I was talking with a colleague a few days ago about the economy, the new administration and how it will affect books, and we got into quite a conversation. We both agreed that fiction is ripe for something new and some kind of big breakout.  All the authors who revolutionized various genres are getting old and stale, or just aren’t writing anymore.  Even Stephen King doesn’t get nearly as much buzz for a new release as 10 years ago.  We need a Scott Turow, a Diana Gabaldon, a Dan Brown, a Christine Feehan–in essence, a glom phenomenon.  The most recent advances have been in YA with Harry Potter and then the Twilight series, but what comes next for adult fiction?

It seems as though the most emulated trends either twist something already familiar–like Turow taking a thriller but concentrating on the legal aspect–or blend two things to come up with something completely new–like Diana Gabaldon’s historical fiction/romance with time-travel.

So we started looking at the cultural landscape.  My buddy talked about how current times seemed very similar to the late ’50s and the transition between Eisenhower and JFK.  Once again everyone is optimistic for a new, young administration.  Obviously, the early 60s saw a huge boom in creative freedoms and changing the status quo. 

In romance, it seems the urban fantasy push has made everything so dark, dark, dark.  I’m thinking we might be ready for more optimism, not that things can’t be dark, but I do feel like that envelope has been pushed.  I’d love to see fresh, interesting, mythical takes on old fairy tales and legends.  

And I’d love to see something completely different knock my socks off.  I think the publishing world is more than ready for it.