What? I am. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and temps are a bit steamy…not Savannah steamy but quite hot for my part of the woods. Yes, I know my friends from Down Under are ready to smack me about now and everyone is wondering how my weather connects to writing.
Have you figured it out? Okay, I’ll be a bit more specific. A question that I’ve been asked and I’m sure most other editors (and publishers) have been asked during 99% of all interviews they’ve done relates to the weather. The question is “what do you see as the hot trend coming up?” I absolutely HATE this question.
Predicting this trend is like predicting the weather – I can make a guesstimate based on my experience and knowledge but it’s not a 100% guarantee that I’m going to be correct. If I was…whooo boy, I’d have all my authors writing those stories so we could all make bundles of money. But it’s not that simple, just like meteorology.
You see, when authors force themselves to write “what’s hot” if it’s not their forte? It shows. For example, a year or two ago there was that unbelievably popular series of books that thousands and thousands of readers went berserk over. I won’t name the series but I KNOW that there were hundreds and hundreds of people that live a certain lifestyle that were screaming about the series for vastly different reasons (ummm, Safe, Sane and Consensual anyone?). All of a sudden there was a mad dash for everyone to write a BDSM story. The problem with this (and with that popular series?) is that most didn’t understand what they were writing about so they got details and scenarios and facts completely wrong. The stories were forced and it showed in the details and the words.
So my advice when you’re looking to figure out “what’s hot” and take advantage of that? Don’t. Write what’s in your heart, your soul, your muse. Not everyone is cut out to write BDSM or military espionage or doctors or lawyers or vampires or…you get the picture. Find the stories that YOU are meant to tell and then tell them the best YOU can. Why? Because then you are going to connect with readers.
And hey, what says that by doing that you won’t start the next HOT trend?
Kris Jacen is the Executive Editor and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints. She was invited to join the MLR staff in 2008 and has never looked back. Working with the amazing authors at MLR has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. She also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers which lets her “pay-it-forward” and help authors realize their dreams.