The Vampire Revolution (as I have come to call it) has been on my mind lately.
I’ve posted once before about how Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight shattered the world’s expectations as to what vampires were. I also noted that there were sparkles everywhere (heehee). Needless to say, despite the haters, Twilight has gained an immense following (not to mention five movies). Vampires are suddenly cool. More than that, books about vampires are popular. Any book at all. If you write a vamp* story, odds are it will automatically be devoured by hordes of screaming fangirls.
Alas, this is wrong.
Ever since the release of Twilight, the vampire-book population has exploded. Sure, there were a few before Stephenie Meyer, but as far as I can tell they were few and far between. Nowadays, though, go to any bookstore and you will see entire shelves marked “Paranormal Romance.” This is just fancy words for VAMPIRE BOOKS (well, a lot of them are vamp books- some have different supernatural creatures in them).
So, what has been the outcome of the Vampire Revolution? It has brought us such gems as the Sookie Stackhouse books (known to TV viewers as True Blood), House of Night, Blue Bloods, Vampire Academy, and many, many others. Just check out this website, which is fully dedicated to the fruits of the Revolution.
But here’s the catch. None of these books (except maybe Sookie Stackhouse, because of said TV show) have even come close to the immense, sweeping, global popularity of Twilight. In my eyes, they are all just trying- and failing- to ride on Mrs. Meyer’s coattails. This overwhelming number of vamp books just gets tiring after a while. Books are for discovering new things, not for reading about reincarnations of the same myths over and over again.
That’s not to say that some of the these books aren’t good. I’m sure they are. But when you have an entire wave of them all at once, with their own shelf for Pete’s sake- that’s when I think the publishing companies could be doing something fresher. Something with less competition. Something that could make a name for itself, instead of just being grouped together with the rest of the Revolution.
I’m not bashing all the books. In fact, I’m glad that these authors have found their niche. This is their chance to get themselves out there. But there is a point when that niche gets too large. All these books at once, seemingly only because of the success of Twilight, causes me to seriously reconsider how good they might be. I mean, I get it that people are looking for the next big vamp series, but let’s face it.
There won’t be a next Twilight.
Nothing is going to come close to the success that Twilight had. That series filled the part of popular vampires, and nothing else is going to share that role. One series. That’s it. The public is going to move on to the next thing. So I’m sorry, any of you that like reading vamp books or even write them. This doesn’t mean you won’t have success. This doesn’t mean you’re reading the wrong thing. If you like it, by all means keep reading. But I’m not a fan of the Revolution, and I don’t think you’ll be the next big thing, the way Harry Potter or this saga was a big thing.
The public is fickle, and no one can really predict what it will love next.** But the pattern has never been two of the same type of thing in a row.
Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m a werewolf person…
*Yes, I sometimes shorten the word to “vamp.” It sprang from my dabbling in the House of Night series. So, yes, I did participate in the Revolution. But only a little.
**This point was first made in an episode of the Hunger Games Fireside Chat. See the sidebar for the link to their site. I can’t remember which episode.