I love vampire books whether they are young adult, light-hearted, sexually charged, or just plain horror. This is probably because I grew up on classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Lost Boys, Interview with a Vampire, and the Blade trilogy. For various reasons, I find the prospect of being frozen in time, healthy, and able to regenerate extremely attractive. Weird, right? Sure, I breezed right over the gross stuff like eating people, but I'm more of a big picture kind of gal. Considering my logic, it should not be a surprise that vampires have made an appearance in some of my writing.
Vampires have been featured in literature for at least hundreds of years. Every 10-20 years sees a vampire fever, followed or preceded by werewolves, ending with witches. Our most recent vampire binge really got into a frenzy with Twilight. The series was huge and made the genre more mainstream. Vampires were sparkly and people, too (even if they stood like a creeper in your bedroom while you slept and had a nearly undeniable drive to drain you). Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon and we had an influx of movies and TV shows. Vampires were everywhere.
Original pen drawing by Camela Thompson
I am not an expert on publishing, but I know the vampire books I enjoy have been published over the years - not just in a five year frenzy period. It seems to me that during a popular upswing, more books are accepted by publishers because the genre is making money. When a genre starts to calm down, novels aren't completely locked out of the market because they contain the subject matter, but it becomes more difficult to publish a story. It's simple economics. When demand is lower than supply, the amount of product in the supply chain has to drop. Production doesn't stop, but there is a shift in quality as consumers realize they have more to choose from and can be picky. In order to succeed in a flooded market, authors need to put in more effort and produce a quality piece. Maybe that isn't a bad thing.
It is easy to find reasons to be discouraged and stop writing. There are more books on the market every day and the chances of success are daunting. The stories drive me to keep going. The words flow when I let the story take me where it will, and the story hasn't led me to a cozy little cafe on a scenic hillside. My mother would love me to write a romance in Provence, but it just doesn't work on paper. I will welcome critique and work to improve my craft, but I won't apologize if a vampire happens to appear. I know that if the concept is strong enough, there is still a chance. If you have a killer concept and great character development, you should write that dystopian story!
Have you considered changing major elements or setting aside a novel due to popular opinion?