Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Future of Romance

Last week, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion on “The Genre of Romance” at the UAA Bookstore. (Thanks to Rachel Epstein for hosting us!) Kianna Alexander, Marcy Gentemann, and Jackie Ivie talked about romance writing, how the genre has changed over the years, and what the future might hold. They had interesting ideas and tidbits of information:

50% of people choose to buy a book by the cover.

There’s a variety of subgenres including a line of romances with a Nascar theme.

It may be easier to get published in romance nowadays, but harder to stay published.

In August of 2010, the tide turned and more ebooks were published than print books.

One area of agreement was that ebooks will continue to be popular, but print books will be with us for some time to come. Our authors had great stories about writing romance, and their relatives’ response to having a romance writer in the family. They had quite a discussion about epublishing, self-publishing, and how the industry has changed over the last few years We also enjoyed hearing about their favorite authors; Barbara Cartland, Victoria Holt, and Beverly Jenkins were all influential. Our best guesses for future trends: environmental issues and more multicultural romance. What do you think is the future of romance?

Lynn Lovegreen

Sunday, October 17, 2010

YA, the Next Big Trend?

Dude, seriously? YA, the Next Big Trend?

In July I attended the Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando, Florida and the talk was all about Young Adults. Just last weekend, I attended the Heart of the West Writers Conference in Park City, Utah and again the talk was about YA’s. I write romantic thrillers. I have no interest in writing YA or reading it, but many of my writer friends are jumping on the YA train. Even some of the industries biggest authors are breaking into the Young Adult market.

In the upcoming issue of November’s Romantic Times Book Review there is an article about Kathy Reichs breaking into YA. Gena Showalter already has along with Julie Kenner, Artist Arthur, and Maria V. Snyder just to name a few.

At this time in my career, I have no desire to write YAs. The main reason being is that I’m living a YA novel. I have four teenagers. When I read or write, I want to escape my teenage-infused life. Plus, in YAs there are boundaries. For those of you who don’t know me, boundaries and I don’t mix. Give me boundaries and I’ll try my best to bust through them. Ask my mother. I’ve had the boundary aversion since I was a child. Don’t tell me to color within the lines. Anyway, for me, there is only so far you can take characters in a YA. Especially when it comes to sex, murder, violence, all those lovely adult things. Yes, I hear you hollering, “Read Hunger Games!” I’ve heard many great things about this series but as of yet, I’m not enticed enough to pick them up. There again, because kids and teenagers are the main characters. I want to read about hot men and sexy women, characters my age or within a decade or so of my age.

With all the excitement about the YA market what does this mean for those of us who don’t write it? Will we have readers? What will happen to our market? Well, in my opinion, we are going to have more and more readers. Since the YA genre is breaking out so big that means more kids are reading. Hallelujah! Those kids are going to grow up, which means more and more adults will be in need of a good read. So I say, yes! Let the YA market explode, let them cut their teeth on Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games because those same readers are being groomed for what I am writing. And my romantic thrillers will be waiting to thrill them.

Tiffinie Helmer