Greetings, Loyal Reader!
Time to come clean. My ebook Twinkle was but a ruse, intended to lure you to your doom. Like the glittery vampires that infect so much of current fiction, Twinkle offers the promise of love and romance, lulls you into a false sense of warm security–and then, when you least suspect it, goes straight for your throat! But Twinkle is no more. It has met its demise and emerged from the grave, reborn as Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter!
This was a false flag operation from the beginning. The idea of casting Sarah Palin as a vampire hunter occurred to me on a Story Walk in the woods last fall. At the time, I thought “This will either be the coolest thing I’ve ever written, or a complete disaster. Either way, I’ve got to do it!”
I had what they call the high concept. What I didn’t have was a story. I kicked around various plots in my head, but nothing really grabbed me. I jotted down various bits of back story, but had no front story until a recent blizzard snowed me in for days on end. Cooped inside with nothing but my laptop and too much coffee, I started writing. I don’t care for shiny sparkly vampire high school teenage romance. I grew up on Tomb of Dracula comics, Salem’s Lot, and other old school undead. Vampires should be mean, scary, and terminated with extreme prejudice. Who better to do the job than Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter?
I wrote like a fiend. As the skies cleared, I had most of a story written and all of it outlined, but wasn’t quite done. The madness was starting to wear off a bit and I knew my attention might wander. To force myself to the finish line, I announced that the story would debut March 1. But I didn’t want to reveal just yet what I was up to, so I called it Twinkle and released carefully selected previews to create the impression of an innocent tragic teenage vampire romance spoof.
The lead character doesn’t make her entrance for several pages. I imagined unsuspecting early readers chuckling along as Stella and Edmund emote at each other in the woods and then–WHAM! It’s a whole different story. From early reports, the desired effect was achieved. But I also wanted more people to read the story, so I knew that at some point I would do the big reveal and reflag this story with its true title: Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter.
Somewhat disconcerting to me was the fact that on the same day I launched Twinkle, Seth Grahame-Smith’s new book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter debuted. I thought I had the presidential (or almost vice-presidential) vampire hunting genre to myself, but no. Clearly, something was in the air. (I haven’t picked up ALVH yet, but from all I’ve seen, it looks like Honest Abe has the right attitude when it comes to vampires. I fully endorse Lincoln’s vampire hunting activities.)
Whenever I have what I think is a really cool story idea, my next thought is always that someone must have done this already. From last fall I Google-searched “sarah palin vampire hunter” every few days just to make sure the coast was clear. I found lots of “sarah palin vampire” hits leading to pictures, pages, and comments by people who really dislike Sarah Palin. But no vampire hunting Palin. Since Twinkle launched on March 2, the phrase “Sarah Palin Vampire Hunter” has turned up twice in online political discourse. I don’t think either of those instances were by Twinkle readers. Rather, I think the Abe Lincoln book has people making the connection between political figures and slaying the undead.
I decided drop the pretense, pull back the curtain, and, I hope, draw more readers to the story. Which would you rather read: Twinkle or Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter?
Thanks to 600 or so Loyal Readers who gave Twinkle a try and got to be surprised. For the rest of you, the cat is out of the bag — but I think you’ll find many other fun surprises in the pages of Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter!