"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." - Michelangelo
Since the morning Ms Meyer awoke with a dreamy vision of her sparkly 107-year-old vampire leaning menacingly over an average looking shy teenage girl, the world has not slept soundly. That dream has spawned a phenomenon, capturing the imagination of millions...minds and their wallets. The franchise is dare I say - behemoth...movies, DVDs, music soundtracks, books, jewellery, clothes, dolls...yes, you can get an Edward doll if you so desire. Don't forget the Oprah interviews...the lady waggles her finger at me whilst toying with the olive from her vodka martini.
Vampire literature has drawn fresh blood - new generations of readers are happily ensconced behind closed doors on their favourite sofa - reading the latest paranormal literature. Last May, I was sitting on a train and glanced around the carriage to see what people were reading. I was surrounded by the now familiar black and red books - let me just say, the readers were all adults - not teenagers, which leads me nicely to another thought. Why are these books labeled young adult when millions of humans ranging from your angst-ridden 12 year old to your delightful Grandmother are reading them? Hell, I'll admit it - I read all 4 books back-to-back in fewer than 5 days. I don't know why...I just had to know them! The characters that is.
So, is this a passing fad - or is it here to stay? What are your thoughts? I know alot of folks would be happy if old sparkly just disappeared. Will vampires and angels continue to be uncovered from their ivy-clad tombstones, free to walk amongst humans for eternity? How much longer will the paranormal phenomenon remain commercially viable - is there a 'Use-by-Date'?
As a child I was enthralled by fairytales, as a teenager nothing thrilled me more than the idea of the supernatural living in a parallel world to our own. Visiting old relatives in the cemetery was a regular chore in my family. Trying to decipher engravings on fallen down tombstones along broken cemetery lanes filled me with fear and excitement. As an adult, perhaps the child within us still yearns for the place in our mind where vampires and angels and humans co-exist. So in my opinion, I have to say these beautiful creatures are indeed, here to stay and there will always be space on my bookshelf for them. Even if this wave of paranormal peaks, crashes and burns...there will remain a loyal niche of readers...they have always been there, it's just right now the spotlight has been thrown on their deep dark corner of the bookstore.
PS: For anyone interested in strolling through cemeteries, if you are ever in London - you must visit Highgate. The lady doth frequent these tangled lanes often.
Photos courtesy of my talented brother, Nick aka the really serious photographer in the family.