Paranormal vs. Abnormal

I haven't read Twilight. The majority of my peers look askance at me when I tell them this interesting fact, and then they proceed to gush. I'm all about gushing (especially when we're gushing about Megan Whalen Turner). I don't mind it. I admire Stephenie Meyer (say that out loud - it's fun) for what she's been able to do and the following she's been able to gain. It's incredible.

Up to this point, I haven't read anything by her. However, I WON SOMETHING at Sara B. Larson's blog (which you should totally check out because she's an authoress, too, and she has contests where real people like me win things!). Want to know what I won? Yes, a book by Stephenie Meyer! I'm looking forward to being introduced to her and Bree Tanner. Hopefully it will make some sense to this un-Twilighted-authoress because it is, after all, an Eclipse novella.

I read something this week - and I've read it before. Kody Keplinger interviewed agent Jennifer Laughran on the YA Highway about publishing and YA and all that good stuff. It was insightful, as always, but she said something that gave me pause,
"Ugh. I am so NOT fascinated by trends. I am the opposite of fascinated by them. I would say 95% of my inbox at the moment is paranormal romance with some sort of creature (mermaid, selkie, siren, werewolf, unicorn, vampire, zombie, mummy, or some combo like selkwolf or mercorn) - and I am totally not interested..."
Here's the thing: I don't write paranormal romance. It's not like I never made a conscious decision to write it, just like I never consciously decided to write "low" fantasy, spy/mystery, dystopian, etc... But when I read that, I realized, I've never written paranormal romance.

There was a quick moment where I wondered if something was wrong with me. After all, pretty much every other authoress is writing these things, and we all know it's because of the Twilight trend. Because falling in love with sparkly vampires is all the rage.

Then I realized - I have something different. If her Inbox is 95% full of paranormal romance, guess where I am. I'm in the 5%. I stand out (or I will once I submit). Since I haven't read Twilight, I'm not going to sound like in-love-with-a-vampire-ness that everyone else is submitting. I'm unique. I'm writing about princesses while everyone else is writing about vampires.

For once, something an agent said has encouraged me. Sometimes, being different can be good. (That's a quote from a movie somewhere. I can't remember.)

So what about you? Do you write Paranormal? Do you write Paranormal Romance? How do you feel about the YA market (and probably all ages, too - has it spread to picture books yet?) being over-saturated? Or maybe you think there's still a need...

EDIT: An interesting article about the remaining prominence of Paranormal from Publisher's Weekly, posted by Stacey over at the Dystel & Goderich Literary Management Blog is over here if you want to read further on what Stephenie Meyer has set into motion.

No comments: