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Monday, June 27, 2011
IS IT HOT OR NOT?
By Judy Press
O.K., I admit I’m not a fashionista nor do I care to be one. My wardrobe consists of comfortable outfits pulled from the clearance rack of a discount clothing store. Hey, it may be last year’s style but I can’t resist a bargain. In the Sunday Style section of the New York Times Bill Cunningham trolls the streets of Manhattan photographing people on the go wearing the latest fashion trends. Two Sunday’s ago fashion forward New Yorkers were all dressed in black. Hey, that could have been me! Today I’m wearing black slacks, a black hoodie and black flip-flops. Next time I visit NYC I’ll be sure to put my best foot forward and wear all black. Of course with my luck the “hot” color will probably be purple! And take a look at four of my blogger friends who showed up for a recent meeting coincidently dressed in the same shade of green!
Trends come and go and the same can be said for children’s books. Does the adage, “write what you know” still apply when you write picture books and some agents and publishers won’t touch them with a ten foot pole? And what if you loved to write YA and your main character was a vampire? Yesterday your manuscript would have been hot, not so in today’s vampire-saturated market. So how do agents and publishers figure out what will be “in” two or three years from now? I’m not sure they can. Yes, the trend lately has been for shorter picture books aimed at two to five year olds, along with fewer words, strong characters and potential for a series. As far as YA, it’s anyone’s guess which cult figure looms on the horizon, waiting to make the leap from a novel to the big screen. So, my advice is the following: be true to yourself and focus on what really matters to you, incorporate timeless themes into your writing and most importantly write from your heart. If it touches you in some shape or form it will strike a chord in your readers, and maybe even a publisher or two.