July 29, 2009 / 10:04 AM / 10 years ago

Book Talk: Vampire writer finds market isn't too cut-throat

CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - Vampire books are taking a far bigger space on bookshelves since the success of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series but another vampire author, Claudia Gray, says the market is not as cut-throat as you might think.

“Stargazer” is the second in Gray’s “Evernight” series that first came out last year and is set at Evernight Academy, a creepy, Gothic boarding school.

It continues the love story between two teens with Gray planning two more books to finish the series.

Gray, a pen name for New York-based Amy Vincent, said it took her a while to get to writing after working as a disc jockey, lawyer, waitress and journalist.

Q: Did you always write?

A: “If I could have picked my choice from the start I always wanted to be a novelist but everyone says don’t get your hopes up and so I didn’t give it a try. The first novel I ever attempted to writer was in about 2002 and 2003. It was a science fiction novel. But you have to have a particular mind set to be a sci-fi writer and I do not have that. It didn’t work and I set it aside but I used the title for my vampire academy when the time came.”

Q: What got you interested vampires?

A: “I remember being a very small child and reading a Readers Digest book of mysteries and other unexplained things that my grandparents had. It was about anything that the adjective weird could be applied to - mummies, curses, anything a little bit odd. That had a powerful impact on my young brain. I was always interested in monster movies, horror movies and an avid watcher of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

A: Why do you think vampires are so in vogue?

Q: “I don’t know if there is a greater psychology cause. I think “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Twilight” were very smart at recognizing that the vampire represents the ultimate outsider who is of this world but not of this world. They live forever, tend to be very beautiful but inside they are cut off from life and from change and things that give us peace and comfort. It is easy to say that teenagers can relate to this but they do.”

Q: Is it hard to get noticed with so many vampire books now on the shelves?

A: “Not really. The success of Stephenie Meyer has made a whole generation of avid readers and avid vampire fans. I get a lot of emails from people who read nothing but vampire books.”

Q: So it’s vampires rather than Harry Potter?

A: “It is keeping that Harry Potter generation reading. They are a few years older now but they have got people used to reading great big books, which is amazing.”

Q: Will you stick with vampires after this series?

A: “No. We have already agreed on another series which is a witchcraft based series.”

Q: Do you get complaints about accuracy or inconsistencies with so many avid vampire fans out there?

A: “With vampires not so much. I will be curious to see about witchcraft because you have practitioners of Wicca who have a stand and they are out there. With vampires I occasionally get young readers ask if I believe but I tell them the only vampires I’ve bumped into in New Orleans are the people who self-identify as vampires and give themselves pointed teeth.”

Q: Are you writing full-time now?

A: “No, I am working at a law firm as an in-house writer but I do hope to go full-time later this year.”

Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?

A: “It is amazing to me how many people want to be writers but don’t read very thoroughly. I think you have to read everything you can get your hands on, the stuff you love as well as other things, and it sinks into you at a very deep level. There is also always the importance of finishing something.”

Editing by Patricia Reaney

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