Thursday, October 20, 2011

The horror!

I've just made a mega-discovery. I suck at picking themes for stories. *sigh*
Lately, I've been trying to draft a decent query for my paranormal romance novel Hunters. I knew I'd suck at querying, probably because I can't even write a freakin' synopsis. What I didn't expect was the hate-wave toward the genre itself.

Oh, no! Not another vampire book! Put it away, no one wants to see it!

Okay...I get it, kind of. Twilight led to a whole series of terrible/not so terrible spin offs regarding more teens and vampires and vampire schools and vampire problems and so on... I have no idea. I've only read twilight and half of Interview with the Vampire and that hardly counts as vampire literature. I just thought it was fun to write a book where the vampires are the bad guys for a while. And without other motives than feeding off humans.

Try taking that out of the bucket! I agree it sounds like another bad vampire novel, and the Internet is crawling with those. But how do you explain in 250 words that your book is more character oriented than vampire oriented? How do you show all the things YOU think you did well in there, everything that makes your book different (like the characters really have chemistry - Not like twilight couples). I don't know...

I've been thinking and I understand what people think - If I were on the other side of the fence, I'd probably roll my eyes and sigh loudly. But I also find it a bit sad that silly authors (like me) who choose this theme are thrust into a pretty nasty category of bandwagon jumpers who only want a bit of scrap fame off of twilight.

Which isn't exactly fair. All vampire fiction writers after twilight put hard work into their books and tried as hard as possible not to make their books alike. But, to be honest, there aren't that many vampire myths.

In vain do I mention that my Hunters could've been Mushroom hunters, the story would've been the same. "Don't try to pretend you're not writing a vampire book, cuz you are." Um, yes I am. I never denied that - I just mentioned what I thought was different.

Okay, excuse the rant. I'm just a little baffled. But I guess it's my fault. I should've had my characters chasing a Yetti. Guess I'll just have to go for small presses which are opening special lines for vampires and other paranormal creatures.

To make things worse, I think my next novel might be a bust too, since I'm still doing the paranormal. There are no vampires in it, but I have a feeling I'll hit this wall again. But I'll try. It's not like it will kill me :) I'm not making that one about Mushroom hunters.


  1. I know exactly what you mean, Steph. When I first thought of "Racing the Dark", I hadn't even heard of "Twilight", so I had no idea about this sudden rush of vampire fiction. However, I think my story will get the same comments you've encountered, and it's frustrating that a lot of people don't even try to see what's different about it.

    For what it's worth, I love "Hunters". I think it's a great story, and I find the world you've placed them in (with the Hunters Council and their history, etc.) different from anything else I've read.

  2. Thanks Coral! You're awesome and sweet as usual. And, unfortunately, you'll probably get the same treatment, even if I personally love your story and think it's very original.

    Alas, maybe in a few years all this will go away and we'll breathe easy :)

  3. I only saw the last few chapters of Hunters, but it didn't strike me as a "typical vampire story"...whatever that is anyway.

    I don't think this reaction is limited to vampires either. I've had a few moments of "Another evil empire in space...yawn" with Ghosts, so you're not alone :)

  4. Good point, Ian. You're probably getting that 'This is just like Starwars!!' thing all the time. Which is sad, since you're story is good and nothing like Starwars.

  5. Don't worry about it - it was just one comment!! There's not much new under the sun - it's what you do with it that counts. I invented - so I thought - a clan of vampires called Truebloods - only to find that Charlaine Harris had coined the phrase - admittedly for something a bit different. Then I discovered another author had called her vamps Truebloods too - but they won't be the same as mine. Take heart!!
    And as for blurbs and queries - I know of only one author who loves writing them and is good at it. The rest of us struggle.

  6. Thanks, Barbra. You're right. I had some links with Indiana Jones in one of my books which I wrote before I even knew Indiana Jones existed, so I totally get what you mean about those type of coincidences :P And no one believes you when you say you came up with them before. *shrug* I guess all authors have to struggle with something.

  7. Yay, mushroom hunters! ;) You have to write what you love; otherwise, it's just no fun. Who cares if some people are tired of vampires? The majority of people still love them, including me!


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