The writer and director of the film Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, is set to tap what has become a rich vein of new vampire fiction, signing up with HarperCollins to write a trilogy of books about a vampiric virus that invades New York.
So what to do? My gut instinct is to continue doing the same thing I've always done in both my fiction writing career and in my academic one: diversify. In academia, it's essential if you want a job. In fiction, it's just my natural restlessness for trying new things. Hence my fondness for Kierkegaard's dictum: "Once you label me, you negate me."
Unfortunately, our capitalist system is all about that labeling, so I'm swimming against the tide (perpetually, right? That's me in a nutshell). It's not so much my refusal to conform, as it is a simple constitutional inability. I may sit down with the idea of writing a simple slice of life story, but somehow prophetic dreams or a ghost show up to complicate things. I might be happy with the results, but publishers like you to stick to the rules.
This approach gets you a lot of rejections. I tend to post only the acceptances here; think of them as that iceberg tip poking above the surface and hiding a whole lot of ballast. Do they play the same role as ballast (it suddenly occurs to me)? Keeping the rest afloat? Nah. They merely perforate your confidence.
I have reconciled myself to the fact that I will always have a small audience (but a much appreciated one, I assure you all); nonetheless, I'll always yearn for more people to read my words. There are few greater pleasures.