Monday, March 08, 2010

Vampire Novels Biting the Dust?

With the enormous success of the Twilight series of vampire books and their spin-offs into a thousand similar titles, one has to ask the obvious: is it curtains for Vlad and all his impalers? It just may be. And the newest literary genre to take Publisher's Row by storm may indicate just that.

But before I make that jump to conclusion, listen to what one major publisher's representative had to say to me recently.

"Vampire books are a dime a dozen. We're no longer looking for novels true to the genre. We're looking for something different. If it doesn't stand out from the pack, we're not interested."

Enter the mash-up.

What, you ask, is a mash-up? If you have to ask, it's safe to assume you haven't yet gotten your hands on a copy of the surprisingly successful Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a work centered around a classic historical figure meeting vampires, zombies, and other things that go bump in the night.

It has been a year since Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses. Instead of running for their lives, readers ran to their favorite bookstores--in droves--in order to see what the combining of two literary figures, Jane Austen and the much more contemporary Seth Grahame-Smith, would lead to.

What it led to, of course, is the first literary mash-up from Quirk Books. The result has been a steady flow of unearthly creatures set against the backdrop of the literary classics. It's a curious combination, as Carol Memmott of USA Today put it, of "classic literary icons doing battle with B-movie demons.

"In Sherri Browning Erwin's Jane Slayre (Gallery Books), hitting stores April 13, Charlotte Brontë's plain Jane Eyre is an indomitable zombie killer."

There have been (or soon will be) other quirky titles, as well, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim (Coscom Entertainment) and Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter (Eos). All of which leads one to ask, Et tu, Vlade?

And if the latest literary genre trend (remember "chick lit"?) is destined for a quick if showy demise, the question remains. What's going to step forward to take its place?

Copyright 2009 AmSAW

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