The Next Big Book Trend: That One From Before

Books in a libraryWhat goes around, comes around.

Apparently, we are regressing, in terms of fiction, back to the sensationalistic stories of old. People seem surprised by this. I am surprised by people’s surprise. It’s like being taken aback because skirt lengths have changed again. If you didn’t see it coming, you were standing in the tunnel with your eyes closed, were you not? What next? What do you mean, there was a recession??

Human preference is subject to cyclical changes. There are only so many things which can be invented, culturally speaking (*stands aside and waits for the angry stampede of artists to pass). Sooner or later, things which were faddishly popular before, become faddishly popular once again.

This is what I was talking about in 5 Book Trends for 2014. I didn’t mention so-called “chick-noir” or marital murder mysteries in that list, but I’ll save face there by pointing out that this trend actually began in 2013.

Granted, a certain amount of trend analysis and cultural journalism is driven by the need for content rather than any real news – don’t look at me, I have to blog about something! – but every time you read an article about The Next Big Thing, remember it’s just like skirt lengths. If they’re up now, they’ll be back down again before you can say ’emaciated child model’.

The moral of the story is, that we should be referring to old trends in order to capitalise upon new trends – because new trends are only ever old trends in a shiny wrapper.

Don’t ever let that stop you writing what you would like to read yourself, because the quality of your work will be best that way. However, it’s also good to keep your eyes open, so that you can jump on the train when the time is right, rather than get flattened by it, or stare blearily at it, ticket in hand, as it passes you by.


P.S. I’ve been interviewed for Emu Ink’s online magazine Emuzine in the latest issue! Why, you ask? Well, why not, I suppose?!

But you can check out some rather presumptuous statements on blogging, the online writing community and some try-hard attempts at ‘arty’ author photos here:

  4 comments for “The Next Big Book Trend: That One From Before

  1. February 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Totally agree that there’s very little that’s new under the sun – as long human beings need to talk and eat with their mouths and have limbs to move around or manipulate their environment, then it’s only the technology that changes so books about people will always have to cover the same old same old, tart it up however you wish!
    Had a good read of the Emu Ink article – it was like reading this so congos on ‘being true to thyself’. And yes, LinkedIners don’t have senses of humour for the most part. 😛 But then they don’t let us have nice yellow smiley faces to play with either… >< It's great for finding links OUT though – am v. glad I found you that way! 😉


    • February 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Present company excepted for the LinkedIn rule, Jan, obviously! I’m glad we linked up there too. I’m also wondering what a LinkedIn emoticon would look like. Giant raspberries in various shades of grey, I’m thinking :0


  2. johanna buchanan
    February 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Great interview in Emu Ink Tara – good luck with all your hopes and dreams for 2014


    • February 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks Johanna. It’s blogs like yours which’ll spur me on!


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