I’ve gone to a few other places to confirm this, but from my understanding YA paranormal has plateaued and its taking a nose-dive into oblivion. So if you have something that’s YA and paranormal, chances are an editor won’t want it. My question to those editors is have you asked your YA readers what they wanted yet? Has anyone done a survey or are you basing this on sales? A drop in sales could also be due to a drop in the economy and more parents going to the library instead of the bookstore. But then again, everyone has had this “jump to conclusions” thing going when it comes to the economy lately. Case in point: the stock market. I can sneeze and you’ll see pharmaceutical stocks rise.
About two years ago, I attended this fabulous little conference called Celebrate Romance, which is geared toward readers. I sat in a room with a bunch of lovely ladies when the question of what they wanted to see more of came up. You wouldn’t believe the anger that came out of these devoted fans. They hated the state of affairs when it came to their needs and wants from their favorite authors. They were even more appalled to find out that publishers had a say in it because it was their money on the line. What can I say? Unfortunately, that’s the way this business works.
My thoughts about this whole YA paranormal being no more? Whatever. The way I look at it, where one teenage crowd leaves, another one enters. They’re not like adults who are set in their ways and won’t read something just because it has a paranormal element to it. Think about all of those kids who grew up with Harry Potter. Now, think about all of those kids coming into their own without a “Harry Potter” for their generation. Do you think that’s enough reason to say that YA paranormal is out the door? Perhaps it’s because there’s a huge surge of submissions right now from the whole Twilight thing and that’s why publishers pulling the reigns on it. After all, many of the contracted YA books today won’t start their shelf life until 2010 if not later. Call me optimistic, but I doubt the downfall last. Kids will always identify with kids trying to get their footing in this thing called life whether it’s paranormal or not.
So, if you’re working on a paranormal YA right now, take your time with polishing it. To me thatmakes better sense than to just stop writing them all together. If you’re reading a paranormal YA–I’m hooked on Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak series, although that may be more like middle grade–then maybe it’s a good time to contact the publisher of your beloved story and tell them not to cut you off.
How do you feel about the state of YA Paranormal Affairs? Also, what would you really like to see more of in terms of paranormal?