Caissie St. Onge captures being a teenage vampire with humor
What started out as funny banter on Twitter became the inspiration for television writer Caissie St. Onge’s first young-adult novel, “Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.”
“I was on Twitter making fun of vampire movies and TV shows,” remembers St. Onge. “I said that if you were a teenager who suddenly became a vampire in real life it would be dreadful. It would make you even more different and an outsider, and with my luck I would be blood-intolerant.”
With that tweet, her novel was born. And while the protagonist is indeed an ageless blood-intolerant teenage vampire, “Jane Jones” reads more like a humorous coming-of-age novel than a “Twilight” rip-off. This was St. Onge’s intention all along. “The vampire part is the hook, but it’s not just about that. It’s about a girl and her relationship to her family and peers and finding people that you fit in with,” she says.
To capture that unique angst, St. Onge channeled her own awkward high school years.
“I remember my teenage years very clearly; feeling trapped and wanting so many things. In the case of Jane Jones, she is stuck and is never going to get beyond this period in her life unless something really drastic happens,” she says.
Unlike many current young-adult novels which are so serious and heavy, “Jane Jones” is funny; St. Onge cultivated her humor as the assistant to such greats as David Letterman and Rosie O’Donnell. She especially credits O’Donnell with cultivating her talent. “She always introduced me as a writer,” St. Onge says. “It made me understand that just because you’re not drawing a paycheck for your writing doesn’t mean that you’re not a writer. If you’re writing things, that makes you one.”