The Vampires Of: Ginjer Buchanan
By Jean Marie Ward
Ace/Roc Editor-in-Chief Ginjer Buchanan knows vampires. She’s edited some of the most famous vampire writers: Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, P.N. Elrod and many more. So Buzzy Multimedia couldn’t resist asking about her take on everybody’s favorite supernatural creature.
Buzzy: You’ve said that a good vampire story always sells. Why is that so?
Ginjer Buchanan: I think there is a perennial fascination with vampires. I think the nature of that fascination has changed as the nature of vampire fiction has changed. You can trace it from Dracula-and I know that Bram Stoker didn’t invent vampires-where the attraction was the forbidden sexuality, to Anne Rice, where the vampire actually became the angst-ridden bad boy hero, to the current instance in paranormal, where the vampire is very much that, and the love object but no longer a matter of forbidden sexuality in quite the same way. We don’t live in Victorian times, anymore. I think that’s the real reason for it. He is…the vampire is-and it’s almost always a he, although in some vampire fiction it’s the other way around-the guy in the black leather jacket, to a certain extent. If he’s not outright bad-which I don’t think he is much anymore; that’s a trope of horror fiction-he’s certainly ambiguous or tortured or angst-ridden or fill in the blank, and those are stories that have appeal to readers. So the trick is to find a new and interesting way to talk about the relationship between the normal, as it were, and the paranormal.
Buzzy: Where do you see vampire fiction going in the next five years?
Ginjer Buchanan: I think it’s going to continue pretty much as it is. I think that if there was any possibility that the appeal would wane, that the enormous success of Stephanie Meyers, both the books and the movies, and now the enormous success of True Blood television series, has reversed that. Vampires are now seen as the love object, not as the bad guy-although obviously, there are bad guy vampires in both Stephanie Meyers and Charlaine [Harris], just as there was in Buffy. But they are more attractive now than they’ve ever been. Their appeal has even broadened to a larger segment. This is the difference between something that’s popular in the written word and something that’s popular on the large screen, then the small screen. The number of people that consume entertainment, from books to movies to television, just goes up. So an “unsuccessful” television series is viewed by ten times more people than a successful book is read by. I’m putting “unsuccessful” in quotes here. So even The Vampire Diaries, which is on a marginal network, the CW, has a viewership that is greater than the initial print run of the most successful fiction these days, which is somewhere between Charlaine and Stephanie.
By Jean Marie Ward