Pub Rants

Vampires All The Time Or None Of The Time

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STATUS: What news I’ve received this week! Ally Carter is in week 9 on the New York Times Bestseller List with I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU. If that isn’t enough, my author Hank Ryan just found out that PRIME TIME has been nominated for a 2007 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Holy wow!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WATCHING THE WHEELS by John Lennon

So what became clear today? On the romance side, the editors are feeling a little tired concerning vampires. On the Urban fantasy side, editors say “bring it on.” Vampires sell. Vampires all the time.

And I had lunch with a children’s editor from HarperCollins and she said vampires are still okay with her.

But the one thing EVERYONE agreed on is that the vampire twist would have to be special, something different, really solid world building, for them to make the buy.

Anybody sick of hearing about vampires yet?

In other news, contemporary or urban fantasy is selling very well. All the editors are open to a large (or epic) fantasy along the lines of Patrick Rothfuss THE NAME OF THE WIND but unless it’s a title that can go big like that (and in hardcover), the mood isn’t to take the chance as the market is soft in that general realm at the moment.

High concept, big, up-market commercial literary fiction that can be done in hardcover (or maybe broken out big via original trade paperback) is on everyone’s wish list.

There has been lots of buzz around a Ace buy last year that’s coming out this year called DESTROYER MAN.

That’s military/alternate world fantasy and I have to say that although it’s not my usual bag (military that is), the description of this novel had me wanting a copy. Just proof that any tale well told can cause excitement.

I also had the best sushi in a long time tonight in my hood (Sushi Samba). I had been told it was overrated and I was a bit hesitant but was won over completely by an amazing bottle of Saki and something they call the Pacific roll. Truly, I have not seen the like in Denver and that makes me rather sad.

16 Responses

  1. booklady said:

    I admit that I’m not too sad to see vampires go. I’ve enjoyed my share of vampire books, but it will be nice to see what takes their place, for variety’s sake.

    I haven’t found a sushi I enjoy yet, but I do live in the Southwest, an area not typically known for seafood of any sort.

    And congrats on the good news concerning both Ally Carter and Hank Ryan. That’s wonderful!

  2. Anonymous said:

    Thank God there aren’t any vampires in my manuscript. Phew. . . oh wait, there ARE – it’s ME! Mwahahaha!^=^

    Military-sprinkled books in fantasy or other genre? Forgive me, but it only works if written by someone who’s actually been in the military. I’ll add that to my list of novel projects. Number Five, GI Jane offs a vampire. Tick.

    Now that I’ve had my daily bite of inspiration, back to work. Hua! I mean mwhahaha! *swishes cape and flies off.

    -Rachel Glass

  3. Anonymous said:

    On a more serious note Kristin, would you mind asking one of the publishers you meet with their stance on contemporary romances?

    Thank you.

    -Rachel Glass

  4. Writer Babs said:

    Congrats to Ally Carter and Hank Ryan! I’ve got a 12 year-old cousin with a birthday coming up, and I’m thinking I’ll get “Cross My Heart, Hope to Spy” for her.

  5. Jessica said:

    I’m new to this, Kristin. Could you please explain what you mean by “high concept, big, up-market commercial literary fiction”. A lot of words in that one description!

  6. Anonymous said:

    I just dont understand this whole ‘Vampire’ obsession! I dont think I’ve ever picked up a Vampire book and I probably wont ever. Give me traditional fantasy any day of the week! None of this modern urban whatever.

    Can you explain this ‘High concept’ thing? It comes up quite often, but it sounds like ‘management talk’ to me. We need specifics and explanations, not pretty words like ‘high concept’ you mean high in the sky as in set in the clouds? or high concept as in its a real stretch of the imagination? or such a far-out idea that no one would have ever thought of it before? or what?

  7. Anonymous said:

    Anon 2:18,

    High Concept is a movie term that has been applied to books for a few years now.

    At Wikipedia: “The plot of a high concept movie is easily understood by audiences, and can often be described in a sentence or two, and succinctly summarized by the movie’s title.”

    Just substitute ‘book’ for ‘movie’ in this definition. So it’s the complete opposite of all the explanations you offered.

    One example given by Wikipedia: “Snakes on a Plane”
    From that title, you easily surmise there’s a plane with snakes on it, and pandemonium will likely ensue.

  8. Lara said:

    Not even JOHN HOLLY sushi? That stuff is to die for. When we lived in Lone Tree, we ate it once a week, minimum. It’s at Park Meadows mall, if you haven’t tried it. Highly recommend!


  9. Jeff said:

    All the editors are open to epic fantasy, eh? That’s better news than I heard last year at this time…here’s hoping the trend continues, for those of us who love both to read and write it.

  10. Imela said:

    Dear Kristin (and commenters)
    I get high-concept, now, thanks to you and the commenters on your blog. But could you provide some examples of commercial literary fiction? I am wondering at the moment where to direct the new manuscript I am writing. Clearly, this is a good genre to be in, but I don’t know whether I am even in with a chance, because I am not entirely sure what it is. Thanks! And thank you very much for this New York series. It has been sooo helpful!

  11. Beth said:

    All the editors are open to a large (or epic) fantasy along the lines of Patrick Rothfuss THE NAME OF THE WIND

    Yay! This gives me hope.