Pub Rants

Because You Asked—Take 2

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STATUS: People assume that Denver is cold in the winter. In general, our temps are pretty mild. Not this week. We’ve got Alaska weather. It was -13 degrees when I woke up this morning. At least the sun was shining…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? RIVER by Sarah McLachlan

Kristi asked:
I’d love to ask an editor if they feel less inclined to take on a debut author due to the current economic climate – if they happen to address that issue, I’d love to hear their thoughts.

If the project is strong enough and generates excitement, editors are just as interested in bidding for it at auction and taking on a debut author. However, if there isn’t that level of excitement, I do see that editors are being more cautious about submissions. And maybe cautious is the same as reluctant but I don’t think so. Editors are still showing interest but they are not jumping in with an immediate offer. I see editors asking for revisions first. Wanting to give it a second read post-revision to see if their interest level is still high. Then they are getting on board to try and make an offer.

I’m also noticing that all of the above is taking a lot of time. It used to be that editors would turnaround a project with an offer in 6 to 8 weeks. Now it’s taking 6 months. 8 months. Even a year. Cautious is definitely the word of the day.

Jade asked:
I’d be interested to know if angels are the new vampires or are vampires still the new vampires? Actually, I’m just generally interested in YA trends as always, especially since whatever is being bought now won’t be in stores for a couple of years.Oh. What about merepeople? That’s my call for the next big trend. Everyone seems to be writing about meremaids and meremen…except me.

I’d have to say that angels are probably the new vampire—although I don’t think vampires are done yet.

As for mer-people, I’m not sure what to say. I haven’t seen a lot in this realm but hey, maybe that’s the next hot trend and it hasn’t surfaced quite yet (pun intended!).

And I’ll tackle more Qs tomorrow…


22 Responses

  1. m_voights said:

    Wow! I can’t believe it is that cold there.

    Question: How important is title in the query stage? If the rest of the query excites an agent, would a bad title ruin the chances of making it out of the slush pile?

  2. WhisperingWriter said:

    You aren’t far where I am. I’m in Cheyenne, Wyoming and it was in the negatives this morning too. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 22 degrees. Is it sad that I’m all, “Yay, we’re warming up!”?

  3. Tina Lynn said:

    Thanks for answering these questions, though I find myself getting discouraged since everything I thought I was writing that is fresh and new are actually trending. Grrr. Maybe I should just write about regular people. That’s always solid.

  4. Laer Carroll said:

    Tina Lynn, maybe you should write about what utterly fascinates you, regardless of what trends there might be. Often it is your special take on, say, vamps which makes your project fresh and new and maybe re-awakens everyone’s interest in a subgenre that everyone has grown bored with.

  5. Mechelle Fogelsong said:

    I just let the dog in at 9:12 PM, so she doesn’t freeze her little nubby nose off in the cold night air.

    I’ve been busy grading state writing assessment tests, so I haven’t had a chance to visit your site lately. Glad I could drop by tonight, because I love this Q&A thing. In fact, I’d like to hear the answer to m_voights’ question above.

    Thanks for keeping us well iformed, Ms. Nelson.

  6. Stephanie Thornton said:

    I hate to tell you, but we’re in the mid-twenties in Alaska right now. Denver has us beat!

    Good to know that the editor side of things is taking so long these days. I like to mentally prepare myself for the waiting game.

  7. Kristi said:

    We finally got up to 17 degrees in Denver this afternoon and it felt downright tropical after this morning 🙂

    Thanks for responding to my question – I guess the upside of an 8-month or longer wait is that you hone the art of patience.

    Also, I’m thinking I should add an angelic mermaid to my ms.

  8. Abigail said:

    About the vampire thing: I’m finding less and less books that have the “older” vampire feel, so to speak. It seems that most books are a spin off of Twilight, and it kind of makes me upset since I’m a huge vampire fan and have been for most of my life. The Twilight vampires do not even have fangs. I just…I can’t call them vampires. (I hope no one takes that the wrong way. Not trying to say anything bad about Twilight.)

    Now, my question is, are there any literary agents that are into the dark fantasy genre? I have a dark fantasy novel and it doesn’t have the “light” aspect of vampires, lycanthropes (werewolves), angels, wolf/peregrine (and so on) shapeshifters, etc., and I’m having a hard time finding literary agents that are into the darker aspect. It even shows the darker side of human beings. It seems after the Twilight saga hit (well, more like the Twilight movie hit), most are after the Twilight “vampires”, or at least similar versions.

    Also, would it be wrong to call a novel a “dark” paranormal novel?

  9. Jill Edmondson said:

    I am intrigued by the YA trend in vampires.

    From what I am hearing and seeing, the trend may be at a peak but not a steep one. I get a feeling there’s still a lot of juice left.

    As for angels – well, that could be cool, but I wonder if angels could catch on to the same extent? I think vampires appeals to both genders and angels maybe not so much.

    As for mermaids-mermen: cool idea! I can see this working since it’s new (in a way).

    Hmmm, my next project?

    “Blood and Groom” is now in stores!

  10. Heather Snow said:

    I don’t have anything to add to the post (other than thanks for answering questions!), BUT I do want to say:

    Thanks for “River.” I love it. Sarah McLachlan, Allison Crowe, Joni Mitchell…I’d probably love it if Miss Piggy sang it!

    Makes me want to go watch “You’ve Got Mail”. 🙂

    Glad you got your songs up and running again.

  11. Dara said:

    It seems that a trend in mythology is here–first vampires and werewolves, then fairies and angels, then mer-people…the latter which I must admit, would be AWESOME.

  12. Jana said:

    I just got back to Toronto after five weeks in Hawaii (where it was 81 degrees and sunny pretty much every day).

    Somehow the cold seems even colder now.

  13. Anonymous said:

    Kristin — Kirkus is closing, can you offer any insight into what this means for authors? That Kirkus star review was such a sign of quality, and they often gave stars to books that other reviewers (such as Booklist or VOYA) overlooked. I’m so sad that books will have one less opportunity to shine and gain notice.

  14. Marva said:

    My hope is that a 12-year-old half-vampire, half-warlock is different enough to still fit the trend. Probably not, since I keep getting rejected before anybody figures out how charming and funny he is.

    Merfolk? Been there, done that…twice. Where y’all been while I was trailblazing into the wilderness? Oh, yeah, going to Forks for vampire cuties. Gad, has anybody actually been to Forks? I have and there are no vampires there. Just scruffy loggers.

  15. Madison L. Edgar said:

    That’s great to hear. I’m querying a book about guardian angels! I didn’t know of this trend (if you can call it that) before I started writing it. I’ve just always loved learning about angels. Research for this project has been fun 🙂

  16. Bella Stander said:

    I did the PW announcement listings 20 years ago, when it seemed that every other book had angels. And now here we go again. I’d be happy to see some merpeople for a change. And please NOT a rewrite of “The Little Mermaid” (a creepy tragedy in the hands of Hans Christian Andersen).

  17. Kalika said:

    Here’s something that’s been on my mind.

    With the current popularity of Japanese anime and manga, why are we not seeing more adult or YA novels set in a fantasy Japan? I’m tired of European fantasy. O publishing gods, please bring me wise multi-tailed foxes, battle monks, samurai with magical swords and dragons. I feel like I’m the only one writing it but that can’t be right. Are you seeing submissions like this?

  18. Maryilee said:

    It was very cold here just north of Chicago today too. Now it’s up to ten degrees. Time to break out the bikini. Or not.

    Is there a market for a thriller with a paranormal twist?