When Meg Cabot offered to share an article she wrote exclusively with lil' ol' us, we jumped at the opportunity. Because, let's face it, when Meg Cabot says "jump" we say "how high?" Plus, it was perfect timing. We'd just brainstormed a new feature called In the Hot Seat where we give our favorite authors a chance to let us know what's on their mind! And we were thrilled when Meg wanted to share an exclusive piece about her latest book, Insatiable (out now), a modern and humorous take on Dracula and it is "juicy"! (Btw, from The Princess Diaries to vampires- we're more than impressed!)
Click here to read an excerpt. And leave a comment on this post to win a copy! (We're giving away two! The only catch? You must be a US resident. Sorry to all of our friends across the pond! But don't worry, we'll make it up to you... )
But first, we need to give you a quick Flip for Liz & Lisa contest update! In just one week, we've gained over two hundred fans! Thanks to everyone who's helped make this happen and welcome to all of our new friends! Please continue to spread the word because once we hit 1,000 new fans(2320 is the magic number!) we'll be giving away a fabulous Flip SideHD. *shouts into megaphone* C'mon Everybody! Let's do it!
By Meg Cabot
True confession: I'm not wild about the horror genre . . . so why write a book with vampires in it? Well, I got an idea for one. And I love pop culture.
And vampire stories have been around (and part of popular culture) for millennia. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, and the Hebrews all told stories about demonic creatures who fed on the blood of the living. Vampires aren’t just a trend . . . they’re a tradition.
The first rich, sexy vampire (who was irresistible to women . . . but sadly preferred to dine on virgin blood) appeared in print as far back as 1819. But it wasn’t until 1897, when a little-known theatre manager slash pulp fiction author named Abraham (Bram) Stoker wrote the most famous vampire novel of all time, Dracula, that we had our first feminist heroine in vampire fiction. Mina Harker was talented and ambitious . . . and a writer.
But Mina didn’t just write about vampires: she battled them! Mina was sort of a Victorian Buffy the Vampire Slayer—although Dracula was in no way as cool, hot, or funny as either Angel or Spike.
In fact, tough vampire-slaying women like Buffy, who have to choose between love and duty—Buffy and Angel couldn’t consummate their relationship, because every time Angel had one true moment of happiness (sex with Buffy, of course) he lost his soul and became evil again, threatening to destroy the world—are direct descendants of the literary tradition that began with Dracula.
So, back to the original question: Why write a vampire novel? Well, like I said, I got an idea for one.
And then I got excited. What did I as a storyteller have to bring to an ages-old tradition that’s always struck a chord with popular culture?
I knew I wanted to bring back all those great original vampire myths from the Romantic period, as well as old school vampires.
But I also wanted to bring back strong, confident heroines (like Mina and Buffy) who battle against them, women who aren’t virgins waiting around to be rescued: They’re too busy saving the world.
Dracula (the most famous vampire story, by which Insatiable is partly inspired) is a gothic novel. I write books about girl empowerment. So combine the two, and you get a brand new genre I'm calling: Girl Gothic.
Other examples of Girl Gothic besides Insatiable (and Mina Harker) include Jane Eyre, Practical Magic, and Buffy: empowered heroines who stand up for themselves and have goals outside of snagging a man (but who still love men, exasperating though they can be at times), and who don't believe that being dead is a happy ending.
I hope you're as excited as I am for the release of Insatiable. On megcabot.com you’ll find an Insatiable playlist, deleted scenes, maps, FAQs about the Palatine (as well as who they are!), and much, much more.
In the meantime, remember: No biting!