Monday, February 2, 2009

The Next Big Genre

Tip of the Day: It's Groundhog Day, and you know what that means in Rochester NY. If the groundhog sees his shadow, at least 6 more weeks of winter. And if the groundhog doesn't see his shadow, at least 6 more weeks of winter.

So I've been reading online from conference notes and blogs that editors are seeing the same kinds of books over and over again, one of them being "average kid gets superpowers." This dismays me because you could call what I'm writing "average kid gets superpowers" (although I prefer to think of it as suburban fantasy, thank you).

The truth is, there's a lot of paranormal out there. I started writing paranormal because that's what I was enjoying in my reading. Now it seems like a lot of writers I know are working on paranormals, and I can't help but wonder if it's because that's what is available for us to read. After all, you read a few good books, you get ideas for your own story. You're inspired to write a great paranormal book, it gets published, there's more paranormal on the shelves. It's a circle that feeds on itself.

As a writer, it takes me a long time to finish writing and revising a story, so I've been working on two paranormal books. As a reader, I'm wondering what the next big genre will be. If editors are seeing too much paranormal, what comes next? I think it could be ...

Romance. I don't mean romance with vampires or faeries, but you know, just fun, well-written romance. People loved OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE by Liz Gallagher this year. I think romance could make a big splash this year.

Science Fiction. HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins got a lot of attention this year. Scott Westerfeld is still hugely popular and Phillip Reeve's Steampunk-like worlds are getting to be well known. Maybe Sci Fi is the next big thing.

Historical Epic. Oh, these are fun, aren't they? It seems like more modern time periods are being explored in YA for the first time, too, like the 1940s in TEN CENTS A DANCE by Christine Fletcher.

Mystery. Is it time for mystery to make a comeback? I loved GETTING THE GIRL by Susan Juby, which was heavy on the comedy, light on the mystery. Mystery with a twist (comedy, history, etc.) has always been popular.

If I were running odds, I'd bet on one of those four. Horror/Suspense could be a contender, though. I haven't seen much straight up horror lately, like when I was a teen devouring PET CEMETARY and CHRISTINE. Adventure? Street Lit? Those can be harder to identify as genres. And most books still fall into the General Fiction category.

But I think paranormal is going to be big for a long time. After all, there are paranormal romances, paranormal mysteries, paranormal historicals ... That's what I love about YA: all those genres on the shelf next to each other and blending together so I can read them all!

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


Emily Marshall said...

I hope it's mystery!!!!!!!!! There hasn't been an influx of teen mystery books in awhile.

Or romance! I think that's why Twilight is so huge, and now I'm thinking maybe they have caught on and will just do pure teen romance too. And especially now that alot of RWA is making YA categories in contests and the new YA romance imprints. We'll see...

I think steampunk is going to get a little more popular, because of Scott Westerfeld's new series (which I have no idea when it comes out).

I like guess, but I guess there's no way to know for sure.

DeenaML said...

I think mystery and sci-fi are getting big! Yet sci-fi seems to go out more with the general YA readers if it's not labeled sci-fi....

Lisa Schroeder said...

Teen girls sure seem to be eating up romance. I think that's here to stay!!

Kristina Springer said...

Go Romance Go! :-)