Vampire banjos – a new genre?

Phil: So I’m at the Warwick Rocks Fringe Festival last week. Sitting at the bar eating bruschetta and drinking Diet Coke, I’m chatting to the bloke next to me as we wait for Liam Brown to be replaced on stage by Nico Reznick.

As ever, this being a literary event, I’m shoe-horning our novel into the conversation at every opportunity. We got talking about the difficulties of being picked up by a big publishing house and I explain that most receive over 1000 submissions a year, of which only 1 or 2 will make it to print.

The game is to be lucky. If that morning the publisher is looking for wizards and your book includes one then you’re in. If they want cup cakes then forget it.

It’s all about being in the fashionable genre of the moment.

Somewhere along the line, I managed to invent a new one: Vampire Banjo Fiction, or VBF for short.

It’s perfect. Just think how scary banjos can be. Imagine walking along a quiet street at night and all you can hear is this.

You walk faster but the finger pickin’ just gets faster.

You try to run but the tempo rises to a cruscendo.

Suddenly you feel a sharp pain on your neck and the sound fades away…

NOW you’re scared.

Vampire banjo fiction is a commercial winner. As well as the book sales, there is a CD and even a tour to plump those coffers. Then there are the spin-off instrument sales so da kidz can turn teenage angst into music.

Perhaps the Monkees had a blood-sucking past? (Actually I think they morphed into the Banana Splits on a full moon, but that’s another genre).  Is this why Mike Nesmith’s mother had to invent correction fluid? To erase his terrible crimes?

The Internet even found me a picture from Angela Matteson, so I’m not alone in my thinking.

Take it from me though, Vampire Banjo Fiction, it’s the future. You heard it here first.


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