Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, November 18, 2012
  You gotta just sparkle
Mario here:

What I'm reading: Women by Charles Bukowski

Love the series. Hate the series.  Regardless, you can't deny the power.

I'm talking the Twilight franchise.

I know Stephenie Meyer has her detractors, among them Stephen King who publicly skewered her. However, I can't help but taste sour grapes in his famous missive. The goal of every fiction writer is to connect with their audience. Basically, King panned Meyer for delivering to her audience what they wanted craved to read. Sure, most of us get nauseated at the idea of vegetarian sparkly vampires, especially those undead centenarians who skulk around high schools in search of romance. (Maybe in another universe, Jerry Sandusky could've been the love interest in a Meyer novel.) But Meyer nailed her audience--young female romance readers--who frankly didn't give a damn about wussy pedafiliac non-bloodsuckers. Meyer had so connected with her audience that in 2008, she represented 18% of $ales in the American publishing industry and kept her publisher from going under. Aside from Harry Potter, no other YA series has come close to that success. Not The Hunger Games (as good as it was), or Percy Jackson and the Olympians (another excellent series) or the much touted The Night Circus (positioned to be the Next Big Thing). So go out there and connect with your fans and rake in the bucks.

You love zombies? You wanna earn karma points? I mean buckets of karma points. So much karma you could steal from your mother and still get VIP seating in Heaven? 

Then check out this KickStarter project from ace cinematographer, Alexandre Phillippe. The man who gave us documentaries such as The People Vs. George Lucas and now asks the driving question: Why do we love zombies? in his new project Doc of the Dead.

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Not just young female romance readers--Meyers has as many adult fans as she does YA. Like it or not, she pushed a right button...much the same way E.L.James has. I only hope I can find a button like that someday!!

Mario, excellent, succinct, post.

I hope I never get to "a place" where I do as King did. I never begrudge any writer their success--however and whatever they "nailed" it and are able to eeeek out an existence doing what they really want to be doing. That said, it doesn't mean I have to love and adore their work! But, I don't HAVE to--apparently millions of others are already doing so (and I'm not naming names). It also "nailed it" for me in that it really (except maybe for literary fiction) ever REALLY matters if one's writing is actually good, by any standard. Plenty of examples also not going to cite. This doesn't mean readers are "dumb" or "brainless," it just means they LIKE WHAT THEY LIKE. I think it's the publishers and the writers who place so much importance/emphasis on how well-written something "has to be." And that's how is should be: you're good at something, you always wanna "up" your game. But that doesn't mean success hinges upon how well-done your writing is. It "merely" hinges upon how well your story "hits a sweet" spot among the masses, whatever the sweet spot is.
Well said! And I have to apologize--it's Meyer not Meyers.

Frank: Hitting the sweet spot is always good. It's finding the damn thing what's tough. I've started plenty of books with "pretty" writing but if the story doesn't hold me, I stop.
Jeanne: You push my buttons. And not the good ones!
I don't begrudge SM her success. Good for her that she's raked in a few truckloads of $$. Nor do I know her, so I can't say anything on a personal level. That won't stop me from expressing my less than salivating opionion of Twilight. It's not simply that she lacks a compelling style (it's not like she's alone in that), it's the essential weakness of Bella that I find so offensive. She's an incredibly weak protagonists, completely dependent upon a male to save her. She is never a purposeful instigator of action. I would say that she is at best a 50s stereotype, but that would insult a number of females protags from the 50s I can think of. Crticizing somebody's work doesn't have to be the same thing as bashing them.
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