New, Next and Shiny

Before I got a job as a paid writer, I worked at a movie theater. One of the benefits was the free movies, which, for a movie hound, is kind of like giving free crack to addicts. I typically saw three movies a week. When I became a reporter, I also became a film reviewer and my free movie days continued. I loved reviewing films, whether they were art movies or blockbusters, chick flicks or horror films. I particularly loved anything that went boom, destroyed a city and where the guy got the girl at the end.

Now, "Armageddon" is not a great film. Most reviewers thought it was frankly awful. I embraced it for all its corny unbelievability. There's a love story, such as it was, with Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck. Will Patton brings a touch of class, Steve Bucemi spouts sarcastic one-liners, Billy Bob Thorton actually tones down the crazy, and Bruce Willis saves the world. Overwrought, over-acted and over-the-top and halfway down the other side, "Armageddon" threw every genre and the kitchen sink into this mess.

And it worked for me. No, there's no accounting for taste. Which brings me to the nature of popular fiction. There really is something for everyone, especially in romance. Romantic suspense or romantic comedy. Historical romance or contemporary romance (if you're in the mood for both, there's time travel). And if you really want variety, there's paranormal. You can find any and all of the above in paranormal. Want a funny vampire? Or an angsty grim reaper? How about fairies or werewolves or demons or dragons or angels or ghosts... Well, you get my point.

I love writing paranormals because there's no limit to what genres you can stick in the blender. But while I love to read a good vampire, I, like most editors, are not looking for a new vampire romance. I want new, next and shiny and so do they. What that might be, I don't have a clue. As a reader, I'm looking for hot sex, deep conflict and, yes, a few explosions or at the very least, a good fight. As a writer, that's what I like to write.

How about you? What do you want to see? And what do you think is going to be the next big thing?