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 www.williamdoonan.com.