No Bark All Bite
Your Coffin or Mine?
I've been doing a little market research for an article I'm writing about genre trends. And I don't know about you guys, but I am now, officially, sick to death of vampire romances with cute pun titles.
Before anyone blows a gasket, I'm not pointing fingers at any author in particular. Have you seen the number of pun titles out there? I don't own that many fingers. Neither does the National Guard.
I'm also know I'm being unreasonable. I admit it. I'm well aware that half the time authors don't even get to pick out the titles for our books. Remember whose novel got slapped with The Kissing Blades? Believe me, I feel your pain.
But for the love of Vlad, I simply CANNOT DEAL WITH IT ANY MORE.
I hate stereotyping anything, so I tried to figure out why I'm having such a strong negative reaction to vampire romance pun titles. I didn't mind it when the chicklit writers started the pun title trend. I thought they were cute and content-appropriate.
I guess the subject matter is the problem. Vampires were my personal bogeymen when I was very young (thanks to Bela Lugosi movies), and then I became entranced by their mythology as a preteen (watching Dark Shadows after school.) I didn't grow up with more humorous spins on the vampire mythology like Buffy or Love at First Bite. The first vampire novels I read were by Anne Rice and Stephen King, and you know what a laugh-a-minute those two are.
To me, vampires were always the ultimate in dark, mysterious, tragic, poetic, doomed characters. Puns just never entered into that equation, which is probably why I find them so jolting as titles.
A reader's personal history and preferences, just like mine with vampire mythology, tends to heavily influence their opinions of a novel. No doubt a lot of the Buffy generation of writers think serious vampire fiction is old, stodgy and boring because there are no cute little blondes running around kicking vampire ass all through the book. Just as plenty of the old, stodgy and boring vampire writers think that Buffy is silly and trite.
The thing that is so cool about genre is that there is more than enough room for any sort of title, any type of writer, and any kind of story. If your next vampire romance novel is titled The Story of O Positive, there are plenty of readers out there who will think it's a hoot.
Just don't tell me about it for a while. Please. I need a rest.
That's all from my corner of the writing world this week. What's up with you guys? Any questions out there for me?