No More Vampires, Werewolves, or Wizards

I’d like to welcome horror writer Carrie Green, author of ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE, and SUGAR IS SWEET to my blog!  I asked her some questions and she had some tough love to share with fellow women writers—advising them to stay away from the YA category and, specifically, from writing about vampires, werewolves or wizards.

Do you offer a different perspective as a woman writing horror?
I may take a feminine approach in seeing horror as close to home, generally, sitting right there at your dining room table.  I sincerely believe, however, that horror is horror, whether written by a man or a woman.


Do you feel there is a stigma against female horror writers?
No, but I was surprised at how few true female horror writers that there appear to be…  The current trend in female writers seems to be ‘horror light’ which is taking vampires and werewolves and making them warm and fluffy to appeal to pre-teens and teenagers.  It’s not too different from the girls in high school who thought that it would be cool to date bad boys.  I never saw the charm in self-deception when it comes to relationships.  Bad boys are risky long-term prospects and young girls should actually be warned against them.


What about the success of the Twilight and Harry Potter series?

There is an over-abundance of female authors writing tributes to Twilight or Harry Potter and I feel that they are sadly misdirected.  The next big breakout author is unlikely to feature vampires, werewolves, or wizards.  I really wish that more women were writing straight horror, romance, or anything else…  Authors should strive for originality, to create their own unique characters, not just build on those already created by a blockbuster movie or book.  People seem to forget that when those books became hits, it was because they were new, fresh, and different, at the time.

Are you missing the boat by not writing horror for young adults?
I do worry that the language, violence, and sexual content in my books may be too strong for some readers, but to remove those elements, in order to sell to young adults, would be a mistake.  Due to the over abundance of authors targeting that niche market, the YA boat is likely to capsize soon.  Plus, I believe that Twilight and Harry Potter owe a great deal of their success to being cross-over hits, the themes and characters in those books held great appeal to adults, not just YA.


I read that the one thing you are afraid of is death, which is quite ironic considering your genre.  Do you ever get freaked out after writing?
Nope.  I’m good at horror because I fear a lot of stuff (there are tons of ways to die).  I think my honesty is what readers can relate to in my books.  We all have fears, I just decided to dwell on mine, and make a living from it!


Were any of the characters in your books based on you or anyone you know?
I think every character that an author writes is some part of themselves; characters don’t just appear out of thin air.  I plumb the dark depths of my soul when I’m writing horror.


Which of your novels is your favorite and why?
VIOLETS ARE BLUE is my personal favorite.  It was based on my grandmother’s relationship with her mother-in-law (who lived with them during her entire marriage).  I knew that there was bad blood between the two of them due to other people’s stories, but my grandmother refused to ever talk about it.  She truly followed the adage ‘if you have nothing good to say, say nothing.’  It was a mystery that I wanted to solve and a jumping off point for my imagination.

What project are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on marketing and establishing myself as an eBook writer.  I need to tackle the final edits for ‘Walk A Lonely Street,’ a full length horror/suspense novel that will be published in 2012, but I’d much rather be blogging and tweeting!


 

Carrie’s books are available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Smashwords

Join Carrie and 35 other authors for the 99 Cent Book Event, in celebration of the release of award winning, bestselling author Melissa Foster’s COME BACK TO ME, Tues., Nov. 1 – Thurs., Nov 3. ALL BOOKS99 CENTS, ebook giveaways, and more! www.womensliterarycafe.com
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37 thoughts on “No More Vampires, Werewolves, or Wizards

    • Yup, pretty bold of me, but ‘Roses Are Red’ and ‘Sugar Is Sweet’ always suspected that I favored ‘Violets Are Blue.’ I tried to tell them that I hated them all the same, but they didn’t fall for that one…

  1. I have to admit to falling for the YA vampires and all. In fact, I’m writing about vampires and werewolves now. (I’m also classing myself as a YA author.) Although, my vampires are sexy, they have an agenda. I won’t even get started on Twilight. I found the books entertaining, but unfortunately, the vampires left me “wanting more.” I am even a huge fan of the Vampire Academy books.

    I get what you’re saying though, and I’d love to read your work, Carrie.

    Great interview guys! 🙂

  2. Fabulous interview! Thanks Ladies. Carrie, I don’t write in your genre, adult or child so this was really interesting for me to read. Thanks for your insight and I will def. pick up your books, because though I don’t write widely, I read widely!

  3. Nice Interview. I have to say though, I don’t write about vampires because other people do. Although, the popularity of vampires and the twilight saga reminded me of how much I liked them. I write about them because it brings back memories of cuddling up next to my dad on the couch watching all those wonderful scary movies. They intrigue me. I like to find ways to make them mine. I don’t write horror, I write YA. Personally, I think an author should write whatever their mind wants them to create, not what someone tells them they should write. I also write silly children’s books and poetry. Funny what the mind decides to put out there.

    Patricia Carrigan
    Author Antiserum

    • I totally respect an author’s right to select their characters–the best writers write what about what they love or hate. I’m really talking here about the writers who decide to write about vampires, werewolves or wizards only because they think that they are cashing in on a hot trend. I firmly believe that a tired rehash of Twilight is not going to be a long-term success…

    • I’m in agreement. You definately need to write what speaks to you most, what you enjoy most, and definately not what you think you “should” write. I tried that once before I realized that my writing was going nowhere because I wasn’t writing the type of stories I really wanted to write.

  4. Great interview, TM! And excellent insights Carrie! Made me chuckle when you said that the YA boat would likely capsize! You’re right about plumbing the depths of your own soul. That’s the only place to find aspects of the human condition that are true.

    Best wishes to both of you for you continued success!

    Peter
    Writing as AR Silverberry
    Award-Winning author of Wyndano’s Cloak
    http://www.arsilverberry.com

  5. I couldnt agree with your more Carrie. Vampires are not cuddly, they are not tough on the outside and soft on the inside. If you wnt that read a book about Armadillos. Vampires and other creatures that go bump in the night do it for a reason. To eat, to kill, to terrorize. When was the last time a vampire was scared of sunlight.
    Sure Dracula was romantic and smooth, but for a reason and teenage romance was no it.

    Good interview and it is nice to see a female horror writer, and as you say it is rather strange how few there are.

  6. I’m glad to see someone broach this subject because I have felt that we are at a tipping point in so far as the volume of “Twilight” inspired YA fiction that is out there. The time has come for a re-examination of just what young adults like to read. I had a conversation with my teenage niece just today and she was firmly of the view that vampires, werewolves and wizards are getting ‘old’ and she is now craving more real to life character driven stories that encourage her to think and feel rather than just disappear into fantasy.

    This was an insightful interview and I applaud Carrie’s candour.

  7. I guess it’s all a matter of who you are and where you are. I am not just a YA author, but I AM a teen. My friends enjoy the “fantasy world” and get plenty of the real world in our own lives. An escape into a book is a good change. I have found plenty of YA books out there that are all about reall life issues… if that is what someone is craving. For me and my friends at this time, give me a bit of fantasy. I still like to dream. Even if some of iwhen scary.

    • I may be banging my head on a wall here, clearly if readers are interested in vampires, werewolves or wizards, then books featuring these topics will remain popular. I’m not against them, just the distortion of what are traditionally villains being neutered and transformed into romantic heroes. It reminds me of that action movie trend, a while back, when the tough guy lead, for some plot contrivance or other, was suddenly responsible for an infant… Tough action guys don’t make good baby daddies!

    • I agree. I totally read to escape. Now, having said that, the majority of what I read is definately not fantasy, but still, a good book to me is one that can take me from my every day life and immerse me in a new one.

  8. Masquerade of Angels, is one of the most frightening books I’ve read. The book, written by Dr. Karla Turner is not horror literature, but when I think of it, I get chills. Werewolves and vampires have a certain innocence, like a fairy tale where people are bitten, and as much as you twist the story, this will continue to maintain the appearance of pre puberty. Carrie writes about the horror itself, one who is knocking on the door, human horror. And the truth, I do not know any witch, vampire or werewolf capable to commit the horrors of a simple man or woman.

  9. I agree — the current vampire trend has really run its course. It’s out of steam and out of blood. Stephanie Myers doesn’t even get what vampires are.

    I am so glad to see an author who is determined to do something really new, but, even in a fantasical genre, real.

  10. I’m not just saying this . . . you ask GREAT questions. I’m thinking about doing more author interviews on my blog, but I feel like my questions are so lame. I’m learning from yours!

  11. Great interview, ladies! I, for one, am a big fan of all horror writers (and especially women)! I’m also a bit old school horror and have never quite warmed to the Twilight phenomenon. I am reminded of the Stephen King quote: “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.” Then again, it’s been a few years since I would have qualified as a YA. I still think I would have preferred Bram Stoker. Again, awesome interview and great insights!

  12. Its refreshing to see a female author not riding the YA paranormal romance. My book store has a whole separate section dedicated just to that. As much as I like vampires this decade’s craze has worn them out a bit for me. Great interview Carrie, makes me want to go write.

    • The vampire thing was fun at first, I’ll admit that I enjoyed Twilight. I thought that Meyers handled the whole love triangle thing with much greater grace than the Star Wars movies (Luke was chasing after his sister in the first movie–icky!). I’ve started to avoid vampire books, however, after picking up too many that were tired re-hashes (oh, the lead is blonde, now) of Twilight.

      • I’m glad I’m not the only person who didn’t absolutely loathe Twilight, I read it before it got popular and I really did like it. Maybe not the most well written novel out there but an enjoyable story, from a horror perspective at least (I liked the lethal romance, it made it scary). It, just as you said, got excessive and over worked.

  13. The plague of YA vampire/werewolves have not really neutered them as horror concepts, but it would be wise to step away from them for a few years or so, whether you’re writing about the cute, cuddly ones or the bloodthirsty ones. There’s just too much static out there.

    Both are (as is the wizard, in a different sort of way) archetypes that I don’t think can ever be shaken off, however; they’re too deeply ingrained in the cultural subconscious, especially if one writes horror fiction. The trick is to stay away from the pathetically over-marketed YA stereotypes and, as Carrie says, to strive to find something new to contribute. Which is pretty tricky, indeed.

  14. Excellent interview; enjoyed it immensely. I’ve never enjoyed what I consider “fake” horror (b/c frankly I don’t believe in vampires, werevolves and zombies etc.). However, what I do believe in — and think I understand — is real horror — the kind that is really all around us, living next door perhaps, married to your sister maybe, sitting on the bus and planning to follow you home… that stuff scares the poop out of me… real monsters doing monstrous things (or planning to!). I’d like to see more of the many talented women who are into vampires (etc.) start writing crime fiction, cop stories, etc. When I published my book someone suggested I use initials instead of my first name b/c (so he said) “men don’t read cop stories written by women.” I defied that (so what else is new?) and don’t really know if that was smart or not b/c I have heard from many men who have said they read my book ONLY b/c their wife/sister/lover insisted and were “surprised” and that they liked it immensely b/c I write “like a man.” Nonsense. I write like ME and I am a woman. Has anyone else ever heard/read/experienced this? I’m so new to this I’m still clueless & unsure… but anyway, I’d LOVE to read more lady indies writing about the everyday real monsters who live among us.

    • Too funny, I’ve been having this same discussion with one of my Twitter peeps regarding whether a woman writing horror should use initials like a man who is writing romance. In the end, like you, I decided to use my full name. I don’t think that using your initials fools anyone today… I usually assume that an author using initials must be the opposite sex of the main character. Good writing is good writing and the best writers can write from the perspective of the opposite sex, a serial killer, a young child, etc. Time to move forward regarding gender bias.

  15. Carrie: Yes, time to grow up and move on! I think it exists (of course I KNOW it exists b/c I have the emails to prove it does — always amazes me how men freely admit they are biased. Is that good or bad? What does it suggest? Ah! Fodder for most posts!) but exist or not we need not cater to it, right? I thought using initials was pretty lame; my picture is on the back cover and I have a website and blog so how long would it take to deternine my gender for God’s sakes? Anyway, great connecting with you!

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