Dear Aspiring Authors,
If you find that one of the main characters in your novel is a vampire, please back away from the computer screen before you continue down that road. Think about what you’re doing here. Writing about vampires isn’t going to make your book the next Twilight. If anything, it will become the book I automatically skip when going through my review journals to save money in my budget. You know why? Because I have at least 2340945 books in my collection that already have a vampire protagonist and there are only 3000 books in my young adult room, so that says something. And many (but certainly not all) of those books are quite fabulous and I can promise you I will recommend them to teen readers before your book just out of spite.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have an unhealthy enjoyment of vampires. I opted to turn in homework late and get a lower grade in college once so I could watch more episodes of Buffy before bed. I actually reread Twilight after the Midnight Sun leak. I have proven my vampire street cred repeatedly throughout the years which makes my message all the more poignant. I never thought I would say this, but I am officially sick of vampires (unless they are associated with Joss Whedon because, well, he’s Joss Whedon. Reason enough). And I know I’m not alone on this one. Every so often a fellow teen librarian will change their facebook status declaring their disdain for vampire novels and there are always at least 16 comments made by other librarians sharing this sentiment.
I had high hopes that with all the zombie novels and angel titles I was promised in 2010 that we would finally be free of this parasite on young adult literature, but alas we are not. So I beg of you, Aspiring Author, please don’t do it. And if you really must, you owe it to your readership and yourself to at least be original. That is to say original but without grossly altering the vampiric canon by having your vampire do something ridiculous like… oh I don’t know… sparkle. Stephenie Meyer is barely getting away with that, so don’t add fuel to the fire. Do your homework. Know what’s out there by reading all of the vampire books in your local teen room. If you don’t have the time for that, then at the very least watch all of Buffy and Angel on Netflix because chances are they probably already covered what you want to do and probably did it better than you. No offense.
Buffy and Angel will always be better than your characters. Live with it.
If you realize correctly that you probably shouldn’t be writing about vampires for at least a decade but are still champing at the bit to pen a novel about a sexy legendary character, what then? Wikipedia is your friend. Look through all of the mythical creatures humanity has imagined over time and find one that is sultry and–this is the important part–completely underrated. Your local librarian will thank you for it.