“Can you write a teen-vampire novel for us?”
by Marie Marshall
If you scroll down through this blog section of my web site, clicking on the older posts as you go (a worthwhile exercise, by the way, as there is some interesting reading there), you’ll come across occasional news updates of whatever my ‘latest project’ happens to be. So what happens to them? Where are the finished products? In most cases they simply aren’t. Finished, I mean. Many of them are little better than ‘good ideas’. Other things get in the way – editorial work, judging a competition, work, food, sleep, and so on. Mainly they run out of steam, or I run out of commitment, and I know that is a personal flaw – ‘successful authors’ don’t have this flaw, if you believe their soundbites. But I feel every project was worth starting, just to see if it would work, just to see if it would carry me along.
Anyhow, now that my second novel, The Everywhen Angels, is about to be published, I have been wondering why it has been so hard to complete a third. And then I was asked “Can you write a teen-vampire novel for us?” That’s as near as damn-it a commission! My instant answer was “Yes. No. Maybe.”
To tackle this I would need to re-think my daily schedule. I have been lazy when it comes to writing. I don’t do what good writers are ‘supposed’ to do, which is to spend a fixed time each day writing. I would have to re-commit to that. I would have to shelve the two novels-in-progress that I have. That wouldn’t be shelving much, I have to confess, because they are in the doldrums anyway; but as I shelved one to write the other and now would be shelving both, well that wouldn’t do much for my confidence in finishing the third. I would have to start turning down requests for my editorial expertise; I wouldn’t be able to start any other projects, I would simply have to focus on this. Then the teen-vampire genre has been flogged as near to death as the undead can be, and is lying there waiting for a stake to be driven through its heart. Stephenie Meyer has seen to that. Is there anything left to say? Is there an unused plot? Is there an unexplored twist, an unusual angle? You can see why I said “Yes. No. Maybe.”
However, it just so happens that I have a pottle of notes, fragments, poems, and short stories about a vampire hunter. Could something be reconstructed from these shards? Let’s see if I can bang a stake in without hitting my thumb, or anyone else’s…