluctant to take them on right now?

Kristan said...

I've NEVER been into vampires -- they just don't do it for me -- but I loved the Twilight series (yes, despite all its flaws). And when I started telling people that, they started telling me about all the other vampire books they love. So whether or not I/we like it, there's obviously something going on there. Though I agree with bryngreenwood (comment #1)'s sentiment: let's at least cycle them in an out, eh?

Martin said...

Heck, I thought those suckers (ow...that hurt) were dead in the 80's. My friend, who at the time had several vampire novels under her belt with intention of stopping, pelted me with strawberries whenever I said so, making me look like some vampires with realllly bad dental work had been gnawing on me.

In any case, chances are they will continue. I seem to recall reading somewhere (Publishers Weekly, maybe?) that several vamp deals had just gone down, so they're here for a while yet, to be sure.

S. Stockman said...

I think vampires appeal to too many human fantasies (sex, eternal youth, physical/mental/magical power, danger) to ever go away entirely. I heard a theory that werewolves (with the rise of the upcoming New Moon film) will be the next supernatural craze, but who knows?

These folks made a hilarious parody of the Twilight movie, if you haven't seen it yet :)
www.thehillwoodshow.com

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

I think feelings vary greatly among agents, but at the very least everyone is looking for a very fresh take.

S. Stockman said...

drat.

hillywood, not hillwood.

Diana said...

I agree with Debra - since the sad ending of Buffy (and the less sad ending of Angel), I have zero interest in vampires.

But I do think that anything which takes the attention of tweens/teens away from their im-ing and focuses it on a book must have some merit. Therefore, not (un)dead yet.

Douglas L. Perry said...

Given the current wave of popularity we're going to need more than garlic. Time for sunlight and wooden stakes.

reader said...

This is perhaps the funniest wrap-up of the final Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, complete with pictures of Rob Pattinson.

(warning: there is a few bad words -- Nathan, feel free to delete this post if you think it's inappropriate, you know I don't want to offend you):)

http://community.livejournal.com/lion_lamb/1651773.html?page=1#comments

Jen C said...

I don't think they will ever die completely. I have been catching up on True Blood over the weekend, and I was actually thinking about what it was about the vampire genre that is so eternally appealing. Not so much the watered down, YA version, but the scary and dangerous type. There's just something about them that is fascinating to us.

I predict that the genre will go out of fashion in the near future for a few years, given the saturation of the market right now. (My bookshop has a separate vampire section!). And then someone will write something new and fresh and it will come back in again...

Emily Ruth said...

personally, I'm quite sick of reading about vampires.
Once there's a really good vampire book (i.e. twilight) there can be one or two other good ones, but please, STOP THERE.
I want to read original stories, and vampires are no longer original.

Alexa said...

Having just finished Stargazer by Claudia Gray, I have to vote undead. Vampires are just too attractive!

L.L. said...

The Underworld movies also helped in revamping vampires. And as long as someone can accomplish a delicious new twist on an ages old storyline/genre, then I'm willing and ready to read. Or buy a ticket.

Dharma Kelleher said...

The vampire has become a deep archetype of the unrestrained id or ego. Consequently, vampire fiction always manages to rise from the grave when given new blood. That is, when a writer takes the undead villain/hero in a new direction.

I think that's why Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire novels are so popular, as was the Blade comic book/movie series.

Perhaps next we will see vampires genetically engineering dinosaurs, only to learn that they are merely programs in a computer-generated dream world. On second thought, maybe not.

Janet said...

Please, God, let it end!

Anonymous said...

I've loved vampires since I was a a preteen, though I've read neither Anne Rice, nor Twilight. I did read the Anita Blake novels, which were great before they became porn. If I found something that different again, with a great voice, I'd pick it up.

But as a general rule, enough with the vampries already. I'm sick of hearing about them, and between the books, movies and tv shows it's impossible to keep anything straight. And, oh the titles!

If you're writing a vampire book, do yourself a favor, and think of a completely original, unique title (i.e. nothing with light, night, blood, dark, darkness, shadows, or bite).

Teri said...

Vampire novels are classics. And remaking the movies seems to spark new interest.

Deborah said...

Okay, totally giving away my age here, but when I was sixteen Christopher Lee as Dracula was just the sexiest thing ever in movies. Over the years the interest in vampires hasn't gone away. Anne Rice wasn't the first to make vampires popular. The TV show Dark Shadows came along before she did, and all the Dark Shadow movies, and the remade series. I've been watching vampire movies and reading vampire books since 1962 when I saw my first Christopher Lee movie.

Evan Goer said...

My co-worker just wandered by and I showed him this post. "Are vampires finished? Not if my wife's 'to read' pile is any indication."

Anonymous said...

Saying Vampires are dead is like saying fantasy died with Tolkien.

Morgan

Kimber An said...

My problem isn't with vampires in general. My problem is with the novels which are knock-offs of bestselling vampire novels, like TWILIGHT. Enough already!

To use TWILIGHT as an example, I wish the people responsible for the knock-offs getting onto the shelves would understand that TWILIGHT is not a huge bestseller simply because it has vampires in it. TWILIGHT is a huge bestseller because the author intuited the emotional needs of her target audience and fulfilled those needs in a powerful way through story. She could have just as easily used any kind of not-quite-human character and had the same end result.

Therein lies the lesson I'm trying to put into practice in my own writing. Forget the trends and just a write the best doggone story you can. If it's got vampires, fine.
;)

Jaye Wells said...

I sure as heck hope they aren't finished. Of course, I'm biased. My own contribution to the cannon of vampire lore debuts tomorrow. I'll let you know in a few weeks if market agrees vamps need a good staking. But I'm pretty sure the public hasn't has their fill yet.

Scott said...

Emily, your comments refreshed me. I always try and zig when the world is zagging, and love authors who do the same. Dan Simmons' The Terror not only steps outside the box, he crushes it, and it's great to learn about some new creature while at the same time fearing it for all your worth.

There are loads of legends that can be revitalized, and I get the sense that vampires are just an easy go-to for a number of pat metaphorical issues. I played with the subject m myself in my novella [called HorrorCon, available through Amazon ;^)] but I tried my best to go in a very different direction.

In fact, I long for another show like the "X-Files", that was able to bring so many different myths into the fold. "Fringe" seems to be trying to do that, as well, but the show doesn't really grab me. A book series that could go in any number of horrific directions with consistent characters would be ace, in my opinion.

adrcremer said...

Not going to die. After all, they're immortal.

JimiChanga said...

Unless we start genetically engineering every baby to be good at sports, vampires will always be popular. As long as there are teenage nerds, vampires will sell.

lynnrush said...

I don't think they will ever fade out of the scene. As long as the books have unique twists..... :-)

Jude Hardin said...

Nathan:

How is the YA horror market in general? I mean real horror, not paranormal romance. I'm working on a werewolf thing.

Rick Daley said...

I vote undead. There are plenty of ways to make a vampire tale appealing.

The story can be approached from the vampires perspective, as with Anne Rice, or from the victim's perspective, like Twilight.

The vampires are usually old, opening up story lines that are not confined to one lifetime, or one geography.

The vampire can be both the hero and the villain, making it an intriguing character.

Vampire stories have been around for hundreds of years. I just Googled "the first vampire story" and the all-knowing Internet told me that the first English version of a vampire story was published in 1819 (John Polidori's "The Vampyre"), but myths of "blood drinkers" stretch back to the ancient Babylonians. The popularity of the vampire myth has only grown since then. I see that trend continuing.

Nathan Bransford said...

jude-

Although this blog posts suggests otherwise, I don't actually trend watch and don't suggest authors do either. This is more just speculative.

Jason Crawford said...

Not dead, just lying dormant...vampire stories, dragons, were wolves, fairies, etc... these stories will never die, but sometimes you wish folks would give them a rest.

Now is one of those times.

Flemmily said...

let's face it. Anything well written has a shot. After Twilight, though, it would have to be REALLY well written.

Nerine Dorman said...

Whoops, sorry. I've been into well-written vampire fiction since the day at age 14 when I first read Annie Rice and Poppy Z. It's almost two decades later and I'm still into the genre. I'm more interested in well-realised protagonists who are not the raison d'etre of the story but form a strong part of the plot. They just happen to be vamps, that's all.

Myra said...

*I Am Legend* scared the absolute zippitydoodah out of me.

Not because of the vampires.

*Twilight* made me feel like I was falling in love for the first time.

Not because of the vampires.

It's about the power of story. People know it when they feel it, and Stephie can count millions of reasons why that's what really matters to readers(and LOL at Stephen King while she's doing it).

I agree with Kimber An...

"My problem isn't with vampires in general. My problem is with the novels which are knock-offs of bestselling vampire novels, like TWILIGHT..."

I recently tried to read another vamp book that claimed, "Fans of Twilight will LOVE this series."

Nope. Not really.

Because the vamps aren't the point. The power of story is.

Just_Me said...

Vampire stories have been good fodder for the imagination for generations, they aren't going to die off. They do need to evolve. Frankly, I'm bored of vampires. But that doesn't mean someone won't come out with a new twist that makes them exciting again.

StrugglingToMakeIt said...

In my opinion, a good story is a good story. If you tell it well, people will read it (hopefully). And besides, vampires are pretty much the greatest. I know I'm a fan...

Mercy Loomis said...

I don't believe vampire fiction will ever truly die. Like so many who have already posted, I've been a fan of it since I was a wee lass. I don't see ever NOT being a fan of it.

As long as it's written well!

I still prefer LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries to the Twilight Series. I loved Damien. Screw Stefan.

I'm particularly happy to see people wanting strong, scary, old-school vampires again. That's what I wanted too, so I wrote one. [Nathan, I'll give you the next shot if the agent I talked to on Saturday declines it. If you're interested. ;) ]

I think there are a lot of people out there like me who really like the possibilities of playing with a species made to prey on humans, and not just in the romantic sense. Please, please, please, give me something that isn't a freaking romance! I mean, I like paranormal romance. I buy a lot of it. But I want something dark! I want something visceral! And I want to not have to write it myself all the time while I wait for Kim Harrison's next book.

Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Nathan. I think that's good advice, to avoid trend watching.

Stef Kramer said...

Really now, who can grow tired of the great vampire metaphor? Desire and demise appeal to almost anyone, no matter what the spin.

Bobbi said...

78 Bloody comments and counting!

word verification: difiz

My writing group has at least one vampire novel going and it is to die for!!!!

trebou said...

I vant to drink your blood

how does that ever get broing?

Jennifer Jackson said...

Hey, Nathan:

This very question was on my mind over the weekend. I've been having a lot of editors and other agents I know tell me they are tired of the same old thing when it comes to vampires, but that they are still selling regardless. By and large many of the queries that I see in my own inbox (and there are quite a lot of vampires ones still!) don't seem to have enough of a fresh take on it.

But at the same time that editors say they are tired of seeing vampires and want something else, you read this in PW's deal column:

"Rachel Kahan at Putnam preempted Christopher Farnsworth’s debut, Blood Oath, and two subsequent novels, via Alexandra Machinist at Linda Chester, who made the major six-figure world rights deal amid multiple initial offers. The series of books centers on a vampire sworn to protect the U.S. president against supernatural threats; Putnam will publish Blood Oath in 2010, with Berkley to publish titles in paperback beginning in 2011." (from the 3/23/2009 issue)

I can only conclude that there is still a market for the right book. Like you, though, I feel the trend is not the thing to follow, here. The story needs to be powerful and well-written regardless.

Nathan Bransford said...

Thanks for weighing in, Jennifer! Couldn't agree more.

cindale said...

I absolutely hate vampires. However, I loved the Twilight series. My point is that if it's well-written or has a new angle, maybe the subject matter doesn't matter so much.

Litgirl01 said...

I'm thinking vampires are here to stay. Hmmm... perhaps I'll throw one in somewhere. Random vampire or token vampire! :-)

DebraLSchubert said...

I've never liked vampires, always thought they were stupid, and figured they would have gone the way of wide bell-bottomed jeans or polyester disco suits a long, long time ago. Shows you what the hell I know.;-)

Word ver: bardlif - sounds like the name of a vampire.

Anonymous said...

Margaret Yang - that was the funniest thing I've read in a long time:
"...and then Buffy staked Edward." The End.

Thanks!

Jen said...

Zombie books are on the rise, I've noticed. Perhaps it's time for a war of the undead. :D Zombies v. Vampires. Muwaha.

LCS249 said...

Saw a little-known Swedish movie recently (recommended by Netflix) that I thought was extraordinary. Guess others thought so, too, since it's apparently in development as an American flick now:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1139797/

Now, I don't ever have monster, vampire or horror movies in my queue, so there were other reasons Netflix recommended it, and they were right.

Roy Hayward said...

Aren't Vampires by definition in the "undead" genre?

Ok, so that was snide, but I sometimes can't help myself.

Anyway I think that all calls for the death of genre X or Y will turn out to be premature. What is really happening is that there are a flood of similar works, and the imagination is exhausted.

But as soon as someone creates a new and updated story that turns the dead genre into something compelling, we find the once dead genre rising again like Dracula from his crypt.

Anonymous said...

I like some stories with vamps - like the series by Jeaniene Frost - but when I start reading about local school kids calling the police (Boston Latin) to report vampire attacks...

something's not quite right...

:)Ash said...

What a silly question, Nathan. Everyone knows vampires can't die :)

The fact is, there will always be readers of all ages wanting a new vampire novel.

AndrewDugas said...

Vampires are like an archetype. They'll always be with us in some shape or form. Nathan only goes back to Anne Rice - what about Bram Stoker? And the Hungarian folktales before him? Zombie fiction is trying to horn in but forget it. Zombies can compete with sexy blood sucking aristocrats.

Sasha said...

vampires won't go away while the news is all about rich people sucking the US economy dry.

because the metaphor is just too obvious.

Am Riley said...

Not everyone likes vampire stories and for those folks it must seem that the genre has gone on for far too long, but for those of us who do, there's always some new delightful take on the old trope.


'Twilight' was a little too simpering for my taste. Give me Charlie Huston's 'Already Dead' series instead. Or Dean James' fussy Simon Kirby-Jones who is kind of a gay undead Miss Marple. These are definitely not books meant for kiddies.

Heather Harper said...

They are dead when a reader is not in the mood to read them. But moods change fast, especially for me, because I'm perimenopausal. I could be back in the mood for vamps before the next sunset.

I read what I like and I write what I like. And if reader x or writer x tells me I'm wasting my time on a dying pursuit, they can bite me. If x is an agent, then I would listen, ruminate, and then write a vamp novel if it is what I felt compelled to write.

And I DO NOT understand why a genre should "die for a bit" as mentioned in an earlier comment. Read what you want to read, write what you want to write, and let others do the same.

Ieva said...

I'm not a fan of the genre myself but I think that the idea of vampire tackles something very deep, connecting with the deepest hopes (and some of the deepest fears too, but the hopes come first) of humanity, so no way they're gonna end for good. They might hibernate for a while though, I wouldn't mind. But I don't think they will just now.

erinkendall said...

First time posting here. :D

I love vampires, and have been writing about them for quite some time. I do agree that it has to be fresh. I haven't read Twilight yet, but it's on my TBR pile.

I don't think vampires will ever die, but there may be up and downs, highs and lows..

Cheers,
Erin K.

Thomas Burchfield said...

Well, ahem, as I'm writing one myself though I'm not calling it that, but something else, I would say no, they're um quite "undead," so to speak, but I do get discouraged at the presence in the marketplace of so many of them.

Anonymous said...

If there are hundreds of comments about this topic, then they are undead, very undead.

allegory19 said...

I think it's all in the way you present it

I totally agree. It's a genre, like romance and sci-fi. I might get tired of reading it every now and then, but it's not dead.

And I really have to laugh at Thomas Burchfield's comment:

Well, ahem, as I'm writing one myself though I'm not calling it that, but something else I would say no, they're um quite "undead,"

Because I did the same thing with my first YA novel. I was so frustrated with the whole cliched vampire that I created my own fantasy being - and in case you're wondering, no one in the publishing world seems interested yet.

7-iron said...

voted vamps DEAD, then got this for word verification:

partichs
adv. trendy abbreviation for particularly.

Informal, as in: Taylor says she's just not that into vamps, you know, patichs, but obvs not! She's totally got a Twilight poster over her bed.

Jo said...

LCS249 said...

Saw a little-known Swedish movie recently (recommended by Netflix) that I thought was extraordinary. Guess others thought so, too, since it's apparently in development as an American flick now:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1139797/
It's called " Let the Right One in" and it's available in an english dubbed version. I actually wish they had subtitled it instead but it is an amazing vampire movie and based on a really great literary and frightening book.

Elaine said...

Dark, brooding and needy? Surely beats the 'neck' out of feeding babies!

Bitten by Books said...

Vamps are classics. BUT I think that there are enough "new" types of paranormal creatures showing up in the Paranormal Fic scene to give everybody something new or at least different to read and take a break from them.

Great poll and discussion!

Rachel

Elaine said...

Dark, brooding and needy. Must beat the 'neck' out of feeding babies!

Lea said...

As long as something fresh and different comes along, I can't see why vampire books need to have a deadline of extinction.

jimnduncan said...

I think folks here are right. The vamps have been and always will be around. Their form just changes with the times. Today it's Twilight, but tomorrow I suspect it will be a bit darker variety again. Personally, I like the darker, meaner variety. I'd go for a movie like Near Dark over Twilight any day. It seems that they've become something more of the 'familiar' instead of 'other.' Perhaps I'm looking at it wrong, and I've done no research on this mind you, but we seem to have had a gradual transition to normalizing vampires. They've been huge in the romance market, so it kind of makes sense. If you're going to have sex with them, they have to be a little more human and a bit less undead. Someone will come along with something edgier again soon, and spin the eternal vampire wheel in another direction, don't worry.

Jen C said...

7-iron said...
voted vamps DEAD, then got this for word verification:

partichs
adv. trendy abbreviation for particularly.

Informal, as in: Taylor says she's just not that into vamps, you know, patichs, but obvs not! She's totally got a Twilight poster over her bed.


I'm totally stealing that.

mrsbroccoliguy said...

My daughter is 13, loved Twilight and then hated it when it became The Big Thing (she likes to buck the trends) and she has told me she thinks Vampires are Done and Overdone. I'd like to think she's just a smidge ahead of the curve on this one.

Karen Dales, Author said...

Vampires have become their own genre.

Since the middle ages Vampires have always titillated people's imaginations. I don't think that something so ingrained into our cultural subconscious will ever be eradicated, but their popularity will wax and wane.

On a personal note, I seriously doubt that they will since my vampire novel is set to be released at the end of May. My marketing team already has 4 commercials planned and dates to film two of them so far.

Considering all the books I'm getting off of the first run are already sold (with back orders coming for more) and the book isn't even out, I think Vampires are on the rise.

Karen Dales
Author
"Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen"
Release - Summer 2009
karendales@thechosenchronicles.com
Website: http://thechosenchronicles.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenDales
Livejournal: http://karendales.livejournal.com
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/cn27xa

Loren Eaton said...

Or is it time to break out the garlic?

Only if they sparkle.

Karen Dales, Author said...

Vampires will never die from the hearts and minds of imaginative individuals. Vampires are too ingrained into our collective psyche from as far back as the middle ages.

Frankly, I think they are a genre on their own and it still sells extremely well.

I have a vampire novel coming out at the end of May and the books I bought from the first run are already sold with pre-orders occurring for more signed editions.

No. Vampires, like Santa Claus, will never go away.

Karen Dales
Author
"Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen"
Release - Summer 2009
karendales@thechosenchronicles.com
Website: http://thechosenchronicles.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenDales
Livejournal: http://karendales.livejournal.com
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/cn27xa

Diana said...

In my capacity as a librarian, I can say that every day, someone is coming in to ask if we have books in one new vampire series or another. So the interest is definitely there.

I think it's probably harder to sell a book or series to an agent or publisher, though. I'm sure the question, "And what makes your book/series unique?" is the first thing out of their mouths.

Audrianna said...

Personally, I love all things vampire, monsters, etc. Mostly because I grew up watching Bram Stoker's Dracula and other great movies that my mother ever so lovingly let me watch (which then gave me nightmares for a while there!). So I hope that they don't die because I can't get enough of them...HOWEVER! I have read my fair share of truly sucky vampire novels recently. If you're going to have them, at least write them well!

And yes, I have to admit somewhat bashfully, that I've just finished a vamp novel. It's way different from anything I've seen though, so that's a plus anyway. Now to just get all that editing done! :)

All that to say...I don't think they'll disappear anytime soon - especially with all the tween girls that want the "Twilight/Edward-esque" boys to read about.

Note: Anon @ 3:11 - Oh. My. Goodness. I had to have a good laugh about that one. I'm a total Buffy fan...and if only, if only. :)

Note 2: Ha. It's like all of us started to write a vampire novel with the idea of creating something new! Sounds good to me. I can devour a good book in about four hours. Now if the books could just be printed faster...

Valorie said...

I hope not! Though that means we have to endure some pretty bad stories (Sorry, Twilight) to get the good ones. Vampires are timeless and have captured the imagination since before Bram Stoker when people were telling folk tales of women who would suck the blood of children at night. There are so, so many ways to write a vampire. You can go for the romantic, sophisticated and dangerous type. Or you can go for the vicious and animalistic vampire. And every kind in between.

Susan Kelley said...

I've never liked the vampire thing though I appreciate the story telling of Stephanie Meyer and they did a great job on the movie. If I didn't have a teenage daughter I'm sure I would have never read it. There's something not romantic about cold skin and hunger for blood.
Can we please go back to epic fantasy and sword and sorcery? Can someone write the next 'Lord of the Rings?'

Annie Reynolds said...

I sure as heck hope they're not dead as i am submitting my query letters as i type!!!!
Its not just the kids who love a good vampire novel, I for one am enjoying the 'nice guy' twist to what could only be described as characters with nasty dietary habits.

Lara said...

I'm actually quite scared of vampires. But the American vampire phenom is starting to spread to other countries...at least, I think so, based on "Let the Right One In," an incredibly creepy movie that I regret seeing over last Christmas.

Annie Reynolds said...

Just a note to Jennifer Roland
I too was a bit over the whole "Im a pretty vampire" thing. After reading Twilight i decided i wanted a vampire with .... testosterone. I was concerned that my teenage daughter was in love with a stalking, oh so beautiful control freak. Thats when i started typing.
My Vamps are blokes, real blokes who wear jeans and don't spend all day in the mirror styling their hair!
I loved SM's novel but coming from Australia i wanted a real guy and a strong heroine who can do her own share of the saving!

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm sick of them but that doesn't mean much. I never liked them to begin with. As with everything, though, if a writer TRULY wants to be a blockbuster success she needs to INVENT the next big thing...not just hop on a train that's already rolling.

Rae Lori said...

Some folks like vampires and some folks don't. The one thing that's sure is us fans of the genre are loyal and we're pretty picky now with all the vampire books made available. I love em to death (ha) but I need a break now and then. Even through my breaks, I'm still picking up a good one that's been recommended to me.

I voted undead, completely unashamed bias (hehe). I'm writing a paranormal series that's from the immortals' pov and tend to love books like this although they're pretty hard to find since Anne Rice's works. Most have the vampire in the background, as the lover to a human woman, or as an outside conflict which to me has become kinda old.

Director Guillermo Del Toro has his 'Strain' trilogy coming up and Justin Cronin is coming out with his Passage trilogy so we're having some new blood (ha) offering their takes alongside the paranormal romances which is exciting.

Laurie said...

I fell in love with vampires as a kid and still adore them.

My favorite vampire movie is "Fright Night," because it was such a fun parady of all the vampire movies of my youth.

Zombies just aren't as sexy. Never have been, never will be...and the sexiness is a big part of vampire's allure.

Great question! I loved reading all the responses.

Cass said...

I too watched Dark Shadows as a child.

I recently watched the Swedish film "Let the Right On In" and though I would have preferred sub titles instead of the dubbing, I have to agree that is a great movie.

My movie collection and book collection years leans heavily towards the undead and fantasy. (and Time Travel & Aliens)

For Christmas my Mr gave me an iTouch and had it engraved on the back. It reads: Time Traveling Alien Vampire - (then my name)
He sure has me pegged.

Anyway - as long as it's a good read - keep bringing 'em.

Kate H said...

I don't know whether the genre has run its course or not, but I for one most heartily wish it had never come out of its coffin. I'm hard put to think of any more disgusting type of character to be morphed into "heroes."

Verification word, epitabr: A stonecutter who makes typos on gravestones?

Jen C said...

I have this urge to write a sexy zombie book now. My main zombie will be very beautiful and I will name him Edward.... oh wait......

Mrs. Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beatriz Kim said...

Hmm...I'm not personally a fan of this genre. However, I would assume that captivating writing, a believable world, great characters, and a completely inventive take on any genre...would lead to success. Especially, if the story is appealing to a more general audience. If I'm hooked from the first page, who cares if it's about potatoes? Hee...Hee...

J. M. Strother said...

No vamps for me, please. It's one of the last things I'll pick up.
~jon

~Sia McKye~ said...

I enjoy well constructed Vamp stories, especially blended with other supernatural beings.

There was a time when anything vampire sold, even a story not well written.

Now, I think a little more thought has to be put into the storyline. Give it some freshness. Christine Feehan gave the concept a different twist with her Dark series. Some pretty tough dudes. I noticed the comment about vampires being effeminate--I don't agree, there are several authors out there that present vampire as pretty tough guys--some are good guys some not. Jacqueline Franks has vamps in her world that are anything but girly. The Immortals series, has both good and bad vamps and they're not girly either, and have been known to wear jeans, lol! Gena Showalter has some some pretty impressive vamps in her Atlantis series.

While I won't pick up a book with just any vamp premise, if the author is creative in the storyline and in developing their world--sure I'll buy it.

As far as Twilight? It really didn' interest me and I looked. The movie? I couldn't get into it. There was more teen angst in the first 40 minutes than a season of 90210 or Melrose Place. My 14 year old liked it. To be fair, it did finally pick up towards the end.

Lady Glamis said...

Great poll, Nathan. I just did a post on ZOMBIES. They seem to be a crazy lately, too!

I think vampire novels will be around for awhile. :)

marcinko said...

Well, I just sold a vampire story (to Circlet Press).

That would be a fine how-do-you-do, if the genre/trope/archetype/whatever died out before the anthology saw the light of day (so to speak).

That's my second vamp short story, come to think.

Vampires have been very, very good to me.

I think Roland may be on to something, about where the trope might be headed.

extra crispy said...

I loved anything vampire for years, but am now burned out on the entire genre. If I never read another one - no matter how highly touted, no matter who writes it - it will be too soon.

Christine H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MzMannerz said...

I like vampire stories, but would love to see something really fresh. Have no idea what that would be, however, which is why I'm not writing any vampire stories. :)

Jeanne Ryan said...

No offense, but I'm tired of polls about urban fantasy given to the general public. If you want to know the staying power of vamps, ask the people who read them.

Forget crap like Twilight. There are still good stories with vampires in them. In December we had Adrian Phoenix's In the Blood. Patty Brigg's Bones Crossed and Nalini Singh's Angel's Blood were out last month. Ilona Andrews has Magic Strikes out tomorrow. Jim Butcher's Turn Coat is out the next week (Thomas is one of my favorite vamps). In May we have Charlaine Harris' Dead and Gone (with Eric my second favorite vamp). LKH Skin Trade is out in June. and on and on and on.

These books will hit the bestseller's list. There is a reason for that. They aren't "vampire books." They are good books.

Crimogenic said...

People love vampires and zombies, those genres will never die. Or at least I hope not.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I think it's a genre that many may continue to decry as passé, but that won't actually lose any popularity for a long time, if ever. Now, I don't think anything will be as popular as TWILIGHT, for example. Anything similar will be seen as a rip-off and anything too different just probably won't appeal to as wide a market. (Not passing any judgment over whether appeal to a wide market makes a book good...just makes it marketable.) But vampire stories will always be there.

7-iron said...

Whatevs, Jen C! :)

TERI REES WANG said...

Just when we think we have had just about enough, there comes up from behind, another, bigger wave for us to ride ...or drown; you decide.

Everyone loves a wild fantasy ride.

Anonymous said...

I'd buy a book about corporate vampires if it has either "Wall Street" or "Main Street" in the subtitle!

geoffrey thorne said...

I think they're dead until someone puts a hot spin on them.

It's only overdone when you're bored, right?

Stephan Alexander Scharnberg said...

Vampire novels are undead, although I just don't get the whole vampire thing. I do not even care for Bram Stoker's novel nor those by Anne Rice. Yes, I think America (include Canada in this) has not tired of the whole Vampire phenomenon. But why is this? I can not relate.

Time to hang garlic from evey rafter, from every door frame.

Wilkie said...

Without a choice other than 'dead' or 'undead', I voted 'dead', but here's my caveat: I LOVE vampire stories, and my latest favorite is the HBO series, "True Blood." I don't think the public's taste for vampire lit will ever fully die (Jeremy Robb was right on target); however, I wonder how much new stuff can take off currently. Currently there's Twilight, L.J. Smith's teen series The Vampire Diaries, which was re-published, and is being turned into a CW show, and we've got the Twilight movies and "True Blood." How much room is there right now for new series? I don't know. It may be time for completely new vampire series to hibernate, but I'm sure there'll be a time for them to rise again. :)

marcinko said...

Interesting to see only one mention of SciFi's "Moonlight." Or "Forever Knight"? How soon they forget... : )

jo said...

If you think about it, it's been about four years since the Historian. And there were a few years between that and Buffy...
I think we need at least a four year break. Lets move on to zombies, like the new "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (which will either be an epic fail or an epic win).

ryan.gebhart said...

No. They're not dead.

But IMO the subject matter should be told from a completely new and original perspective.

Anna Swenson said...

Holy hell, I hope they're over. It's more than time.

Renee Collins said...

other lisa-LOL! I loved that!

Personally, I like vampires every once in a while. I'm getting pretty tired of seeing them crowd every book shelf.

That said, I don't think they are going anywhere any time soon.

Jen C said...

7-iron said...
Whatevs, Jen C! :)


Already used it in a sentence today.

Colleague: Are you into the F1 racing?
Me: Not patichs.
Colleague: *blank stare*

Whirlochre said...

Now they've done cutting their teeth on the whole blood thing, these babies can do anything...

R.J. Self said...

I don't think vamps are dead, as long as people still need a fansty outlet there will be vampires. Vampires were around in folklore long before they were ever published in any type of written form. They are a type of myth that has expanded thoughout the ages. I do think that have been softened up a bit, Twilight did not contain a single fang in the movie, and I long for the real vamps to come out and play.

Catherine said...

Like everyone else and their mother it seems these days, I have written a YA vampire novel (currently being revised before querying starts). My interest in vampires goes back almost ten years now, back when I tried to write my first novel. It was about vampires, too, although very different from what I have written now. I've had lots of people telling me that the market is already saturated and that I need to make mine stand out and I have to bite my tongue from saying, "Gee, you don't say?" Heh.

Like with all things, trends have their ups and downs and I guess right now we are in an "up" with regards to the number of vampire books and series out at the moment. There are people who love vampires, zombies, werewolves or whatever, just as there'll always be people who hate them. So long as someone writes well and has a good story involving vampires (that don't sparkle) then I'll read it, at least.

Lauri Shaw said...

On one of last week's topics, I've just posted an interview with Vineet at my blog, you can find it here.

Or cut and paste this link: http://www.laurishaw.com/vineet-bhalla-klazart-interviewed-about-authonomy/

Anonymous said...

Someone please put a stake through this genre and end it.

Stephanie said...

If it's a good story, it's a good story, whether it's about Vampires, Zombies, Unicorns, whatever. Give me a story that sucks me in and makes me forget about the economy, my kids running wild, and North Korea with nukes.

I just want a story with characters I love. I want to miss them when I finish the book, and I don't care if they're Vampires or your normal non-magical humans.

Pierre Roustan said...

It's funny that you bring this up, Nathan, 'cause my novel THE CAIN LETTERS (surprisingly, guess what, is a VAMPIRE NOVEL) will be released this December 2009 through Eirelander Publishing.

So I guess my comment is that, NO, vampire novels probably will never die.

My novel is a high concept, melding a religious thriller (sort of like THE DA VINCI CODE) with something like "Underworld" and "Blade".

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting how people turn on best-selling authors. SM created millions of dollars in sales for her books, everyone read them, they make movies out of them and now, everyone's like, well, I like vamp stories, but only if they aren't like SM's.

Doesn't anyone realize that it's the impact of SM's vampire Edward that is keeping other vampire books in the stores? That created the appetite for them?

(I'm not a huge defender of SM's writing style -- I find it repetitive and overwrought, and Edward too perfect -- but I can certainly see the appeal of Twilight.)

**But on to my question, which is, you don't see mass disdain for JK Rowling -- yet people loathe SM. I can't figure it out. Help me, some one.

Nona said...

A fresh take on vampires? Why, that would be a book on the banking industry.

Sheryl Tuttle said...

Oh but the garlic thing is just superstition!

Personally, vampire, zombie, human...I don't think it matters as long as the story is GOOD!

Disgruntled Bear said...

Vampires won't go away, because they touch something in our subconscious. They are our "wolves in sheep's clothing," predators who look like us and might be among us. They are scary and sexy and timeless. Vampire stories may go out of style from time to time, but they will never go away.

Mercy Loomis said...

Anon @ 6:48 -

The vampire books are not still in the stores because of Twilight. There were tons of vampire books before Twilight. There will be tons when it is gone.

(I'm frightened to hear that they are doing a show on the Vampire Diaries. I read those back when I was in middle school as they were published. The first time. In the 90's.)

Personally I love PN Elrod's Vampire Files. 1930's detective novels set in Chicago, with vampires. How can you go wrong?

The thing with Twilight is the vampires in that series are very different. They break with a lot of traditions. That creates a whole lot of love/hate. (I think sparkly vampires are ridiculous. I giggled for weeks. That did not stop me from enjoying the stories, however.)

The other thing with the Twilight series that generates a lot of love/hate is that SM nailed certain teenage girl experiences right on the head. I mean, I'm in my thirties, and reading New Moon in particular took me straight back to high school and my freshman year of college. I remember being so drunk on being in love that being separated from my boyfriend was an agony, and how just the sight of him after being separated was like getting my fix. Everything was all right with the world again. And also the feeling from losing someone you loved that much - I went through that too. Her description of what Bella goes through in New Moon - the zombieness, the feeling like you're about to shatter, that you literally have to hold the pieces of you together - was dead on. I went through that. I know. It is a stunning portrayal. And people who haven't been through that think it's overdone and over the top, so they bash it.

I'm not saying that her books are high literature - they're fluff with a little bit of meaning. But they're quite entertaining fluff and they speak very strongly to their target audience, which is why they are so wildly successful.

Alessa Ellefson said...

Yes, the vampire spiel has been done, over and over again, especially in the last 10 years or so.
But, so have all the other categories (romance, thrillers, mysteries, memoirs). Do people ever say: "A sassy heroine's so out right now."
So I think it's silly to say that something's in or out. It all depends on how well the story is written, how much it pulls the reader in and makes the reader feel.
But, of course, this has to do with fiction only, as I do believe some non-fiction books can have an expiration date.

allegory19 said...

**But on to my question, which is, you don't see mass disdain for JK Rowling -- yet people loathe SM. I can't figure it out. Help me, some one.

I can tell you why I loathe SM - because she makes it sound all SO EASY. She had this dream and then wrote Twilight in 6 months. Then ten query letters later she had an agent and a six figure deal. What??? C'mon!!!

Vincenzo said...

If the story is good, vampires are fine. Frankly, I have never understood the attraction considering they are dead and subsist on blood.

For anyone looking for BAD vampires in jeans and boots, I recommend the movie Near Dark. 'Nuff said. :)

Anonymous said...

Cross over Vampires.
J R Ward's Brotherhood series mixes in erotic romance, rap music, violence and manly (but larger than life, since most of the BDB are close to seven feet tall) vamps. These vampires have a huge multicultural fanbase. There are a number of authors in this genre like JR (Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Patricia Briggs, just to name a few)that are doing quite well in this genre.
But personally, I've always enjoyed the Werewolves more. I'm waiting on the next great WW novel
(hopefully it will be mine)

Cesia said...

Can vamps be done? Please???? I'm so sick of every.person.on.the.internet. talking about Twilight!

Anonymous said...

"Can vamps be done? Please???? I'm so sick of every.person.on.the.internet. talking about Twilight!"

Cesia,

I'd say not until everyone ont the internet is done talking about Twilight. You pretty much nailed the question, it is still wildly popular, and draws attention. Look at how many people voted.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't a vamp fan until I saw Blood Ties and read the books. I've read the books that True Blood is based on and now I'm reading the Dark Hunter series of books by Sherilyn Kenyon. Vampires are like everything else, they come back in cycles. Will they ever die, NOPE.

Bill Greer said...

I hope agents continue to get a plethora of queries about vampire novels, so that when my query arrives, the agent says, "It's not about vampires! It's fresh! It's different! Have that man send me a partial!"

We all have our fantasies.

Sun Up said...

I don't know really. I'm just not all that impressed with the whole vampire genre. I used to be really into it back in the day--but that was 10 years ago when I was still a teenager.

Til this day, the only vampire or occult fiction I can really get into is Anne Rice. Her writing is more like, prose than just a story. And to this very day, reading her work always takes me somewhere.

I heard the Twilight series novels were pretty good. But I justh haven't been inclined to read it. It feels like all of these vampire novels follow a formula that's...predictable. Maybe it's just me--but I really don't like it. It's something better suited for young adults I think.

Anonymous said...

Allegory 19 said:

"... I can tell you why I loathe SM - because she makes it sound all SO EASY. She had this dream and then wrote Twilight in 6 months. Then ten query letters later she had an agent and a six figure deal. What??? C'mon!!!..."

Oh, well, hell, point taken. THAT I understand! :)

Sun Up said...

"I can tell you why I loathe SM - because she makes it sound all SO EASY. She had this dream and then wrote Twilight in 6 months. Then ten query letters later she had an agent and a six figure deal. What??? C'mon!!!"


Seriously right?
I wonder if I could turn my dream about a giant crab eating my hair into a series?

I don't think anyone would want to 'read' about my dreams--they're creepy and very nonsensical.

Ajax said...

I have to agree, vampires are not going to go away. They are an archetype (like someone mentioned above) but as with all sub-genres, there will be an ebb and flow to the vampire craze. There was hardly a post-apocalypse sci-fi story written in the 90s. Yet after 9/11 all of a sudden Armageddon seems possible again, and we have tons of books in the sub-genre being written and "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy winning the Pulitzer. I would say we are currently in a vampiric market, but will see a downturn over the next few years…

Anonymous said...

Vampires will never go away. They may take a short respite but they always “rise” again! They’re the classic horror story that can be turned into a romance story or a serial killer story – take your pick! The recent onslaught of vampire series and movies: Blood Ties (Lifetime), MoonLight (NBC), True Blood (HBO), Twilight, Let the Right One In (Sweden) etc. demonstrate how the vampire genre isn’t a generational fad – it’s definitely here to stay and will continue morphing to fit the times.

By the way Nathan, it's
Anne with an "e" Rice. ;-)

Nathan Bransford said...

Ack! Thanks, anon.

Christine H said...

I have no experience with vampire novels, as they don't interest me, but I did ask this question of the fresh-faced twenty-something salesclerk at Borders today. He said that he didn't think the trend was over yet, but it would be before too long. He observed that Twilight was "terrible." He tried to get into it, but just couldn't. I said, "The movie or the book?" and his reply was "both." But, he really liked "Let the Right One In" because it was very quirky and different, and well done.

So I think that pretty much plays along with what others have said... It's not so much what you write, as how you write it. But, if you are sending off a fantastically writeen vampire novel at the end of a booming trend, it may not get the attention it deserves just because of the trend. So, put it in the closet for a while and, just like those bellbottoms, it'll come back in style.

Anonymous said...

I hope they're not dead! I just finished a manuscript that involves a vampire, although he's not the protagonist.

Mockingbird said...

There are insufficient stakes in the world to drive through the entire vampire genre. It is immortal (however stressful this may be to some of us).

Kim Stagliano said...

I went to school with a relative of Vlad the Impaler - Sandra Florescu. Her mom was my French teacher. Her Dad is/was a professor at BC, Radu Florescu. Vampire lore has been with us forever - why should a well written, interesting take on a vampire have to hibernate? If the story is well told I'm all for vampires. That said, as I posted on fb, in an effort to appease the editorial gods, my new WIP is going to include a Werezomvampirenistein. That should cover all the undead'ish bases, yes? (And I have a prologue, about 300 words, and am now cowering in the corner wondering whether to keep it....)

Michelle Miles said...

As a romance and fantasy reader - I say pass the garlic. I'm tired of vampire books, but then, I never liked them to begin with. My apologies to the Lovers of the Undead, but I simply can't stand them.

Now give me a good, juicy fantasy epic and I'm all yours.

Two Flights Down said...

Vampire stories, even going back to Carmilla all had issues in society as well as sexuality that people seemed to fear. Are these stories still so popular because these issues still exist? We must be fascinated by them for some reason, right?

Anonymous said...

I actually started sending queries out that stated there are no vampires in my book. Some agents found it funny.

Mrs. Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mnemosyne's afterthought said...

Ditto bryngreenwood.

Just a few minutes ago, Jezebel posted a note that Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series is going to be the foundation for a television series on IFC.

The comments are funny.

Leis said...

"Are 'vampires' dead?"

Duh. Um. yeah, being 'dead' is part of their charm, Nathan ;)

No idea so outrageous can be put to sleep -- nap, yes. But there will always be new takes on vampirism, methinks. Some may even get published. I haven't written anything 'vampire' yet. Still waiting for that AWESOME blood-sucking character to accept my afternoon tea invitation.

Glen Akin said...

Vampire genre die? Nah, not going to happen. Not ever. I don't like it. The first and only time I tried getting into it was when my sister got me to read Twilight.

Worse. Mistake. Ever.

And I don't think a writer has to come up with something unique or write something really good. Just tap into mass appeal and you've got yourself a bestseller. Twilight was hardly unique and not very well written. It still sold buckets.

Long live vampires! hahaha!

Kimmie said...

Nathan:

Do vampire novels fall into the Horror genre or Fantasy genre? I've gotten mixed answers about this when it comes to querying. Hope you can resolve it!

MJ said...

I really really REALLY hope vamps are dead. At least for now.

You forgot to mention Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stakhouse Books)better known as the True Blood books author. They're the only ones I can still stomach.

Kayla said...

i don't wanna start an online-war; but i hate twilight (for reasons http://twilightsucks.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=twilight&action=display&thread=638) but i love vampire books if they're done right. someone else said that vampires drinking blood is wrong in the romantic way, and i agree with that. but the idea has to be written out well. another one said vampire books (twilight) is "overrated" and another that vampire stories are "timeless". i agree with both of them. vampire books will never die, and twilight is overrated. as long as kids think that a vampire lives on the closet, as long as 30 year old women read vamp-mance and sigh with the book, as long as authors like myself are willing to keep writing them vampires will never die. they are undead, you know. (i'll give the vamps some room, maybe 3, maybe 4 years?)

Anonymous said...

Vampires will never die (pun intended). It seems as if everyone loves the idea of vampires because they are mysterious and strong. Essentially everything a human is not. The action and romance in the vampire stores tends to draw the reading into the novel more than any other kind of fiction.

Anonymous said...

They will never die. The vampire myth will only transform as time progresses. As long as the story is original and full of adventure, i don't think the vampire will die

Lynn Hughes said...

There is always a differnt spin on a vampire novel....

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