Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Slayer Lives (And Not Just in Our Hearts)

Everyone I know (guys and gals alike) adds superfluous "y"s to their words, some of them not even knowing why they do this, and I'm convinced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has influenced the style and tone of a generation of novelists.

I can think of 8 or 9 authors that make it a point for their characters to talk fondly, nostalgically, and specifically about Buffy. ("Naomi & Ely's No-Kiss List" by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn even has a mix-tape section that covers your average super-fan's disillusionment during the 6th Season; and "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman does a great job of evoking both the elation and despair of watching the show in general.)

Which came first? Were already-established writers attracted to BtVS because it shared their sense of humor and a specific type of emotional resonance, or did the show itself provide them with the desire to write, and the inspiration and confidence to pursue a career in it? Were the characters and stories of the Buffyverse so beloved and so ingrained in their DVD-box-set-owning hearts that they thought, "I can do this, too"? Because they could. And they did. And they're awesome.

Here is my geek cred: I wrote a good ol' fashioned snail mail letter to Buffy and Battlestar writer/executive producer Jane Espenson about nine years ago, asking for writing and career advice. Not only did she write back, but I still have her letter inside a plastic cover. And now I have a couple novels written and a superheroine lit agent. So thanks, Jane!!


  1. I totally, totally agree. I recently rewatched Buffy for the first time in, sadly, years, and I couldn't get over how I suddenly felt like a resident of the Whedonverse who'd traveled to a new land, carrying her vernacular with her. If not for Buffy, I would be a different writer.

  2. Wow, is what Jane said something you can share with other writers? Is it blogable? Saw you on agent query. Hope you don't mind if I sit and spin for a minute on your site. :)

  3. Hey Amy! I was so psyched to see the comments working for you. The funny thing is, now I'm having trouble seeing my own comments posted. This blog may be haunted.

    Thanks for all your help today. You seriously rule.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Victoria! You are more than welcome to stay as long as you like :)

    And I'll see about blogging some of Jane's advice next week.

    Thanks again for the note.