When I first pitched the idea of Suburban Vampire, I ran into a few publishers and agents that told me (either directly, or posted on their websites) that the whole vampire thing had run its gamut and was now old hat. “Nobody is interested in vampires anymore,” one publisher told me, then continued to tell me to drop that old and broken junk for some new hotness (whatever that was, they weren’t too specific). The funny thing is, I hadn’t started out to write a vampire story; that is just how my story and character evolved (perhaps, if I’d waited around a few years, they would have evolved into something else. Who knows?). However, when I started writing it down, I’d already settled on the vampire genre as the best way to to tell the story I had in mind. Now, am I a day late and a dollar short? If so, that’s the story of my life. Maybe, in terms of publishing, if I’d come up with this idea ten or fifteen years earlier, I might have a huge readership and be making the big bucks. But I didn’t have this idea ten or fifteen years ago. The whole “woulda/coulda/shoulda” thing is wishful hindsight, but it has no bearing on real life here and now. And the fact is, I decided to stick with the vampire genre (for now) and tell the story I have in my mind now. But does that mean I’m hopelessly outdated and unhip? I mean, I am outdated and unhip, but that’s just me. My question is, is the vampire genre used up? Are there no more tales to tell of our favorite bloodsuckers?
I say no. And lots of other folks say it, too. I have some evidence for my optimism, not from literary circles (although I’m sure I could find it there), but from my good friend, television. And behold! What should I see on TV these days? Well, here’s a peek at what I’ve been seeing lately…
A Discovery of Witches
What We Do in the Shadows
And I’m not even mentioning the now canceled CW series The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I’m also not mentioning the upcoming AMC series NOS4A2, or the rumors of a new Blade series.
How is that for proof? Now, compare that to zombie TV series. Here, we have:
The Walking Dead
Fear the Walking Dead
And two of those series, iZombie and Z Nation, are ending. That leaves two zombie series (although, since one is a spin-off of the other, does it really count?). Zombies were supposed to be the next big thing, the supernatural (although, the ‘walkers’ of TWD seem to have a biological origin of some sort) replacement for vampires. Maybe not, it seems.
For me, it’s simple — vampires are passé when I say they’re passé. I’m not done with my vampires yet, so, guess what? Readers, of course, get a powerful say as well, and they’re not done with vampires either. So, quit worrying about whether or not a certain genre is outmoded or not, and tell your story the way you want, or enjoy those stories you want to enjoy.