The Overworked Undead


You know who they are. They are vampires. They are werewolves. They work too much, in too many ways, in too many stories. They hear every day the wearied cries of, “Not another Vampire romance novel!”, the groans of every hipster-paranormal reader whenever the word “werewolf” comes up in conversation.

Free them. They don’t deserve to deal with these complaints and concerns.

Why, though? You might be looking at the lack of both species on the YA shelves right now and wondering why the heck this is relevant. Well, you’re right to wonder that. It’s kind of not relevant. But in a way, it usually is.

There’s almost no true paranormal fiction on the shelves these days. But I still hear cries of how overdone vampires are in teen lit.


Because they work really hard, and they’re damn good at their jobs.

The concept of vampires is an ancient one, not one coined for bad romances. The werewolf began as a legend, not a cliche. These two ideas/creatures are both things that most people who are even just barely genre-savvy will see signs of without ever being told outright “This is a vampire. It will suck your blood now.” (Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On is a great example of just…having a character that is a vampire.) The presence of silver or wolf’s bane in a story often alerts the reader that “By the way, there are werewolves around here somewhere.”

The fact of these two things being the bread and butter of paranormal does not make them overdone. A cliche and a classic are two very, very different things. The rate at which they get swapped-out and mixed-up is…alarming.

I’m not denying the existence of trope-ified and cliched-to-death-(twice) type novels. But the way most people will say, “Oh yeah, vampires? I just can’t find any I really like besides that one, you know? They’re all just so generic” doesn’t hold any water for me. The argument that “Originality equals quality” is an old one that still hangs on and still ruins everything. Because nothing beats a classic, baby, and that’s what half of these “Paranormal Fiction Don’ts are”. Classic,  each in their own right.

Maybe that’s why there’s a lack of really good stuff out there right now. All the vampires and werewolves went on strike because no one was treating them right anymore.

Be nice to them. They’re some of the best ideas out there. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. No one does. So just…go read COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN and give in to the fact that vampires are awesome, and sometimes werewolves belong in LA.

(if you haven’t read SINNER, you’re missing out.)

The undead and the lycanthropic have enough to deal with, they don’t need any more criticism.

Disagree with everything I’ve said? Yell at me on tumblr, or twitter, or in the comments. Or just be nice to people, (and to vampire), and tell me nice things on all of those locations too.


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