We all know that, as writers, we have to write the story that we’re passionate about writing, rather than the “trends” or “cycles” that are happening in the world.
But it can’t hurt to talk about them, right?
Here are the two genres that I, in my infinite booksellerly wisdom, think should be making a comeback in the next five years: mystery and horror.
Horror is already well on its way, with the resurgence of the Darren Shan books and Rick Yancey’s new Monstrumologist series. Keep in mind, I do not count Twilight (or similar books) as horror. Those are paranormal romance. When I say horror, I mean scary vampires. Blood and guts. Serial killers. The kind of book that made you leave the lights on and lock the doors and windows when you were a kid.
Horror was huge back in the 90’s with R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Stephen King, etc. Now, Stephen King has stuck it out, but we all know that horror just hasn’t been selling well since then. But I get kids coming in all the time, asking for books that will scare them. Really scare them. And from what I’ve heard, this isn’t just a request from teens. Apparently editors and agents the world over are searching for the next Mary Downing Hahn (Wait Till Helen Comes.) It’s just a matter of time before a new horror writer takes the kids world by storm.
Mystery is probably one of the most commonly requested genres. For younger kids, it’s not hard, there are plenty of older series, like Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew. But these are a bit antiquated, and it’s hard for kids to relate. There are a few new series sneaking in, like The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Name of This Book is Secret, and 39 Clues. And so far, kids are eating them up, especially boys. And we all know that anything that appeals to boys is going to do well.
So the next focus will be in young adult. Quite frankly, what we need are more books like Alane Ferguson’s Forensic Mystery series. I can’t tell you how often I have teens coming in looking for mysteries that love CSI, and want murder mysteries with science and forensics tied in. Authors that are getting reprints right now are Lois Duncan and Caroline B. Cooney. So if your book is similar to theirs, you’ve got the right idea.
Again, make sure you write the book you’re passionate about. But if you’re passionate about two books, and one is “Twilight but with ______” and the other is a terrifying serial killer murder mystery with a fantastic twist, I’d recommend going with the second one.
I really need a sign-off. “And that’s my two cents!” “You heard it from the bookseller!” Wow, I’m terrible at this. Can anyone think of a good one?