Last night I dragged my butt into #YAlitchat at Twitter (it's a hashtag chat run by @Georgia_McBride --if you're into YA and capable of staying up past 9PM EST it's definitely worth joining). The discussion last night--trends in the YA market.
Here's what I was noticing as the conversation zipped by:
- Some folks wondering if vampires are finally dead. No, I did *not* jump in and make a snarky comment about them being "undead." ;-)
- Some misconceptions about the definition of paranormal. No, you don't have to have zombies or something dead reanimate (or something undead) to write a paranormal. 13 TO LIFE is paranormal and frankly, I could yank the werewolves out of book 2 entirely and it would *still* be paranormal because of the other craziness going on.
- Things people claimed young readers are tired of: undead hot guys. (I was like: Whew! Pietr and the others--not undead. Not even dead. Still hot. Close one! ;-)
- Lamenting a lack of good ole YA fiction. I've actually read more YA fiction this year than last year (or the year before) because of Class of 2k10 releases like OF ALL THE STUPID THINGS and THE SECRET YEAR. It's there, just not as prevalent in the current market. It doesn't mean you shouldn't write YA fiction if that's the story that calls you to write it.
- The same general advice I give: Don't try and write to a trend or catch a trend because publishing moves so slowly you won't succeed. (My addition to that line of thought--UNLESS you e-publish. You wanna piece of the current marketplace and have a story that's unfortunately timely for NOW? Seriously, seriously think e-publishing. Of course, if your story's amazingly powerful, it doesn't matter if it's perfectly timely. But think on that--the schedules of e-pubbing versus trad are waaaay different when it comes to lead time).
LOL. Okay. You know I'm a fan of history--well, maybe not so much a fan as a "student of." Our species (like many others) repeats things. Elephants (birds, etc.) return to the same migration paths continually (until we arrogantly disrupt their paths--but I digress). We also do things predictably and in cycles. Most of us will return to within an hour's drive of where we grew up to raise our own family. Not because it's the best place ever, but because it's familiar--comfortable. We're still a species that goes with "the devil you know" instead of coping with "the fear of the unknown."
So, let's think a bit about what was hot over the past ten years and tomorrow we'll toy with what the next ten hold (unless the world ends in 2012 and then...*sigh*). ;-)