Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You So Trendy! (or WWII: Back With A Vengeance!)

Tip of the day: It's OK to hope that the new guys moving into the apartment above you don't play the drums. And if they do, it's also OK to tell them to stop playing the drums. You SHOULD refrain from telling them they suck at the drums.

It's spring and many people are weeding, including me. No, I'm no responsible for removing the pricker bushes and dandelions from my flower gardens (my awesome landlord does that!), but I am responsible for removing the books from my YA library section in order to make room for the new ones.

Perhaps I should be sad that some of these older titles aren't getting read, but I actually love weeding! Because as much as I hate to say it, some YA novels (a)just do not stand the test of time, or (b) their topic is over done so there's too much competition to pick it up, or (c) better books have been done on a similar topic since that one was published.

A lot of the novels I'm removing from the collection were:
1. Published between 1997 and 2001
2. WWII novels (how many times can a teen read about a family torn apart by WWII?)
3. Vietnam War era
4. Mid-1800s/turn of the century

I have to say, I do love me some historical novels, and I have a fond place in my heart for some WWIIs (THE BOOK THEIF, SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK), and I'm plotting out a Vietnam War book in my head right now....

BUT, my weeding process includes reading the book's blurb -- and THIS IS THE KEY AREA WHERE I FIND MYSELF YAWNING/SKIMMING/SAYING "BORING" AFTER THE TENTH WWII NOVEL IN A ROW! I can't help it. I'm only human with a propensity to get bored by the same old things. I just imagine an editor getting her 50th WWII submission during the week of June 1st, 2000. How can one keep reading the same topic over and over and NOT get bored?

When I check these books for the last day they went out, I see the teens feel the same way; most of them haven't gone out in over a year so they get discarded from the collection and moved into our book sale.

Yes, there are trends, but I completely understand some of the trends NEEDING to recede at a certain point so that their value can once again be seen -- unlike WWII YA novels in the year 1999. :)

What trends do you remember being over done at one time? What trends do you think are over done now?

Deena, Miss Recently Repped


amuse me said...

Do you find it helps or stymies your writing knowing what the current trends are?

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

trends are tough. I see the rise in vampires and pirates lately, as well as all the techno chick lit. I wonder when that will breath its last. I can't remember the trends of my youth. They all seem to run together. (Geez, I hope I'm not getting senile!)

Well, like your landlord, I am out in the garden pulling those dandelions and burr bushes. and stink weed...and many unidentified things that I will hope are not poisonous!

Have fun organizing the new shelves!

Kate Fall said...

I had no idea WWII was so popular a few years ago! The collective conscious is a strange thing. That sounds like a fascinating job, Deena. I wish I could help you with it. Hmm, you think if I asked my local librarian if I could help her weed the shelves, she'd think I was crazy stalker lady?

DeenaML said...

Meryl, I don't think I'll ever write to a trend, though I do admit that the framework of my current MG I'm revising for an editor was based on the format of a popular adult TV show. But the ideas I get are ones I feel I need to write no matter what the market. My Vietnam War book could be a mistake, but I HAVE to write it. :) It almost seems like it is just up to authors to write fab books, and up to editors to worry about the trends and what to buy. Sometimes they make mistakes (in my opinion a bazillion WWIIs in 4 years is crazy), but they also are selling books.....

Ghost girl, yes! Vampires and tons of fantasy in general. Magic.

Kate, you can help me weed! All you need to do is fill out a volunteer form! :)

Emily Marshall said...

Maybe the WWII stuff must be happening in your library. Or maybe I"m just not looking at our collection that well.

I think trend wise, Urban fantasy is very trendy right now. But it might be around for a bit longer.

Pendragon Inman said...

so, i'm guessing that an editor's comment about my writing being "um... unique" could be good or bad then :) HAHAHHA

just teasing