Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chasing Trends

Hearing about those multi-million dollar contracts, I’ve often wished I came up with the idea for The Hunger Games, or Harry Potter, or yes, even Twilight.  I love monsters, and I love mysteries, and the thought about combining the two fascinates me.  The problem is, almost all of it has been done.

Nearly every post-apocalyptic world has already been mined for our reading pleasure.  And almost every monster, mythical beast, and garden-variety cryptid has been updated for the twenty-first century.

Beowulf was last seen in the company of Angelina Jolie in 2007’s cleverly-titled Beowulf.

You can scarcely turn on the TV without seeing vampires or Vampire Diaries or True Blood

Several franchises regularly mine the lycanthropic lore of werewolves, the Underworld series being the most successful. 

Yet, our favorite monster of recent book and TV fame is without question the zombie.  AMC’s The Walking Dead is possibly the best show on TV.  I’ve read more zombie fiction than I ever thought available, and I haven’t even scratched the festering surface.

So what’s left?  Aliens are as common to contemporary fiction as page numbers.  And ghosts and specters are a dime an ethereal dozen.

And from here it gets worse.  All the good protagonists are gone.  Starchy but sexy  female starship pilot - done.  Poor thieving girl, good with a bow - done.  Poor orphan boy - done.  Flawed underachiever - done.  Lovable alcoholic - done.  Unlikely hero - done, done, and done.

The latest trend is to use historical figures as protagonists. 

In Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the great emancipator saves the nation from a coven of confederate vampires.

In Abraham Lincoln vs. the Zombies, Honest Abe battles hordes of confederate undead. 

In Bubba Ho-Tep, Elvis and JFK take on a soul-sucking mummy.

In Revere, silversmith Paul Revere battles revolutionary werewolves.

In The Washingtonians, Thomas Jefferson does battle with a harrowing cannibal who turns out to be .... George Washington himself.

In the end, I decided to join them rather than beat them.  Why not chase a trend?  I hope you’ll consider reading my historical horror novel when it comes out next year (or the year after).

In this upcoming opus, I’ll pit the eleventh President, the pride of Mecklenburg County (NC) against a mangy horde of goat-slurping supernatural canines who threaten to alter the course of the Mexican-American War (and also raise tariffs).  I hope you’ll consider reading.

William Doonan’s archaeological mystery American Caliphate was released by Oak Tree Press in April 2012.  Learn more at


Julie Luek said...

Good luck with your book and I hope it rides the wave to a huge success! Books do seem to reflect the mood of readers or ride in on the wake of what's been successful.

William Doonan said...

Thanks, Julie. Now I just have to write it.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

I guess it is easy to come up with ideas; as you say, "Now I have to write it" and rewrite it and rewrite it! Beryl

Beryl Reichenberg said...

P.S. I enjoy your sense of humor. Beryl

Sally Carpenter said...

Your proposed book sounds promising. It's so goofy it just might sell!

IC Enger said...

Good post. I used to have a random sentence generator that, upon a vigorous shaking, would spit out a noun, an adverb and a verb. Surprising how they often seemed to make sense. I bet we could come up with some great book ideas, at least as good as Abe Lincoln and the Vampire!
IC Enger

William Doonan said...

Let's do it, IC. We'll be famous!

Sally, the scary part is that you might be right!

Beryl, thanks for the kind words!

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Your writing is very good, I really like, thanks.

William Doonan said...

Thank you, Viagra Pills. I do my best!