Wednesday, June 15

Sitting on Vampires

I've decided to share a secret with all of you. A secret of fame, fortune, and success as a YA Paranormal author(if in fact that is what you are aspiring to be). Since I am not now, not do I ever plan to be a paranormal writer, I feel it is my duty to share my insight with those who can make the most of it.

Allow me to give you a little bit of back story first. There have been a lot of people in the querying community who are getting really upset lately because their manuscripts are being turned down by agent's and editors, solely because one of the main characters is a vampire. These writers go on and on about how unfair that is, and how it shouldn't matter, etc, etc. Frustrating as it might be, the sad fact is, it does matter. Readers are tired of vampires, so editors aren't buying vampires, so agents aren't signing vampires.(Books about vampires that is.)  As writers, we are all subject to the market, and right now, the vampire market is all dried up.

There you have it, that's my secret revelation. Use it well.

What? You didn't catch it?

You missed the two key words?

...right now...

*ahem* Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if it pleases your Honor, I would bring up the case of L. J. Smith. In 1991, J. L. Smith releases the first book in The Vampire Diaries series and it is an instant hit. Vampire books start popping up all over the place and that, plus the success of her other vampire series, Night World, 
ushers in a wave of vampire/paranormal/Gothic popularity in the teen book market. This wave in the 90's  leaned more towards the creepy-horror feel, helping already well known authors to really shine, R. L. Stine(Fear Street series and Goosebumps series, among others), Christopher Pike, and Mary Downing Hahn to name a few. (I was only in grade school at this point and reading The Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins, and the Box Car Children. No scary stuff for me, though I did read the occasional Goosebumps book.) The wave takes the teen literary world through the early and mid nineties, beginning to taper off until about1998 when Harry Potter begins to take over.

Years go by, and we reach 2003. During this year, Stephanie Meyer queries a book called Twilight to 15 agents, to be rejected by 14 of them. (I'd hate to be those folks right now...) The one agent who believed in the book enough to sign it, sold it at an 8 house auction in November 2003. Two years later, Twilight hits shelves on October 5th, 2005 and the wave begins anew, peaking in 2008-2009. The only real difference is that is time, the wave takes us less down the path of scary-gothic, and more towards angsty teen romance.

Moral of the story, if you have a great YA vampire novel... sit on it.

The wave will be ripe for rebirth in about 10-15 years, and that's when we'll say; In 2025, (insert your name here) published his/her vampire YA novel, (insert you title here), which started an international craze!

It will happen again folks, I promise. And yes, it will start with vampires; always has, always will. You just have to wait for it.


  1. I loved this post!

    And I loved that Ms. Meyer was rejected by 14 agents! Not because I wish her ill, it just gives me some hope!

    And I love your writing in general, you are really funny! I can't wait to read your books!

    Great post!

  2. So, so true!! Vampire love has been around for a long, long time. Sure, people might be getting tired of it being so in-your-face right now, but in a few years, the love will come back around ;o)

  3. Vampires are like leg warmers...they always come back around

  4. lol! I've been waiting for this moment for a long time...

  5. The 90s were also a great time for the male authors. Back then it was common place for men to write for teens, but these days it seems like the women are taking over. Maybe that's because, like you said, the 90s teen rage was about scary, and now it's about romance.
    We need to get back in the 90s spirit! Time to re-grow my rat tail.

  6. Pen-N-Ink - There's hope out there, don't worry!

    Angela - Vampire romance has been around forever, you're right. My aunt has some OLD SCHOOL vampire romance novels from like the 60s. It's funny though, back then, people didn't make up their own vampires, they just used what was already there, namely-Dracula. Every book she has, the vampire in it is somehow related to Dracula! Sister, Nephew, Son, etc.

    Bethany - You know, now that you mention it, we're about due for a leg warmer come-around... :D

    Ashley - Are you currently 'sitting' on a vampire or two? Good for you! Your time is around the corner, don't worry!

    Tom - You'll be the next R.L. Stine, I can just see it... but no rat tail please. And while were at it, no mullet either! :D