Friday, November 4, 2011


Catching up on spooking things...

Had I been writing the Tuesday blog, the day after Halloween, I would have asked how your evening went? Lots of little goblins and faeries at your door? Kids really love the whole concept of dressing up and getting tons of treats.

Who wouldn't? In fact, I know a lot of adults that revert right back to their inner child on this night. There were lots of costumed parents keeping track of their kids on the prowl as well as many who stayed at home, also in full costume, to dish out the treats.

There's also the thrill factor that goes along with Halloween. The spine-tingling moment of coming face-to-face (although what you're facing may not be a face) with some freaked-out creature from your wildest nightmare. Most kids -- and adults -- love being scared out their minds. Note the proliferation of movies -- Halloween III, Fright Night, xxx. Not my idea of a good time but I just might be in the minority.

Have you noticed recent trends in novels, too? Vampires are hot stuff and appear in all types of genres. From the Twilight set to Sookie Stackhouse to Buffy, the
Vampire Slayer...these books are everywhere. In the mystery section you'll find such authors as Charlaine Harris, Kay Hooper, and Kim Harrison. These writers have been among the trend-setters, pumping out tales of vampires and the such for several years now.

These psychic sleuths have even appeared in the traditionally lighter cosy lines with authors such as Victoria Laurie and Juliet Blackwell.

And who's reading them? All age groups it seems. I'm not sure what this means. Are psychological thrillers not thrilling enough? Do we need an infusion of the unnatural to figuratively scare us to death? I also don't get the popularity of reality TV shows, but that's another story.

When I first went into the bookstore business, historical mysteries were hot and continued to be for many, many years. I noticed the inclusion of supernatural titles in catalogues, gradually building in numbers over the seasons. What I didn't realize was just how popular they would become. But, here they are.

So, what's the next trend going to be? Can you foresee it?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April 3, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. Supernatural fiction seems to maintain a steady popularity, Linda, which I found when I published my first novel, a ghost story. Mashups have been quite a fad, with stuff like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies selling a lot of copies, and this has morphed to modernized fairy tales, if we can judge from the new TV series Grimm and Once Upon a Time.

    I'd say that Young Adult is one of the hottest markets, and young adult females are among the most voracious of readers these days, so while I don't know what the next trend will be I'd say it would pay to watch this market to see what emerges. I follow some of their blogs and believe me, they're right up to the second!