by Alyssa Cole
TWILIGHT. The novel that, despite its pro-abstinence views, spurred the spontaneous sexual awakening of millions of teens and rejuvenated the sex lives of millions of their parents. The creepy relationships that made every single reader sigh, either in adoration or contempt. The storyline that pitted sister (Team Edward) against sister (Team Jacob) and nearly rent the very fabric of this great nation.
Love it or hate it, TWILIGHT had a huge impact on the publishing genre. Probably more than you’ve ever imagined. Adjust your tin-foil hat and follow me down the rabbit-hole as I reveal how Stephanie Meyer (author or weaver of fate?) singlehandedly changed the world of romance past, present , future, and across all dimensions….
As with any fan base, Twi-hards channeled their love for the series into writing fan fiction. Bella, Edward, and the rest of the gang were transfigured into millions of different of versions of themselves, and many of these new characters were not vampires. In fact, much of the fan fiction had no paranormal elements at all. But what could substitute for blood lust? Hm, maybe narcotics addiction. Why would Edward be averse to Bella’s touch? Abuse and/or assault. Why is Bella’s mom such a flake? Because she’s a crackhead, duh. Thus, New Adult sprung from the foreheads of Twi-fanficcers fully formed and ready to be published (as soon as the names were changed from Bella and Edward to Daisy and Jaden, of course).
One special fan-fic channeled Edward’s insatiable need for blood into an insatiable need to spank some ass. Yes, it existed well before FIFTH SHADES (*throws Anne Rice a cookie*), but since the advent of the repackaged fan-fic, the market for BDSM-related erotic romance has exploded.
Vampires, werewolves, and a variety of other non-humans duking it out for the love of one bland-but-actually-super-special woman? That sounds familiar.
Motorcycle Club Romance.
In NEW MOON, Bella works out her angst by repeatedly placing herself in life-threatening situations in order to have hallucinatory visions of Edward. Her primary method was by joining Jacob’s motorcycle gang (this is a stretch, but just go with it). A few years later, and Harley riders are rising to the top of the best seller lists.
You can honestly do this with any style of romance: Historicals? Popular because of the Cullen family flashbacks. Multicultural? Sales fueled by that taboo Bella/Jacob love. What fun conspiracy theories do you have?♥
Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who splits her time between fast-paced NYC and island-paced life in the Caribbean. RADIO SILENCE, the first book in her postapocalyptic New Adult series from Carina Press, will be released in February 2015. She is one of the contributing authors in the multicultural Revolutionary War romance anthology FOR LOVE & LIBERTY: Untold Love Stories of the American Revolution. Visit her website at www.alyssacole.com, on twitter at @alyssacolelit, or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlyssaColeLit.