Hello, my name's Sarah Rees Brennan, and I'm a vampire addict.
It all started when I was very young. It was tragic, really. I was about eleven, and my mother had just finished a book called Interview with the Vampire. 'Best not to read this one, honey,' she said thoughtfully. Which obviously translated as 'Wait until I leave the room, then leap on it like a frog on a lilypad!'
Look, I don't make the rules.
I read the book, and then I read the sequel, The Vampire Lestat. And then I wrote some truly embarrassing stories about two vampires starting a rock and roll band with a child vampire who really liked purple silk dresses.
... I was young, okay? And when I watched the movie, I wanted to marry Tom Cruise.
(Unlike Katie Holmes, I grew out of that one.)
When I was fifteen, I read the Dark Visions books by L.J. Smith, which starred a psychic vampire called Gabriel. What's a psychic vampire, I hear you cry? He drank thoughts instead of blood, or something! But the important thing was that he still had to put his mouth on your neck! And he was snarky, and he was delivered to psychic summer camp in a Dangerous Juvy Van, and he accidentally killed his last girlfriend and... well, it's clear that I can't judge anyone for Twilight fever.
If they'd made a pillowcase with Gabriel's face on it at that point in my life, I don't know what I would have done. I can only be glad I wasn't exposed to that sort of temptation.
And yet I admit I did judge people for Twilight fever, the same way I judged people for Harry Potter fever when I was eighteen and until I picked up Prisoner of Azkaban and tore through the whole series. When something is crazy popular, some people (such as my judgy self!) often dismiss it as if a lot of people liking something means you shouldn't like it.
I mean, sometimes you won't like something a lot of people like. I don't like reality TV. But on reflection 'Other people like it!' doesn't make a lot of sense as a reason not to like something. For instance, a lot of people like chocolate. I have not decided to be an edgy, broccoli-lovin' rebel because of this.
So, judgy little me went 'Oh, vampires, I'm so over vampires.' And then I was on a panel about vampires at a convention, and someone said 'You have read more vampire books than anyone I have EVER MET.' 'Ahahaha I just like reading okay,' I replied, cleverly. And then I realised that all of my TV viewing involved vampires. (The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. Vampires... and the South! But we all knew the South was awesome, given Kami Garcia and Margi Stohl's Beautiful Creatures.)
Before Twilight, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Before that was Interview with the Vampire. This eighties movie called Lost Boys. Back in the mists of time, there was a little book called Dracula you may have heard of. Even before Dracula there was a craze for a vampire series called Varney the Vampire. (1845. See me, looking up stuff for your edification and delight!)
Despite people talking about 'what will be the new vampires' the evidence suggests that vampires are not going anywhere. 1845, man. Vampires are immortal.
(Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I had to do it, but if it helps, I'm ashamed of myself.)
And I have no problems with vampires sticking around. My favourite character in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series is a geeky young vampire. Rachel Caine rocks her vampire town in the Morganville Vampires series, and Melissa de la Cruz has a unique take on vampires as well.
I also don't think that the YA genre is going to be completely swamped by vampires anytime soon, when we have heavy hitters like Melissa Marr (Team Faerie), Becca Fitzpatrick (Team Angel), Mary Pearson (Team Robot), Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Jackson Pearce (Team Werewolves), Holly Black (Team Magical Conmen) and Carrie Ryan, the Zombie Queen. Not to mention writers like Kelley Armstrong and the aforementioned Cassandra Clare, who have vampires as a side dish to an array of werewolves, necromancers, warlocks, and I know not what. (Team... Supernatural Buffet?)
(This is all looking pretty tragic for Team Demon, guys. I'm starting to get very worried about my team.)
In summary: vampires are awesome, and clearly here to stay. YA is not all vampires, and the rest of it's pretty awesome as well.
And I have been delighted to make my inaugural post on the Smart Chicks blog! To celebrate the Smart Chicks (and because after my little vampire cheerleader routine, I may be escorted away from the blog by my fellow Smart Chicks and never allowed back on again) I wanted to do a giveaway!
Simply in these comments mention which one of any of the books by the Smart Chicks: Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noel, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Becca Fitzpatrick, Melissa de la Cruz, Kimberly Derting, Mary Pearson, Kami Garcia and Margi Stohl, Jackson Pearce, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jessica Verday, Carrie Ryan and your humble servant (Sarah Rees Brennan) you'd like to receive. (EDITED TO ADD AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Books that are already out, you guys. I have no spare copies of Beautiful Darkness, Clockwork Angel or Crescendo!)
And say which Team Preferred Supernatural Creature you are. Team Supernatural Buffet is a totally valid team. I am of course staunchly Team Demon, but Team Supernatural Buffet would always be my second choice... and I'd always have a dab of vampires on the side of my plate.
Like vampire dip.