Jason Henderson's FB Feed

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jason, Alex Van Helsing Mon. on Good Morning Texas

I'm going to be doing a guest segment Monday morning on WFAA (ABC)'s Good Morning Texas. We're going to be talking about Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising, vampires, and whether there can be teen vampire books aimed at boys.

I do ask myself, Is that what we did? Aim a book series at boys? The answer is yes, with a but. The Alex Van Helsing series is aimed at boys in roughly the same sense that James Bond is aimed at boys, which is to say, it's not aimed as much at female readers. But because girls read more overall, we'd still be foolish to create a series that female readers would hate. It turns out so far that most of our reviewers have been women, and most of them have enjoyed Alex.

Can't wait for the discussion!


  1. I work at a public library outside Chicago, and I have helped boys find the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series and Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series. I think the paranormal genre works for both genders as long as the romance is played down. Do you think your premise that "because girls read more overall, we'd still be foolish to create a series that female readers would hate," is one of many reasons why there are so many male protagonists for juvenile and YA, including Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Wimpy Kid? Why won't boys read books about girls, but girls will read books about boys? Can't wait to read Vampire Rising. Jason, if you ever come to Chicago, please consider doing a book talk at my little library, Villa Park Public Library.

  2. Jessica-

    It's so exciting to hear from a librarian on my blog! I think that generally writers don't try to conform too much to the market while they're actually writing. I am guessing that Harry Potter was male because that's the way Rowling saw the story. No idea about Percy Jackson. But I do think the crossover appeal of the stories may have to do with a male protagonist being more readily accepted by a male reader.

    MAYBE. Actually, I do think boys will read about girls if the story is an adventure. In movies and comics, male readers loved Silence of the Lambs, Underworld and Resident Evil, which feature female protagonists. Maybe boys will read action stories starring girls?

    It's actually an accident that Alex Van Helsing is about a boy. Alex has siblings, and this series is about Alex. But my comic series is about his sister Ronnie. I think Ronnie would work for a book series-- whether or not boys read may depend more on style than the gender of the protagonist.

    But I really don't have the data on this. I'd love to here more!

    Thanks for the invite! If I find myself near Chicago I definitely will take you up on it!