Sunday, February 11, 2007
Vampires and Me
Masterpiece Theater is going to show yet another version of Dracula tonight. I understand the appeal of the story and the whole blood-sucking as a substitute for sexual desire in those supposedly repressed Victorian times. (My research has told me that, despite what we've been led to believe, there were plenty of sexual hijinks going on then as now, and always.)
I also understand this version has more actual, you know, sex. So we get the substitute sex and the real deal, which explains, at least to me, part of the appeal of paranormal romances, which are hugely popular at the moment. I also think the appeal has a great deal to do with the fear of the unknown evil walking among us. He looks like a regular man, but he's out to get you. Explains the interest in serial killers, too.
I myself really enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I particularly enjoyed the stories that deal with real-life issues via the supernatural. The one about the invisible girl really sticks in my mind.
Then I became fascinated by Spike as played by James Marsters, who -- as you can see -- has great cheekbones. I am a sucker (no pun intended!) for great cheekbones. So when I had an idea to go to England for more research (yeah!), I scheduled our visit to include a Buffy convention, which is how I got to meet James Marsters in the flesh. Nice guy, by the way. And yes, that is his hand on my neck. Excuse me a moment while I fan myself at the memory.
However, despite my interest in Buffy and Spike's relationship, I have no particular interest myself in writing a paranormal romance. For one thing, I have learned the folly of chasing what's hot. There are plenty of authors who can do this and are very successful as a result. Me, not so much. I have to really enjoy what I'm writing, and writing to the market saps that joy. Also, in my case, it wasn't particularly effective in terms of sales, as far as I can tell. Chicken and egg? Maybe.
Why don't I want to write paranormal romance if I enjoyed Buffy so much? Because I think people are infinitely fascinating just being people. Villains don't have to be the undead or demons to be evil walking among us. Heroes can be brooding and have serious issues without being immortal or supernaturally cursed.
As I said, I understand the appeal of those stories, but for me, I just don't "feel" it. And without that? There's no point in me trying to write one.
Which is not to say I never will. It may be that a paranormal character will ambush me someday and want a story. But for now, I'll leave those stories to the people who do feel that enthusiasm for supernatural things that go bump in the night.