Twilight…I’m not buying it

For those who think the Twilight series is an edgy vampire epic, check out Let the Right One In. I like to think of it as the anti-Twilight. Where Twilight shows vampires in a sexy, appealing light, LTROI gives you a vampire that’s harsh and terrifying. The novel is dark, deals with controversial topics, and is outright disturbing in certain parts. Did I mention the vampire in LTROI is a 12-year-old girl?

I’m not critical of Twilight‘s success. I’m just frustrated by the attention it gets and what it does to the vampire genre.  Every time I set foot into Borders or B&N I’m constantly reminded of the number of imitations Twilight has spawned. LTROI stands on its own; not to be imitated. I’ve never read anything from the Twilight series, nor do I intend to. If I understand the marketing strategy for this faux-vampire series, it’s aimed for tweens who are alienated from the family and friends, and want to take comfort in an outsider who understand them. If that’s that target demographic, then great…mission accomplished.

What I’m not excited about is the confusion is generating. Vampire’s are evil. Since Stoker introduced Dracula, vampires have been creatures of the night preying on the living. Assimilation was never really in the cards for them in most literary or film cases. Until Twilight made them into a bunch of whiny, brooding teenagers. Once evil becomes palatable, most people will accept and forget just how dangerous it can be. I might have the whole premise of Twilight wrong, but based on what I’ve read about this series I’m lead to believe it’s like watered down version of the “Lost Boys”.

I can only wonder what form this classic horror monster will look like in ten years. Maybe they’ll go retro and actually be scary again and do things that made them…evil.

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I’m back…

It’s been two months since I last posted and for good reason. First, my laptop contracted a horrible virus. I had reinstall Windows XP (glad I saved all those start-up disks!), and then reloaded all my programs and what not. That took about two weeks. After I got my bearings, I went full throttle and focused on the query for my book.

To say the least , the query process is sobering. I have six rejections out of thirteen letters sent out (seven are without a response). As of this week, I have scrapped my old query for a new, tighter one. My previous query was bloated with detail and was all over the place. I know this because I went to Writers.net and got some unbiased feedback. Basically, I had a few folks slap upside the head and bring back down to Earth.

Agents are busy people. They don’t have time to sift through War and Peace style query letters. Give them the hook, plot, and conflict – that’s it. If you (or I) can’t do it, time to rethink the query process. That’s what I did.

The other thing I learned about the query process, stick your guns. My wife asked my why I kept tinkering with my query. I didn’t have a good idea why, but I know that it wasn’t the best it could be. What I have now I think is the real deal, and I have to be ready to ride this one out. If I don’t, then I have no idea what’s not working. The query? my novel? This is the risk in querying – believe in you what you’re pitching and stick with it. That little voice in my head constantly questioned if my query was any good, and as a result I kept changing it. In hindsight, I should have stopped sending out letters until I was confident in the end result. I’m getting there now, and will once again continue my assault on the literary world.