Monday, September 12, 2016

What's Hot Now? and What's Coming Up Next? - guest post by Tara Tyler

You can find me over at Story Dam today with a guest post on being a hybrid author. Now let me hand you over to my awesome guest blogger today: Tara Tyler!

Thanks so much for having me, Christine! And thanks to you all for stopping by!

Everyone wants to know what's going to be the latest trend? What genre are agents looking for? What's going to sell? So after some research, I wanted to give you my quick take on...


My research is based on what publishers and ezines are searching for and buying for anthologies and short stories, plus articles I've read from the publishing industry. One article I read at Kirkus Reviews had input from a ton of agents and industry professionals. All these combined, they confirmed most of my findings and predictions, but also had some fresh ideas, which is what we need, right?

The hard part is, trends don't last. We writers know it takes about a year to polish a novel. And if we aren't lucky enough to be cooking what's hot while it's heating up, we may miss the pie eating contest!

But don't throw away that manuscript that missed the boat. I also believe trends come and go in cycles. Most genres run their course in popularity, then a new one shows up or a classic returns - remember chick lit and vampires? Well, being a mathematician, I follow patterns and think I can make some sound predictions. But I'm also a believer in the fickle, unpredictable public - which is why I just go with my gut! And you should too!

So here are my assessments and predictions...

What's HOT Now?
  • Fairy Tales Retold - lots of folks asking for spins on traditional fairy tales, but most writers know that most stories are based on ancient tales anyway, so we got this!
  • Not So Super Heroes - alternative lifestyles, weird-not-necessarily-tragic beginnings, hints of deviousness and lots of inner conflict
  • Horror Fantasy/Historical Horror - what's with all the horror? I think people are so jaded these days, it's hard to scare them! Don't hold back with these tainted twists
  • Diversity and Disability - everyone has story and we want to see them through the eyes of different people, not the same old-same old
  • Adult Coloring Books - no, this is NOT X-rated Adult, but therapeutic detailed, coffee and coloring because we don't like being an adult coloring books! (I think this is millennial inspired)
Here's a peek into my crystal ball for Upcoming Trends!
  • Sci Fi/Fantasy - I think it's already started with the current TV shows, but it has so many possibilities mixing technology with paranormal/magical elements (like Star Wars!) - but with great power comes great conflict! With all the gadgets and magic, there have to be huge obstacles, fallibilities, and limitations...
  • Dark Heroes - contrasting a dark heart with a twinge of conscience or an awesome super hero with a serious problem that catches up with her, secrets, deception, playing two sides, not always a happy ending.
  • Alternate POVs - overlooked MCs - the custodian, the checkout person, the garbage man, the ER receptionist - they have stories too, many more stories than a single hero, and these stories affect their lives.
  • Virtual Thrillers - first person POV, really get into their heads, limited information, scare the reader with dire, drastic thoughts, like a virtual reality video game you can't control or escape.
  • Techno Fun - a mix of the latest technology, horror, and suspense. You are being watched, followed, and documented - whether you like it or not! Many stories can be discovered and uncovered, like dead bodies through Pokemon Go - it's just the beginning!
  • dare I say... Chick Lit! - NA (new adult) didn't seem to catch on as a reboot of Chick Lit, but I know there's an audience who loves young love, drama, and humor. These are all Rom Coms or Contemporary Romance! But they need a transformation. Or do they? Maybe just a new title, but definitely more Lit than Chick!
  • more Illustrations - the dwindling attention span needs visual stimulation...
But it always comes down to this - WRITE A GOOD STORY AND WRITE IT WELL. You want to know how a trend starts? By touching a reader's heart. Make readers feel something, feel enough to tell others about the book they just finished and couldn't put down. That's how a trend is born.

What trends are you digging now?
Do you think these are accurate predictions? Working on any right now?
And what kind of story would YOU like to see?

    by Tara Tyler
    Publication Date: December 1, 2016

    Welcome to the forest.
    Gabe and his girlfriend Ona are headed in opposite directions for Spring Break. After finding out humans might be a real part of their history, Ona is determined to dig up evidence of them in the mysterious mountains at Camp Cradle Rock. Being a logical goblin, Gabe tries to talk her out of it, but there's just no reasoning with a stubborn ogress.

    When Ona goes missing, Gabe and his friends fly to Cradle Rock to search for her and discover a village of trouble, igniting an age old war. His physical skills may be lacking, but Gabe won't give up. With the help of his diverse group of friends, he will find a way to save his girl and maybe all beastkind. Humans, bah!

    Add to your Reading List on Goodreads!


    Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

    Talk to me!
    Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog


    1. So true that the trends come and go. Congrats on your upcoming book.

    2. Adult coloring books are huge right now, that's so true. My sister is obsessed with them. I even have a couple.

      I think trends come and go in cycles, too.

      Best of luck with your new release, Tara!

    3. I agree with the cyclic trends. All it takes is one good story in an old trend to reboot it. Congrats on Cradle Rock!

    4. Nice predictions, Tara. I like the sound of the alternative POVs. I'd read books about those characters.

    5. Interesting. Great post Thanks for the tips Congrats on new book.

      Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    6. I certainly hope science fiction and fantasy is an upcoming trend!

    7. I'm still scratching my head over the adult coloring books, but I guess it is therapeutic. Maybe I should give it a go.

      Congrats to you, Tara. Here's to another great kid's story.

    8. Thanks Tara! I'm doing a bit of sci-fi/fantasy at the moment. Fingers crossed. :)

    9. Trends certainly do come and go. I think what's important is that you write what you enjoy. Maybe you'll be on the cutting edge of a new trend, and not trying to jump on a bandwagon.

    10. Thanks to everyone for stopping by today. Tara's books are awesome! I'm lucky to be her CP and get first reads. :)

    11. Thanks for the list! I always love fairytale retellings and fantasy/sci-fi blends for sure :)

    12. It's cliché, but it's best to write the story of your heart, the story you feel compelled to write, instead of writing something only because it's trendy, or because you feel it'll become trendy. The best books are those where the author's passion for the subject and story shine through loud and clear. As a historical writer, I'm kind of glad my genre is so unpopular, since there's no way it can fall victim to oversaturation and audience burnout, the way genres like paranormal romance and post-apocalyptic have done.

    13. I've been hearing more about those adult coloring books, not sure what to think of it yet, though:)

    14. Trends always interest me. I do have a few ideas cooking that relate to these trends. Mostly, though, I just write what interests me, as the stories become complete in my mind.

      Chasing trends just seem a bit too impractical for me. Like... people say dystopians are dead. But I bet if someone publish an awesome dystopian today, a few months down the line, people will be chasing it.

      Fairy-tale retellings used to be dead until Cinder came out.

      So, my thinking is I want to be the person who STARTS the trend more than anything else.

    15. I like your predictions, Tara. People will pay money to know that stuff ahead of time. Good luck with your new release.

    16. I believe wholeheartedly that trends and fashion are on a huge loop. Thanks for the heads up. :-)

      Anna from elements of emaginette

    17. I'm always so far behind trends they catch up with me eventually. Great list to read though.

    18. Fantastic post... thank you for sharing... always interesting to see what the industry predicts, but your last point is spot on.. write the best book and it will sell :)

    19. Loved your post over at Story Dam, Christine!

      And great guest post, Tara! I've noticed how trendy adult coloring books have become, too. People are always surprised those aren't a hobby of mine, since I'm an artist, color all day for a living. An adult coloring book would just seem like more work, LOL.

    20. Thanks for all the great feedback and support, you guys!

      and Christine, its always a pleasure! thanks again for having me!

    21. People are still calling for Fairy tale retellings? That blows my mind. Will that trend ever end?

    22. I hope that fantasy and sci-fi start making a bigger comeback, if only because that's what I love to read :) And write, of course! And chick lit was always fun--I wouldn't mind seeing more of that.

    23. I always say write what you want, because trends come and go. I would love it if science fiction was more on trend, though.

      Cradle Rock sounds like an awesome read!


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