Monday, March 7, 2011

Was that a Compliment?

Say the words Twilight or True Blood to me and they evoke visceral, and usually unfavorable, reactions from me. I will say Twilight is more likely to cause this reaction than True Blood, and the reason has nothing to do with the quality of the work. You see, I've never read any of the books in these series of novels. To make you understand the loathing I feel for these stories, I have to give you a little history of my literary career.

A few years ago, I managed to snag the representation of one of the top literary agents in the business.  He liked my writing and believed in my concept of having a line of young adult novels with a disabled protagonist.  Needless to say I was thrilled.  The thrill soon wore off when he began hitting walls with the editors he was pitching. One editor loved the characters and hated the dialogue. Another had the opposite problem. Still another, hated the whole thing. And yet another editor suggested my novel wasn't the kind of thing today's teens wanted.  This editor suggested that it was vampire novels that were selling big.  So my agent came to me to ask me if I had something like that. Of course I didn't. That wasn't the kind of thing I wanted to write. However, I agreed to give it a shot in the interest of getting my foot in the door.  When I finally finished the novel and got it all edited, I sent it to my agent who began pitching it to editors. This was about the time the Twilight movie hit theaters and True Blood was coming to HBO. Guess what happened next? My new novel couldn't compete with those and none of the editors wanted it. I was right back where I started with one exception. I loathed, and still do, both of these series of books and refuse to read them. For all I know, they could be beautifully written and destined to be classics alongside any Mark Twain work.

In the past few months, I've discovered Watt Pad. Since I've extolled its virtues in prior posts, I won't go into details here.  In a nutshell, it's a web site that allows writers of all ages to post work and gain an audience. Since I began posting my story, the reception from the readers has been overwhelming. By and large, they love it and beg me to post more often than I do.  A number of them have even compared me to Stephanie Myer, author of Twilight. They say everything from my book reads like hers to it being along her lines. My characters have even been divided into their own teams much like I hear happens to Myer's characters.

Given how I feel about Twilight, I find myself asking: is that a compliment? Looking at the success Myer has and the large international fan base, I'm going to take it as a yes. However, I still refuse to read Twilight!

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