Go to any bookstore these days and there is a prominent display of vampire books. From the tomes of the Twilight Saga to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Little Women and Werewolves, the supernatural have overtaken the shelves. I have already confessed to a secret love of the Sookie Stackhouse books. I admit to reading all of the Twilight Saga—though mostly because I felt compelled to see if it would ever get better (NOTE: my dislike of the whole Twilight Saga could feed a future blog entry . . . hmmm). I have to say, however, that the overload of supernatural books puzzles me. After all, Frankenstein and Dracula have sat on the shelves for years, read as true classic monster stories. I guess the old school vamps and supernaturals were not very chic. Let’s face it, compare Dracula to Edward and Edward would hands down win as America’s Next Top Vampire. Supernatural beings these days are cool and angst-filled beings or inhabit some world that fascinates readers.
Even agents are caught up in the craze. Many agents are looking for manuscripts about vampires or the supernatural and actually want something along the lines of Stephanie Meyer.
Amidst all the fangs, howls and gruesomeness, I have to wonder whatever happened to a basic story. You know, the old-fashioned type of tale that follows characters and their everyday life, as they meet with hardship and triumph or fail. No gimmicks, no hooks, just a good story with which you connect. Maybe that type of story is dead.
I say resurrect it with all the force nature can yield. Stake the vampires, shoot the werewolves and clobber the zombies. Let the story stand as it is, naked and fierce with no trappings.
Amy J. Strychasz
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