One of the things I learned while I was getting my masters degree in creative writing was to not limit yourself to one writing style or type. Indeed, many of our faculty each wrote novels, screenplays, plays, essays, articles, you name it.
I started out as a writer for the magazine market and still do it as my bread and butter. Short stories came next and two will be published this year. I'm now working on a literary-style mainstream novel. A 10-minute play of mine was produced in Virginia last year and is due to be published by an imprint of the San Francisco Bay Press. I have another play that I'm working on and hopefully there's a stage somewhere waiting for it. But a genre I've always loved writing was horror. Perhaps it comes from sitting in darkened movie theaters and wondering why the protagonist decides to open THAT door. Maybe it was when my brother and I were kids and he made it his mission in life to scare me, and I would scream and giggle at the same time.
There are few female authors who produce well-written good scary horror. Poppy Brite is one. There are a few others. And of course, there are those who write vampire stories. The subject of vampires intrigued me and so I decided to give it a try and enter another discomfort zone. I did some research and immersed myself into the vampires' world. I came up with some "What If's", created some characters, gave them their sense of self, and conjured up a short story. On a whim I sent it off to an anthology for publishing consideration. Now, I had no intention to ever writing another vampire tale; the marketplace had more than enough and writers more expert than me to write them. Imagine my surprise when the publisher wrote back and asked if this was the start of a novel. I assured her it was a complete short story. She wrote back. While she loved the story and the writing quality, she had already accepted another one with a similar feel. But she said it was good enough that I should seriously consider turning it into a novel.
I was both pleased and perplexed. I'm certainly happy about that "rejection," but other writing projects beckon and I have deadlines that need to be met. But to try my hand at a vampire novel? I don't think it'll happen right now. But someday that bug may just bite...