Editor’s Note: Julie Hutchings is a fellow Books of the Dead author, with a new book out now entitled Running Home. If you want to read a good book, and I mean a very good book, pick it up today. It’s been burning up the charts at Amazon. Here’s what Julie wrote:
I’ve never been accused of being weak minded, and I’ve never had the trouble of feeling like a girl in a man’s world. Being the only woman accepted into this round of authors with Books of the Dead Press didn’t change that, but it’s still something I’m proud of. There seems to be a stigma that women are too soft to write horror, and I’m glad to stand on my own two feet in the genre, despite that my first novel release, Running Home, is not actually horror. Gothic, maybe. To run with the hard-core horror guys is an honor, but I don’t need to do what they do in order to fit in. My stuff is my stuff, whether you like it or not.
I’m also proud to have broken a bit of the mentality that a woman writing a vampire novel these days has written either YA or Paranormal Romance. There’s more to the world, folks. I don’t mind at all having Running Home compared to Twilight, a book nobody even wants to mention, unless to say how awful it is. I’LL GODDAMN MENTION IT. Twilight is the first vampire novel I personally have really cared about since Interview WithThe Vampire, and it made me care in a very different way. Anne Rice gives you novelty, history, richness. Meyer gives you an ordinary world, ordinary people, a drab main character, and infuses it with this underlying sense of the extraordinary where everyone is not what they seem. It’s a romantic, sweet, fresh world that appealed to everyone. And I mean everyone. I had jury duty one day and saw the book in the hands of a balding man in a suit. And sticking out of the purse of a gray haired woman. While some say the writing is “bad,” I say it’s informal, with mass appeal.
Do I need to remind you all that Meyer accomplished what all of us secretly want to do? Write a book that is praised by young and old world wide, made into movies, with shirts and blankets and toothbrushes and all that crap? She did something right, folks. Also, she did this with a baby in her lap, and more running around the house. No small feat.
So, yeah, Twilight inspired me. I read it while I was on maternity leave with my first child, and couldn’t believe how fast I fell in love with it. I didn’t have that obnoxious thought that, I can write better than this. I had the thought I want this for grownups. I wanted that sense of wonderment, that human involvement, the girl that just wasn’t meant to be ordinary, but for an age range of people who have may have made wrong choices, who are stuck in their ways, who are past the “cute awkward” phase of not fitting in. And I wanted it to have backbone. So there was Running Home.
What I’m trying to say is I don’t write to be NOT anything. When I do write Horror, it isn’t to be ungirly or tough or whatever. I don’t try not to make it gory, or not gory, I try to make the story be exactly what it needs to be. I don’t make my vampires to not sparkle, or anything of the sort. I make them to be what I want. Mine just happen to be extra cool heroes with a bit of a twisted purpose and roots in Japan. When I wrote Running Home it wasn’t to be unlike or better than Twilight. I don’t write to be the next anybody. I write to be the first Julie Hutchings. I don’t write and say “screw them if they don’t like it.” I have confidence that if I let myself come out in my work, whatever it is, that it will be liked.
And if it’s not, fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.
P.S. Julie’s got a guest blog of mine up on her site. Go read it now! Julie’s blog is Deadly After After.
Follow Julie on Twitter at @HutchingsJulie.