As an author, you think I’d be incredibly excited by anything which gets a person to read, and I am. One book can turn into two, two into five, five into ten, and so on – and the more books read, the more likely the person is to happen upon my book and love it.
As an author, though, I’m also a reader. I’m not getting into the authors I’ve met who say they don’t read (not that they don’t have time to read – oh, how I understand that! – but those who simply don’t like to read [which confuses me], or like to read but not in their chosen genre because it could overly influence their work), so I will simply say that most authors I’ve met follow the same pattern as I. While I don’t have as varied an appetite like I did when I was a child, I do still somewhat follow trends both inside and out of Historical Fiction, and honestly, some of them are things I find amazing while other parts…aren’t. Generally speaking, I tend to notice the trends I hate more than the trends I like, because I’d rather have an educated guess as to whether I’ll enjoy a book before I buy it. As such, here are my top trends I hope will at least slow down in the next year.
DISCLAIMER: Not saying that you shouldn’t write them if you want to do so. I’m just one person, and if these sell, they sell, and they will inspire more people to write the same thing. I should know – Philippa Gregory, remember?
- Time Travel. I get it – either you like Outlander or (probably more likely) you like the success of Outlander. I love Outlander-the-Show (I have yet to be able to pick up the books – they’re so popular around here that I can hardly find them outside of the boxed sets), and I’d love to have a blockbuster series (wouldn’t we all?), so I understand, but I’m getting kind of annoyed when I look at a book I’d like to read only to see the words “travel back in time” somewhere in the description. It seems kind of like a cop-out as well, honestly – a way to write an anachronistic heroine (let’s be honest, here – overwhelmingly female protags) without having people scream about historical accuracy.
- Anne Boleyn/Elizabeth I. Recent historical fiction has a serious love affair with Anne Boleyn. Seriously, since THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, Anne has become everyone’s favorite tragic heroine and a marquee name in her own right. Elizabeth, Gloriana, the Virgin Queen, well, she’s always had her own place in history, but it does seem like contemporary readers have taken more of an interest in her following Philippa Gregory’s stories. Anne and Elizabeth have gained an almost cult-like following, and that means, of course, guaranteed readers, but it also means an extremely saturated market. When the same story is being told over and over again, it doesn’t matter how ‘fresh” the outlook is, it’s still historical fiction – based in history, which will never change. With the popularity of Wolf Hall, I’ve also noticed a small rise in the amount of fiction about Jane Seymour, but she hasn’t yet taken over in quite the same way as Anne, thankfully.
Now, again, I admit that while these are my opinions, but I also have to admit that I still fully enjoy some of the Anne Boleyn/Elizabeth stories, especially ones that go into her childhood or even her supposed romance with Henry Percy.
Anyway, those are just my opinions. How about you, do you have any fiction trends you don’t like?