Monday, January 19, 2015

Zombies and sea monsters and vampires--oh my!

Have you ever tried to incorporate a popular trend (such as zombies or vampires) into your own work? Have you ever felt pressure to do so to increase sales/circulation?

Um, no.

That's the short answer, anyway. No one has pressured me to "sell out" or do anything I was uncomfortable with in my mysteries in order to increase sales. And I haven't tried chasing the latest fad.

I have certainly watched the latest trend of taking whatever is hot (vampires, for instance) and putting it in whatever story you're writing with a mixture of interest and disgust. Vampire Regency romances or whatever. I think it's short sighted and I can't imagine that any of the books are going to stand the test of time. And I really think it's despicable to take someone else's work (Jane Austen in most cases) and just add something in like sea monsters and call the thing done. I think Jane would protest and she would have a right to do so.

But there's no harm in writing about vampires or zombies if you love books that feature them. And just because everyone else is writing dystopian YA novels doesn't mean that you can't, too. It probably means they're selling or have an audience right now. Just don't make it a gimmick. And write it really, really well so the rest of us will enjoy it, too.

That is all.


Paul D. Marks said...

Usually by the time one gets on a trend, the trend is already passing. So we should just write what we want to write and hope it will be be commercial.

Robin Spano said...

Yes! Great answer.

Meredith Cole said...

You're so right, Paul! It really doesn't make sense to chase trends (and you will probably end up burned if you do...)