When I was reading Jayne’s review of the Ellen O’Connell release, Without Words, there were so many elements that appealed to me–the unusual location, the hardscrabble life, the marriage of convenience. The description of the book and the characters brought to mind one of my favorite Western writers, Jo Goodman, and one of my favorite Western romances, A Kiss to Die For by Claudia Dain.
If there’s one subgenre that I’d love to see more books published in it would be Westerns. I enjoy stories about enterprising women and the niches they carved out for themselves. I like the world weary, quiet lawmen. I like dust, the horses, the blackberry pies. It could be because I grew up reading Louis L’Amour books but I love a good Western and there just aren’t enough of them these days.
When I meet with industry folk, we always talk about what we think the next hit trend will be. New Adult is still popular, but it’s not the reader kryptonite that it once was. (And due to the glut of books that can be published to meet new trends, the cycle for trends to rise and fall is super accelerated) I have some ideas based on underserved subgenres and I think Westerns could be one.
I also think historicals could be another. So many big name historical authors are migrating toward contemporaries these days and their absence (even if it is only temporary) could open the door for new voices within the genre. I’m really excited about Erin Satie’s work. I read The Lover’s Knot this past weekend. The heroine is an ink brewer and the details Satie wove throughout the story about the time period and ink brewing was absolutely fascinating. It reminded me of the time I would read a Susan Johnson book and come away better familiar with the time period.
There’s a dire number of good space books with world building like Last Hour of Gann or fantasies along the lines of Warprize as well. I’d be interested in books in those subgenres.
What subgenres are being underserved?