Before Edward

In two separate blog posts today I’ve read attributions of vampire Romance somehow beginning with TWILIGHT’s Edward.

lindalaelmiller_vampires

Shattersnipe offers some very good insight in “Why Paranormal Romance Is No Fad,” but also seems to be unaware that vampire Romances existed pre-Edward (emphasis mine):

“Which brings me to the current trend in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and that particular proliferation of vampires….Urban fantasy, apart from anything else, has always been the gateway drug of make-believe…The fact that Harry Potter and Edward Cullen have helped move this phenomenon from screen to page seems overdue, and not in the least bit faddish…the current boom in paranormal romance feels like the response of a market which has hitherto existed, but remained largely untapped, populated by the kind of intelligent, imaginative women who might shy away from picking up a Harlequin romance novel, but who still – often without realising it – have been hankering for a little bit of literary lust.Ironically, it’s taken a surge in YA fantasy for this to become apparent, assuming the legions of grown women lining up to buy Twilight are anything to go by.”

Then at IO9 Lauren Davis quotes a Publisher’s Weekly article in a post about angels being the new black:

After a seemingly endless run of books trying to capitalize on the success of Twilight, young adult publishers are experiencing a touch of vampire fatigue.

Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series has been at the forefront of the vampire Romance trend as well has been J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Feehan’s DARK PRINCE and Ward’s DARK LOVER were published in 2005 — the same year as TWILIGHT’s release.

While certainly the TWILIGHT phenomenon has been a boon to Paranormal Romance, it’s worth noting that Linda Lael Miller’s vampire series started with FOREVER AND THE NIGHT in 1995, ten years before Edward Cullen was a glimmer in Stephanie Meyer’s word processor.

Team Tremayne. RAH!



3 Responses to “Before Edward”

  1. As I’ve said in response to your comment at my site, I’m aware of the fact that paranormal romance predates Edward Cullen by a long way. What would seem relatively uncontraversial, however, is the statement that the widespread popularity of Twilight has helped to introduce new readers, many of them adult women, to the paranormal romance genre. All I’ve said above – and this is what you’ve highlighted – is that, while the popularity of urban fantasy on TV is well-established, the mainstreaming of written urban fantasy to a comparable, no matter how long ago the genre was formed, has been helped by writers like J.K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer reaching the kind of audiences who don’t usually read fantasy.

    Cheers for the quote, though 🙂

  2. *Comparable extent, that should be. Sorry.

  3. Not to mention other urban fantasy vampires that came between building on Miller and going beyond. In particular Lynsay Sands Argeneau’s beginning with Single White Vampire published in 2003; and Sherilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters which started (really, can we count the genie for this argument … no) with Night Pleasures in 2002. There are several others, but these are my favorites.

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