Monday, June 06, 2011

Post con wrap-up and My thoughts about sparkly vampires

[Edited to add: I almost forgot to mention that my publisher is giving at 15 copies of GRAVE DANCE over at Goodreads. Also, if you have a kindle and haven't tried out the Novels of Haven yet, now is the time! ONCE BITTEN and TWICE DEAD are only 2.99 for a limited time during Amazon's Sunshine Sale (I don't know, I didn't name it. Kita would like to avoid that sunshine, thank you. She, unlike Meyer's vampires, doesn't sparkle. She burns.) Okay, back to the scheduled post!] 

I'm back from ConCarolinas, and I had an absolutely amazing time. Hands down, this is always one of my favorite cons--it has been for years (since long before I started hitting the circuit as a guest). Why is it so amazing?

The people. 

Seriously, the nicest, most amazing writers and readers attend this con. As a full time writer I often feel like a hermit. I occasionally go weeks at a time in which I speak to only one or two other humans. This weekend I was surrounded by interesting people and there was always something happening: panels, lunches, drinks at the bar, parties, ect. Unfortunately, that means I didn't spend as much time at my table as I intended. Several of you mentioned having to stalk the table to finally find me. I hope that everyone who was looking for me did eventually find me and I'm so sorry for not being at my table more. Next year I'll schedule hours I will definitely be at the table and post it so no one has to constantly check in vain.

Anyway, that's not much of a post con wrap-up, but I'm still processing everything and I didn't carry a camera, so I'm not sure what I want to write yet and have no pictures to post. That said, I think I'm finally going to tackle the Stephanie Meyer question that inevitably comes up at every fantasy con: What are my thoughts on the Twilight series?

I'll be honest, I usually avoid this topic like the plague because it is so controversial. I read the first book years ago because 1) I like to know what's hot on the market and 2) people were talking about the series and as I don't discuss books I haven't read. (People talking out of blind ignorance annoys me, so I try not to do it myself.) I do intend to read the rest of the series one day, just so I see the whole picture, but I'll be honest, they haven't made it up the TBR pile yet. That said, my opinion is on only the first book, not the series. So, on to my thoughts:

As much as I will join in a laugh about real vamps not sparkling, I have to say that Meyer answered the question of why vamps don't go out in the sun in a very unique way. Her vamps avoid sunlight (or at least being in sunlight around humans) because they are very obviously not human in the sun. It's different, but I have to give her props on originality. Also, while like most American's inundated with pop culture, I often feel like the two most "true" aspects of the vamp myth which shouldn't be broken are the need for blood and aversion to sun, if you go back and study the real lore about vampires, you'll find that in none of the legends did vamps (or whatever blood-drinker the particular culture sports) burst into flames when exposed to the sun. Vampires being burned by the sun didn't come about until the black and white movie Nosferatu, when it is said the filmmakers ran out of money and needed a way to kill the vampire quickly.

Okay, those are my thoughts on sparkly vampires in particular, but what about the book as a whole? I'll be honest, it's never going to top one of my favorite YA lists, but I can't deny the amazing affect the book had on the market. Vampires, which were headed into a decline, rose again to stalk the charts. But not only that, the YA market exploded! There are some absolutely amazing YA series out there such as Mead's Vampire Academy series and Marr's Wicked Lovely series, that probably wouldn't have gotten the reception they had if Twilight hadn't come first. It didn't break new ground--there was already a YA market, but the upswing that market received was amazing.

On top of that, it got people reading.

Teens (and adults!) who otherwise wouldn't consider themselves readers picked up the books (just like with Harry Potter) and discovered that reading was fun! No writer can complain about that. Especially no writer in my genre, as many of these new readers grow up and migrate into the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre. So again, I have to give Meyer's major props.

Now, if only I could figure out how she did it . . .
(I still say heroin in the ink ^_~)


Andrew said...

About the Twilight series, I can't deny the originality behind Meyers' work and what not. I saw the movie and I thought "nice".

Glad you had a great time at the con, K.

Marcia Colette said...

I agree 100%. The Twilight series did what Harry Potter did. It made people pick up a book where they otherwise wouldn't. I can't wait to see what will be the next "breakout" series will be. I can't say with for sure that it's Melissa Marr or Suzanne Collins because I haven't seen sections of B&N set up for them yet. Yet. ;-)

The Queen B said...

I completely agree that you have to give credit where credit is due. You can mock something because it's not like all the other stuff and yet you have to appreciate that it's not like all the other stuff :P
I've been surprised by how many fellow bloggers and reviewers said that Twilight got them started reading and especially in the paranormal genre. I was in love as a kid with Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton and then moved right on into the urban fantasy and PNR genres when they started gaining speed. I'll take anything that opens the eyes of so many people to a whole world of wonderful works. :D

Kalayna Price said...

I thought long and hard before I posted this blog because I wasn't sure if a lot of backlash would hit me regardless of what I said. I'm so glad to read your positive responses.

Thanks guys!