Monday, April 11, 2011

Who still likes vampires?

Who still likes vampires?  Okay, I see a few people with their hands half raised; a few timid faces and dropped glances.  I know.  I’ve been there and yes, I’ve heard it all before, but I’m here to say, my name is R.J. Garside and yes, I still like vampires. 

I write paranormal romance, specifically I am currently writing a series on a clan of vampires, I feel and hear the pressures of an already saturated vampire market.  I frequently encounter the question: “what’s different about yours?”

Now the world of vampires differ from the world of any other paranormal creatures because they are considered the perennial favorite.  They have been done over and over again.  Readers that are still buying vampire books are in search of something new.  A world featuring vampires requires a twist, a quality or characteristic that sets your vamps apart from all the others on the market, something fresh and exciting.  Yet, if you stray too far from the original blueprint you run the risk of not being believable or the reader questioning every new characteristic that sets them apart.  

When I first started developing “Dark Healing”, I had no idea what type of knowledge I would need for my vampire world.  I had devoured dozens of vampire romance books and just assumed writing the traditional sexy bloodsucker.  Then came those questions... 

Frustrated and discouraged, I turned to the internet for research on something - anything that would make my vampires “mine”.  After countless hours I came up empty handed.  Everything had been done.  My husband (who has never read a vampire book in his life) incessantly projected the concept of a “toothless” vampire, but I couldn’t imagine my super sexy stud without fangs.

Just when I thought that I was one of those people sick of vampires, I met Quinn.  As I uncovered his characteristics and qualities, I learned all I needed to know about my vampire world.  He revealed his strengths and confessed his weaknesses.  Apparently all I had to do was ask.       

My vampires don’t sparkle, but hopefully one day they will shine.


Ella Gray said...

I'm not too proud to admit that I still like vampires, RJ. I think any element that seems overdone in a genre can still be fresh when you put the right spin on it. A lot of people will say that certain steampunk tropes are too frequently used, but I still read great stories with airships, goggles, and time-traveling historical figures. As creative types, I hope that we will never be afraid to use any story component just because it's been done before - we can make it better. Great post!

Marilyn Muñiz said...

I've grown tired of vampires. There isn't anything 'fresh' in the genre the last time I checked. I'm ready for the return of evil vampires again. But if there is a new spin on the genre, I'll read it.

Now, a toothless vampire is a wonderful idea. Give my kudos to your husband. If someone write a novel with one, I'll read it in a heartbeat.

rj.garside said...

Ella, I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that still likes vamps!

I also agree that as creative types we can make it new and fresh. Thanks for your feedback!


rj.garside said...

Marilyn, my hubbie was gloating about you liking his story concept. I'll never say never. Thanks for your feedback!


Chon said...

RJ I still love vampires and I don't need a special twist I just need a well thought out idea and a well written story.

rj.garside said...

Thanks Chon! I'm so happy to hear that you still love vampires - proudly. A well thought out idea and well written story is all that we can hope to achieve. Although sometimes that's harder than coming up with that vampire twist. Thanks so much for your feedback!

Melanie said...

I'm with your husband and Marilyn. Talk about a challenge! Asking questions takes us deeper. Just as you did of Quinn, asking why the vampires are toothless is one way to get to something different. Watched an episode of Dr. Who the other day. OK, so she was not a vampire but she sucked the blood out with a bendy straw! Are the vamps completely toothless, or do they have implants? Special dentures? Is it a coming of age story? Is there a stage of development where they lose their teeth? As for your romance, could this be the only time when they can mate for life with a non-vamp? Would the chemistry of falling in love during this phase of their development affect the way their teeth grow in? Affect their desire for blood? Do they become outcasts? (If I just made someone a new best-selling author, I hope they are kind enough to give me a mention and buy me lunch!)

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