Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So just what IS the attraction of the UnDead?
Vampires and zombies have been so common for these past few years on deal announcements for book sales that I know someone out there thinks they're sexy -- lots and lots of someones, actually. My hat's off to any writers who can pull it off, that transformation of stinky zombies with falling off body parts or blood-sucking bats with legs into the guy you'd just die (pardon the pun, I just couldn't resist) to have a date with.
When I first started seeing the announcements, I thought, "Hmm, this is the new chick-lit fad." But vamps and the zombies that followed closely on the tails of their sexy black capes have hung around a lot longer than lattes, high heels and gripes about the workplace.
It's not that I'm judgmental. No, not at all. It's kind of like the "yawn" I feel when I see the blond-haired surfer god that some of my friends would drool over. Give me Pierce Brosnan over the newish James Bond fellow any old day.
Same thing with the UnDead. I simply cannot wrap my head around a concept like loving up on a dead-ish body, at least not long enough to suspend my disbelief and get into a book to give it a fair shake.
All of which makes this an amazingly good thing that I am not an editor -- boy, the sales I would have missed these past few years. And it seems that vamps and zombies have taken hold of the general population's consciousness, kind of like great white sharks did back in the JAWS days. For instance, a digital traffic sign in Arizona was reprogrammed by a zombie lover recently to warn, "Caution, Zombies Ahead."
I am reminded about the wisdom a furniture store owner shared with my parental units many years ago, about how he chose his inventory. "I pick a quarter of what I absolutely love, a quarter of what I absolutely despise, and the rest?" he said. "It's stuff I feel 'meh' about."
If editors chose it the same way, then they've certainly hit the jackpot with vampires and zombies ... and I would appreciate anyone who could educate me on the finer points of what makes the UnDead irresistable.