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Fun Friday–Vampires Are SO Last Season

Friday, September 18, 2009

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BeingHuman01Am I the only one who’s sick of seeing all the black-covered books in the YA section of B&N, or that every other new show and movie this season has vampires in it? Don’t get me wrong—I’ve gotten into a couple of the TV series, the best of which is BBC’s humorous drama Being Human about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost living together in a flat in Bristol, England, and trying to, well, be human. The reason it’s the best? It’s not just like every other vampire show/story out there. Between Twilight (I’ve only seen the movie, so don’t judge me too harshly), HBO’s True Blood, and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, all of the characters are starting to run together (though of Edward, Bill, or Stefan, I’d have to say Bill is my favorite vampire after Being Human‘s Mitchell—but that’s probably an age thing). I’m starting to get really confused as to what the rules are for all of them. In Being Human vampire Mitchell can go outside—into the sunlight—without any ill effects; same with Edward in Twilight. In True Blood, Bill has to sleep in the crawlspace under the house because any exposure to sunlight is like pouring hydrochloric acid on his skin. In The Vampire Diaries, I believe the trick is that as long as Stefan wears a particular ring, he’s okay going out in the sunlight. And each one has differing methods as to how one turns someone else into a vampire. Used to be that it only took one bite. Some of them, you have to exsanguinate the person and replace their blood with your (vampire) blood. In True Blood you have to be buried with them for a complete day cycle. At least all of them have kept two pieces of vampire lore that I’m familiar with: they have to be invited in before they can enter your home, and a stake through the heart will kill them (though, in Mitchell’s case . . .)

But as Heidi Klum says every week on Project Runway, “One day you’re in; the next day, you’re out.” Now that everyone’s jumped on the vampire bandwagon (even Christian fiction—and even, horror of horrors, Jane Austen adapters), the publishing world is all abuzz with trying to predict what the next big publishing trend will be.

Karen Springen, of Publisher’s Weekly, seems to think the next big trend for YA fiction will be angels:

This fall publishers are introducing more than a dozen titles about angels—good ones, funny ones and especially fallen ones, kicked out of heaven. “We’ve kind of exhausted where we can go with vampires,” said Heather Doss, children’s merchandise manager for Bookazine. “Now we’re taking the safe characters and making them the bad guys. We’re turning that stereotypical angel image upside down.”

Christopher Campbell, who writes the Hollywood Crush blog for MTV.com thinks the next big trend will be faeries (which I guess is different than fairies):

Another film about faeries is on its way to the big screen. Following this summer’s announcement that Miley Cyrus is to star in Disney’s adaptation of Aprilynne Pike’s teenage faerie tale “Wings,” Variety reports that Universal is working on a movie based on “Wicked Lovely,” the first in a series of young adult books by Melissa Marr.

The projects aren’t very similar, however. Disney’s film, which is being produced by “Twilight” producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, involves a seemingly normal girl who sprouts wings, making her a human-sized faerie. “Wicked,” on the other hand, features a teenage girl who can merely see the creatures—though she is offered the chance to join that world by a faerie suitor who takes human form in order to pursue her.

In the romance genre, we’ve seen trends come and go—chick lit, bounty hunters, vampire slayers, vampire/werewolf/shapeshifter lovers, Highland warriors and English damsels, etc. The most virulent of the trends in historical romance, in Christian publishing anyway, is the Regency romance. I know that the timing of the publication of Ransome’s Honor looks like I’m a bandwagon-jumper-on-er, but I was writing it when editors were still telling us that historic fiction was dead, dead, dead and all they were looking for was chick lit. But now the market is telling us that same-old-same-old Regencies aren’t what readers are looking for. They want something different—different time periods, different settings.

So that’s my question for you today. What do you think will be (or what do you want to be) the next big trend in fiction—whether YA or adult? What’s the next big character group that hasn’t been tapped yet? Careers? Historical periods? Be as creative as you’d like!

41 Comments
  1. Friday, September 18, 2009 5:34 am

    I’d have to say I’m partial to historical period literature. I obviously love the period that Jane Austen wrote, but any literature that teaches me more about that particular time period I’ll latch onto.

    Lately I’ve been fascinated by colonial times, so if I could find some series written then…that would be lovely!

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 11:46 am

      J. M. Hochstetler has a series set during the revolutionary war: http://www.jmhochstetler.com/

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      • Saturday, September 19, 2009 4:04 pm

        Joan’s books are wonderful! I recommend them too.

        And Laura Frantz’s debut novel, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, is set in Kentucky in the 1770s. I have it ordered and am greatly looking forward to it.

        I’m writing novels set in the 1780s and 1790s. I love the 18C!

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 2:29 pm

      This is out of print, but Gilbert Morris’s Liberty Bell series was pretty good! It’s 7 books…the first one is called Sound the Trumpet.

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  2. Patty permalink
    Friday, September 18, 2009 5:41 am

    Hi Kaye,
    I’ve never been into vampires, elves, fairies or the like(unless it’s stuff like ‘Young Frankinstein.’) Just can’t get into all that stuff.

    In fact, I quit my RWA critique group because everyone was writng vampire stories–I didn’t know the ‘rules’ of the life like stakes through the heart or wearing garlic. One of my crit partners even had a fairy whose wings would vibrate when sexually aroused–good writing but I just didn’t understand that.

    Maybe I’ve just not got the imagination for that particular genre.

    Patty

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 11:47 am

      I can’t imagine working with a crit group where everyone was writing the same kind of thing. I think it would get quite monotonous—whether or not you know the rules of the creatures/world.

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  3. Lori permalink
    Friday, September 18, 2009 8:41 am

    Kaye, From my own personal reading desire I would like to see something with a little more “real life” like tap into the early ages of science where discoveries are made and (in a romantic genre) love can grow. But then I am a geek so I like that stuff. Not sure you have to go back to the revloutionary time period but to see a young Benjamin Franklin-type character be thwarted by a bright female scientist/artist Maria Marian-type could make for a fasinating story!

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 11:49 am

      There are probably plenty of other people (my mom is one of them) who would enjoy reading books set during the early age of scientific discovery. Hopefully writers who’re interested in that kind of history will see this and write them for y’all!

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  4. Friday, September 18, 2009 9:13 am

    Ok, so I started writing a response here, but it became so long that I decided to post it on my own blog with a link to yours. Please check it out and I hope your readers will check it out as well, as I pose some questions to writers that I would love to get folks’ take on!

    http://www.coriemartin.blogspot.com

    Cheers!

    Corie

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  5. Friday, September 18, 2009 10:10 am

    I would love to see a trend of love stories that take place AFTER marriage. Falling in love / new love are great, but most love stories end at the declaration or the wedding. Yet that’s not real life. The best years of love come as it matures. I think the focus on the exciting falling in love part in most chick flicks and romance novels makes the stable, everyday love of married life seem boring. It’s not, and I would love to see that celebrated more.

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 11:52 am

      The books you’re wanting fall into two genres: love story romance novels (falling in love again after marriage) and women’s fiction (the characters are typically married in these books). Now, one that only follows what happens after marriage . . . not sure about that. But most women’s fiction deals with someone having to work through real-life issues, many of which are conflicts that have arisen in their marriage/family.

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    • greyfort permalink
      Monday, September 21, 2009 5:10 pm

      You should check out Megan DiMaria’s books if you haven’t already.

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  6. Friday, September 18, 2009 10:18 am

    Also, you really should read the Twilight Saga, Kaye. I think the stories would suck you in. Stephenie Meyer does an amazing job of putting female emotions into words. There are enough characters with various painful experiences that I think most, if not all, readers will find at least one character they really relate to.

    I reviewed the Saga here – including my thoughts on the author’s use of viewpoint characters.

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 11:54 am

      I tried, Becky. Even though I hate First Person POV, I checked the first one out of the library and tried reading it. I wanted to give it the same chance that I gave the HP books so many years ago (and loved). But after the first few pages I put it down. Then I cringed every time I went to pick it up to read it again. Aside from not liking her writing style, I didn’t connect at all with Bella as the POV character. She annoyed me.

      Sorry.

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    • Saturday, September 19, 2009 9:16 pm

      OMG LOVED the Twilight series but the movie did NOT do the book justice, hopefully the New Moon movie is better. It looks as if it will be!

      XOXO~ Renee

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  7. Friday, September 18, 2009 10:32 am

    I’m a historical gal for the most part…although I’ve recently gotten sucked into contemporary women’s fiction…but I’d like to see more 1910’s-1940’s…which is the time period(s) of my three WIPs 😉 . 1910’s, World War One, Jazz Age (ala The Untouchables), Depression, and lots more WW2 is what I’d really like to see. With the exception of Julie Lessman and a few others, I haven’t seen any 1920’s-1930’s period…since the Thoene’s, at least.

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 12:00 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing some Depression-era fiction start hitting the shelves in the next year or so. With the way the current economic landscape has made the media constantly refer to the Depression, it’s bound to have made a lot of authors think about that time period and get interested in it.

      The only depression-era book I’ve ever read was one of the books in the Sunfire series of YA romances by scholastic twenty years ago (Jacqueline). Of course, that series tried to hit just about every major historical era in American history. Another one, Emily was, I believe, set right at the turn of the 20th century (I think they actually celebrated the 1900 New Year in the story). The WWII story—Veronica, which involved the bombing of Pearl Harbor—is one of the six that I just sent to my niece as part of her birthday present (she just turned 14). That series is what gave me a love of history and romance as well as inspired me to start writing. I’m hoping it’ll do the same for her!

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  8. Friday, September 18, 2009 10:41 am

    I’m waiting for worlds to collide and produce some Amish-vampire fiction. 😉

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 12:10 pm

      Uh . . . hello, you know how to type, don’t you?

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      • Friday, September 18, 2009 1:53 pm

        HA! I don’t know that I’m that desperate…LOL!

        Though speaking of vampires…I could become desperate enough to pen a sequel to Moonlight…it is so WRONG that show only got one season. It must’ve been just a year ahead of its time.

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        • Saturday, September 19, 2009 9:19 pm

          I KNOW!!!!! I LOVED that show so very much…I want to know what happened to Mick and Beth after that door closed! I totally agree, if it was released a year later it would have been a total hit and we would still be seeing sexy Alex O’Loughlin as a vampire! I’m all for you writing a sequel!

          XOXO~ Renee

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        • Saturday, September 19, 2009 11:11 pm

          Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂 At least we got some semblance of closure at the end of the show’s only season…though I wanted MORE, dang it!! 😉 Alex O’Loughlin will forever be my favorite vampire…though I am going to give his new show a try whenever it starts to air this fall (Three Rivers).

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  9. Friday, September 18, 2009 12:19 pm

    I personally would like to see Medieval romances make a comeback. Probably because I grew up reading Jude Deveraux’s, Julie Garwood’s, and Catherine Coulter’s Medievals. I also like Scottish Highland Warriors. Again, stems from childhood.

    Without going to the place of vampires/werewolves/zombies, etc., I’d love to see some good Gothic romances as well.

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 1:56 pm

      The only medievals that really stand out in my memory are the Theyn Chronicles by Angela Hunt…loved those! Oh…and that Linda Windsor series…Fires of Gleannmara (sp?). Have you heard about her upcoming book w/ David C. Cook…Healer (http://tinyurl.com/m5t2to). According to the last “Dear Reader” letter on her website the setting is Arthurian Scotland! Can’t wait!

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      • Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:19 am

        I have all three of Linda Windsor’s medievals as well as Carol Umberger’s series of four novels set during Bruce-era Scotland.

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        • Sunday, September 20, 2009 9:41 am

          I forgot about Carol Umberger’s novels – I have those as well and really enjoyed them.

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  10. Friday, September 18, 2009 12:47 pm

    I kind of like the Fairies idea. I never liked Vampires, trying to because of my son, but ick. I would just swoon if they created a regency or victorian era tv show.

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    • Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:16 am

      Unfortunately, the idea of a regular TV show costume drama is pretty much dead in the water—since it would probably have to be done by BBC/ITV (because we know US TV isn’t going to do it!), and BBC has said they’re moving away from costume dramas even for their specials/movies—or at least from anything that isn’t “edgy.”

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      • Monday, September 21, 2009 6:41 pm

        WHAAAAAT??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!! No way!!!! No more BBC costume dramas! Kill me now and put me out of my misery!!!

        (ok, it just means I’ll have to find somewhere else to get my costume drama fix. BBC was probably burned out from Robin Hood. Not like the costumes were historically accurate anyway, buuut…(RA made up for it. 😛 ))

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        • Monday, September 21, 2009 6:49 pm

          Actually, they were talking more about the specials/movies—it was just after they redid 80% of the Austen stories and Cranford. There have been articles about how the adaptation of Emma, which I believe starts airing across the Pond in October, has changed the storyline and characters to give them a much more modern/edgy sensibility:

          http://tinyurl.com/ocf8d7

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        • Wednesday, September 23, 2009 1:17 pm

          Very interesting article. Although I agree with the guy at the end talking about the gals wearing muslin frocks but mentally wearing leggings. Unless REALLY done well, it doesn’t fly with me. And is edgy always better? I’ll just have to wait to see Emma and find out.

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  11. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, September 18, 2009 8:36 pm

    Regency? I haven’t seen very many Christian fiction Regency books at all. Right now it’s amish, amish, amish, mennonite, amish, etc. The only Regency I can think of besides RH, are The English Garden books by Lori Wick, a couple of series by Catherine Palmer, Julie Klassen’s books, and the ones by Lenore Rose Burkhard.

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    • Friday, September 18, 2009 9:00 pm

      I’m seeing more pop up. With the Austen craze coming back via the many film remakes, I can definately see much more Regency in the future (not that the Austen craze ever went out…it’s just starting to be “revisited” again, like Dickens with the last couple BBC series. IMO.)

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      • Friday, September 18, 2009 9:01 pm

        And yes, Amish is getting a leeeetle overkill. 😉

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    • Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:18 am

      Apparently the publishing houses have been inundated with Regencies and that’s what I’m hearing from the editors I’ve talked to: that they’re looking for something other than the run-of-the-mill Regency. Of course, that could have to do more with the quality of the proposals they’re seeing than anything else. Regency is an era that’s never gone away in secular romance.

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  12. Saturday, September 19, 2009 9:14 pm

    I happen to love the whole vampire genre and Kaye, I’m 23 and I think Bill is the best out of all those vamps above so it isn’t an age thing 😀

    Even though I love paranormal/vampire romance they all seem to run together after a while. I have to switch between paranormals and Christian romance to give myself a break or I get confused!

    Hahaha I love Ruth’s idea of Amish vampires, that’s hilarious…but the way things are headed it could happen! I have to agree with Alexandra, I would love to see more 1910s-1930s books! I loved Lynn Austin’s Hidden Places set during the Depression and would be thrilled to see more like it!

    Thanks for another great Fun Friday…even though it was a Fun Saturday for me!

    XOXO~ Renee

    Like

    • Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:21 am

      I’ve requested the first Sookie Stackhouse novel from the library. I’ll see if I like Sookie any better in the novel than I do in the TV show (can’t stand her, don’t understand what Bill sees in her!).

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  13. Emilie permalink
    Saturday, September 19, 2009 11:51 pm

    YA historical better come back quick. I, too, am freakin’ sick of the vampires. I read Twilight and my husband forbid me from reading the rest because I was so grouchy. Don’t get me started on all that’s wrong with these books. Bad writing is one thing–sending young girls the message that it’s okay to practially commit suicide for your jerk of a boyfriend just because he’s “god-like hot” is another.

    Bring me some solid historicals that are well-written any day:)

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    • Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:20 am

      I have a feeling that’s why inspirational historicals are so popular amongst Christian teens. They’re clean and they give them their history fix.

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  14. Thursday, September 24, 2009 4:18 pm

    Kaye – if you are sick of looking at the black covered books, imagine my rolling eyes every time I walk past the Teen display tables every day at work!

    Honestly, it seems half the inquiries for books by buyers are for either Twilight series or Sookie Stackhouse. Now they are moving on to Vampire Diaries & Academy. Who knows if angels will have their time.

    Thanks for the link.

    Like

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