Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm one reader (and writer) that dosen't want to see things change

I've seen the following sale on a few blogs the past couple days.

Sarah Prineas's THE CROW KING'S DAUGHTER, featuring faerie lore without the urban setting and without drugs, sex, and angst, to Toni Markiet at Harper Children's, in a good deal, in a three-book deal, by Caitlin Blasdell at Liza Dawson Associates (NA).

No big deal, I mean it's just another kids book right? Yes. The part that seems to have caught attention is for what it isn't. Sounds confusing at first. What I mean is that the posts I've seen on this are people saying they like what this series IS NOT, basically that it's not anything like books like Twilight. Note the part of the book description that says "without urban setting and without drugs, sex and angst."

All I can tell from the brief description is that the book is about faeries. I know more about what it isn't then what it is. While I enjoy traditional fantasy from time to time, my personal taste is in urban fantasy. I like books like Twilight and I don't see that changing any time soon. I know for a fact I'm not alone here. So I don't really agree with the whole hope that there's a shift coming in what's selling these days. I like that there are a lot of options but I of course want to hear that what I like most and happen to write myself, is still what's selling.

I like to see some angst and sex in an urban setting, but I could do without the drugs. Sexual desire and angst are a part of growing up, they are natural feelings and urges that every single teen will experience at some point. And the fact that those feelings can be wrapped up in a story that's in a setting we can all relate to with elements of fantasy that provide an exciting escape, well that is one of the reasons I love this genre. Again, I realize this is just my opinion.

The tide will turn as always so that certain themes are what's selling the most but with the Twilight movies just getting started I doubt books like it will die out anytime soon. As a fan I've witnessed first hand how obsessed people are and one of the topics floating around is what series we can fall in love with next. That's the beauty of stories that get the world talking, it opens the door for more stories to be shared. People want books that are similar to the ones they love. Why do you think Barnes and Noble has a big ol' table packed full of books with a sign that reads something like this "If you like Twilight, you'll love..."

I agree that vampires need a rest but I'm all about any book that can suck me in the way Twilight did. If it's a high fantasy about faeries, great, if it's a rock star who's really an alien, bring that on too (yeah I'm partial to that one since it's mine). All that I really care about is reading a story that captivates me and makes me stay up all night just to see what happens.

*Disclaimer - I wouldn't have used the Twilight reference AGAIN if it hadn't been for a direct comparision on the blog where I first saw this.


Eric said...

Great post. I can see why authors might want to distance themselves from the Twilight series however, since anything involving vampires will pale in comparison amongst the masses. That's not to say that Twilight is the holy grail of vampire books (not by a long shot), but if you're someone who is writing paranormal fiction, you may find it difficult to make yours unique enough to justify notice.

Icy Roses said...

As long as teenagers etc. struggle with problems like sex, drugs, and angst, then we will continue seeing a prominent place for those issues in fiction. I highly doubt things will change drastically in the book industry.

And personally, like you, I don't mind it. I like being able to mix some real life problems in with the fantasy. It's all what makes fantasy so relatable and what makes it the best genre. :-) I am biased, of course.

Sarah said...

I totally agree with you on the whole urban fantasy thing. I would take it over epic fantasy any day.

About two years ago I was in love with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, and it wasn't until recently that my love diminished slightly, reason being that I began picking up books like The Hunger Games, Graceling, Uglies, etc. They were all young adult books that had some deep point that the author was trying to put across, whether it be ethical, political, religious, etc. All of these books made me think. The one huge problem I now have with Twilight is what a good friend told me, that the only real deep thing about it other than true love is that all four books combined are the biggest piece of abstinence propaganda of this generation. Of course, I am not saying that this is a bad thing :-P, but lately I have been craving YA books with a little more substance.

Sara Tribble said...

I have to admit while I do love Twilight I find myself more intrigued to a make believe world not just fantasy things living with today.

While most books I love they take you into another world-CS Lewis with Narnia-JK with Hogwarts Marie Brennan with her Starfall- Twilight just smacks the vampires into our world and there was only a few underground parts.

Nonetheless I do still love it but I prefer a whole new fantasy and may be leaning more towards adult. Marie Brenna's books really opened my eyes to an adult fantasy and all I can say it wow! Mirage put a spell on me!

A trip to Barnes and Nobels really shows vampires are going crazy out of hand. I love them all-especially bad ones-but I could not believe all the books after I noticed Twilight. It's a craze and really makes me think over some of my own stuff.

ElanaJ said...

Good post. I want to say that a trip to Barnes and Noble also makes me nervous. The last two books (YA urban fantasies) I bought there I had to throw away. Why? Sex, language and violence. I just don't like it that much. I want good writing with a good story and true concepts. I don't need graphic details and other stuff to muddy it up. So I'm sort of glad to read what Sarah's book "is not." It is thought-provoking at the very least.

Rebecca said...

Fabulous comments people!!! (this is not spell checked - forgive me)

Eric- Great points! I'm not at all into vampire books but even I can agree Twilight is so not "the vampire book" of vampire books. I hope my story can at least hold its own out there!

Sarah- You got me thinking when you brought up books with a message. I completely agree. That's one thing I loved about the Uglies. (can't wait to read Hunger Games, I have it waiting for me on my book shelf!) One thing that really bothered me about Twilight, was the lack of Bella's goals and life without Edward. Did the girl not have one single friend to stay in touch with from her life in AZ?
I just hope I've been successful in weaving my moral message into my fantasy!

Icy Roses- Yay, you agree with me on the Urban Fantasy thing! You're right, teenagers will always be teenagers so the issues they face and emotions they feel will always be around. Is it wrong that I'm 30 and can still totally relate? haha

Sara- I hear you on the good stuff on traditional fantasy. When its done right it can be a fabulous escape. You know I love HP! But I guess that's not so traditional since Harry lives half in the modern wold when he's not in school. And I of course think your book is awesome!

Elana- Ugh I know what you mean about buying books that you were disappointed in. I don't like when sex, drugs etc are overdone. I know that's how a lot of teens live today but do we need to reinforce it? I know I'm trying to avoid that in my work.

I love hearing other peoples point of views. That's the beauty of life, everyone has an opinion and as a writer you can be assured there will always be someone who loves your work and sadly, those that hate it!

beth said...

I don't think urban paranormal is going away any time soon!

But I do find it interesting that they advertised it as what it's not--it's ironic that this is the new "unique" thing about that genre.

Personally, I'm in the camp hoping for a little bit of change--but part of that is because I teach writing in high school and am *sick* of teenage Twilight knock-offs. But that's just me! :)