Let this entry be a testament to the fact that I, Mary Stewart, am well aware that vampires in “literature” have awful stigma. Furthermore, while I believe that “Redefining Evil” has a lot to offer to the reader and that it stands apart in some ways from a lot of the vampire/paranormal stories that boil down to little more than meaningless erotic trash, offering the reader theological food for thought and substantial relationships and struggles, I also believe that this is not a direction that I will continue to pursue. I will not be the next Amelia Atwater-Rhodes because, as far as I am concerned, “Redefining Evil” will be the last time that I ever professionally deal with vampires.
It’s sad, but frequently when introducing “Redefining Evil” I find myself ducking my head and admitting bashfully, “It’s a vampire story…” I feel undignified and desperate to regain my credibility.
I think that the reasons for this phenomenon are complex. When I began preparing to pitch “Redefining Evil,” it was:
But now “Twilight” is passé, and it’s common knowledge that the series has grown to be relatively difficult to respect. There are plenty of places that offer evidence to that fact. I no longer wear black with the intention of looking creepy. Manga is on its way out. And my faith…well.
Additionally and most importantly, “Redefining Evil” is the only thing of its kind that I have written. It does not characterize my writing. I mean — my other stories include a tale about a fairy catcher; a girl and a wolf and the world from which he came; the conflict between a river and a forest king and the stars that are to blame; and most recently a feminist trilogy about a sunless world that deals with sexuality, patriarchy, independence, political conspiracy, etc. While this might not be a great thing, none of them are as dark as “Redefining Evil.” There’s less anger and less bloodshed. Even if I intend to take my writing back to a deeper, darker level in the future, using vampires to achieve that end is not part of my plan. I would rather experiment with an infinite number of other subject matters than write some sort of paranormal romance using mythological figures that should be totally grotesque and lack sex appeal entirely.
Writing about nasty shit like vampires just has absolutely no interest to me. As evident in some of my brainstorming on this page, it didn’t really interest me even when I started writing it. Now that I’ve had some time to withdraw from the world of the Evereauxs and Danyil Kaehn, I can’t really say I miss them. I love the cast of RE dearly and they have left quite a heavy mark on my adolescence, but I’ve moved on.
So…the question is: how do I salvage my writing career and make sure that RE doesn’t define the future of my publications? I think one way is through posts like this.