Welcome to my Halloween Blog Bash! Now through the end of the month I'll be posting a host of guest blogs in honor of the season. Today, I have the amazingly talented, New York Times-bestselling Rachel Caine, author of the Morganville Vampires, Weather Warden and Outcast Season series and all around fabulous person. Also on deck this week: Janet Mullany, Faith Hunter, Michele Lang and a GCC (Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit) interview with Linda Gerber.
(Note: new zombie me courtesy of the wonderful Eric Archibald!)
Vampires: How Much Is Too Much? by Rachel Caine
If you're anything like me, the title is kind of silly, because of course, there can be no such thing as TOO MUCH VAMPIRE. But seriously, can there be?
In my opinion? Sure.
On different levels.
First of all, the obvious: readers get tired of the same thing. Even if it's not ACTUALLY the same thing. A great example of this is the Western genre -- books, films, TV shows. During the 1950s through the 1960s, this genre was booming in a way that few genres have ever boomed before ... more than 100 separate Western series aired in 10 years on television alone. MORE THAN 100. Incredible. And the boom in movies and books was equally large.
But when the end came, it came fast and hard. A few Westerns made it to TV after 1975 -- Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn, even Kung Fu -- but not many. And the Western shelves in stores shrank down to a few hard-core legendary authors, until it effectively vanished and was absorbed into "General Fiction."
I see the vampire genre (and it really is a genre now) going the same way. We're in the equivalent of the mid-60s boom right now ... but when the audience decides they're over it, the vampire genre is going to go bust and shrink, again, to pre-Twilight levels. It won't go away, but it won't be everywhere, either.
Which is okay, really. People who love the genre will still be there for it. And sooner or later, like the monster it is, it will rise again.
Now, the second level: too much vampire in a vampire book? Well ... I think the answer is yes, there can be. I like to have the human perspective about the vampires to have equal time with the vampires themselves; otherwise, you have to map the human perspective INTO the vampires, making them less, well, vampire-y to me. (Vampires are people too! Almost. Sorta. Or as one wise person I talked to put it, "they become humans with a drinking problem.") When a vampire behaves like a human in every way but having this little blood-drinking problem, then they're not as interesting to me -- they're more comedic. I want my vampires vamp-ier, with teeth and the instincts of a hunter. But I like to stay out of their heads, too, unless they've got a really bad-ass point of view, in which case, they're not fluffy bunnies with fangs and I'm okay with them, anyway.
Third level (oooh, it's getting deep! In all sorts of ways.): Too much vampire in our pop culture? Time will tell. But when our vampires end up naked and covered in blood on the cover of Rolling Stone, maybe it's time to reconsider them as the Outsider characters that made them so popular in the first place. Hmmm. Love it, but maybe ... maybe a little too much. Maybe? I'm on the fence. But yeah, maybe. Almost certainly, maybe.
And that's all the levels I've got today. How about you? Love vampires? Hate 'em? Only love some kinds of vampires? My mind, it is inquiring!