Wayne Sallee seems to think I have some kind of power. If I thought that was the case, I would put a paypal button on the blog and ask for donations. Alas.
Yesterday I strolled through Barnes and Noble, remembering Rick's comment the other day that eighty percent of the people buying books were women. I flipped through books by Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Laurell K. Hamilton, and MaryJanice Davidson. These books all deal with the supernatural adventures of young women who cope with an array of monsters of the night as though they were dealing with minor, coming of age inconveniences. It's sort of like "Sex and the City" meets "Dracula".
Here is a pasting from Amazon describing one of the books: "Parker personifies Harris's perky Southern heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, the telepathic cocktail waitress of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Parker buoyantly and cheerfully reads this engaging but bizarre tale peopled with vampires, "were people," demons, and other supernaturals."
Another book is described this way: "Santa Claws" is a tale of Europe's most powerful werewolf falling in love with a plump, bell-ringing Santa on a Boston street corner. "Monster Love" examines interspecies love when a spinster werewolf who "hit like a Teamster. And swore like one, too" is abducted by a lonely vampire."
A spinster werewolf???? A lonely vampire????
I hate sounding like an old fuddy duddy, but this genre seems to have grown up while I wasn't paying attention. This genre, let's call it supernatural romance, seems to be the reading matter of young women raised on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "The O.C.". I don't begrudge them this reading material, and if the writers are making money, and it seems they are, then more power to them.
As a horror writer though, I find myself growing a little surly over what I view as the domestication of horror. To me a vampire is a sinister creature of darkness, not the gothic hunk who moons with the sensitivity of Fabio. A werewolf is a primal thing which rends its prey apart with razor claws. It is not Laslo the Dog Boy, tamed with a biscuit and a gentle hand.
Again, I don't mind this new trend in horror literature, I just haven't really paid attention before now. If any of you have insight into this subgenre, please talk to me about its appeal and the elements that make it special for you. Even if you aren't a fan, perhaps explain it to me.