Posted On January 24, 2018 by Print This Post

Telling the Future – by Veronica Scott

 RU Contributor Veronica Scott returns with her first post for 2018. 

[NOTE from Veronica Scott: This blog post first appeared on the SFR Brigade blog in early December 2017. I’ve added a bit more content.]

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to look into the future and know what the hot trends were going to be in the scifi romance field? Especially if you were trying to write to market?

I do a New Releases report every week on my blog, and have been doing it for well over a year now, and through that lens I can kind of see the trends as they develop, if not in advance. Because of the sheer volume of new releases I look at in three genres every week – SFR, PNR and FantasyR – and the many sources I use (including authors sending me information) I do get a feel for what may be ‘hot’ soon. Reverse harem stories for one. I’ve been seeing a gradual increase in the number of them across all genres and in fact just interviewed some RH authors for my USA Today Happy Ever After platform. Definitely a growing favorite with a lot of readers, in all genres.

Dragon shifters – I saw that one coming and sure enough, every week I have more and more dragon-themed stories. There are certain authors I watch (my little trade secret) and I have no idea how they figure it out, but if one of them suddenly starts releasing novels with a purple penguin shifter hero (to be ridiculous), I’ll know that’s the next hot place to be if you’re trying to write to market. In all honesty, I think the dragon craze may have been helped by the popularity of the character Daenarys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons in the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series. Always a good idea to pay heed to what’s being presented and getting a lot of buzz in the movies and on TV.

And of course some titles capture more than one trend, as with Kidnapped by the Dragon Harem from Savannah Skye.

I’m also seeing something of a spike in gryphons (or griffins) and phoenix shifters showing up in scifi romance, but not as strongly as dragons.

Time travel is on a slight uptick…hello, ‘Outlander’….and probably also due to many really well done historical programs which are piquing reader interest in past times. It is interesting to note how many time traveling ladies seem to be going to a destination in Scotland, however.

Alien abduction romance of all levels of sexiness will undoubtedly continue its popularity in 2018…interstellar or intergalactic mail order brides are also a constant favorite and somewhat similar to the abduction trope.

I’m seeing a new trend right now, of using the standard tropes from category romance – secret babies, billionaires, stepbrothers, fake fiancées and on and on – and just moving them bodily over to the SFR and PNR genres. Just based on the title alone, my ‘favorite’ in this trend so far was Alien Prince’s Pregnant Fake Fiancée by Desiree Hunt. Although Eve Langlais’s title Propositioned by the Billionaire Moose was also a good one, very attention getting.

I hear whispers that cozy SFR will be next and when you figure that formula out, let me know because I want to write something that can have one of those adorable cozy covers! I do think the Ilona Andrews Innkeeper series could almost fall into this category. It’ll be interesting to see how ‘cozy’ gets redefined for scifi romance if it happens.

And I’m betting on the continued popularity of fairy tales and the whole “marry a prince” trope, thanks to Harry and Meghan.

The most important thing is that if readers are enjoying these books and clamoring for more just like them, that’s an author’s dream. You can’t ask for more than having happy readers.

I don’t write to market, as it happens. I write what I write – that’s what my Muse presents to me to put on the paper (or into the computer) and what I enjoy reading the most as well, so I’m only an observer of these specific trends. The nice thing about being independently published is that if I did want to try to jump on a hot trend, I have the flexibility to do so and get a properly edited book out in 4-6 weeks, versus the much longer timetable at a trad pub house. And once established, a popular subgenre like cyborg romances tend to remain favorites with readers for a long time and as they evolve, creative authors think of new twists and fun developments to keep the stories fresh.

What trend do you see coming? Or wish would take off with readers?

***

Bio: Best Selling Science Fiction, Fantasy & Paranormal Romance author, as well as the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Connect with Veronica via her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

***

AYDARR (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book One

Jill Garrison, a maintenance tech at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown stranded in the middle of a forest on an unknown world. There’s no time to think as she’s stalked by carnivorous predators and rescued by genetically engineered warriors calling themselves the Badari. Turns out they and she, along with her whole colony, are now prisoners of the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.

Aydarr, the Badari alpha, isn’t sure he can trust Jill but his attraction to her is undeniable. He impulsively claims her as his mate to prevent her death at the hands of the Khagrish.

Can he continue to protect her from the experiments already underway? Will his claiming her put his pack in jeopardy from their alien masters?

As Jill searches for a way to rescue her fellow humans and get them all to safety, she finds herself falling for Aydarr, despite the secrets he’s keeping. She has a few of her own.

The situation becomes dire when Aydarr and his pack are sent offplanet on a mission, leaving Jill unprotected, prey for the senior scientist. Can she escape the experiments he has in mind for her? Will she be able to thwart the Khagrish plans and liberate humans and Badari alike? How will she and Aydarr reunite?

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4 Responses to “Telling the Future – by Veronica Scott”

  1. I know exactly how they do it: K-lytics. I was a happy subscriber for a time but I just don’t have the time to devote to writing to market so I dropped my subscription.

    Alex, that runs the service is a genius and a true data hound. I still get his missives in my email when he has new research out. I always marvel at what goes into analyzing all of the trends and coming up with the next hot thing and he does it over and over. If you can write fast and you’re willing to write to market, popping out the cash for the Premium level and the Elite level if you can swing it is well worth the money.

    Posted by Anne Hagan | January 24, 2018, 1:18 pm
    • I’ve gotten a couple of their reports but honestly haven’t studied them at all, since I don’t write to market either. Thanks for bringing them up! I was more confining myself to the (free, intuitive ways of seeing where the market is going in this post. I think sometimes the ‘new thing’ pops up with no warning 🙂 or data. I appreciate your comment!

      Posted by Veronica Scott | January 24, 2018, 6:08 pm
  2. I’m amazed by anyone who has the perseverance to track trends. I’m excited that dragons are back – if they ever left, that is. I’m a longtime fan of Shana Abe’s dracon series and G.A. Aiken’s dragons, too.

    I’m not drawn to harem stories, but I do like time travel. I don’t think my reading tastes are necessarily on trend. I find authors I like and read pretty much anything they write. 🙂

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | January 26, 2018, 5:33 pm
  3. I don’t write fast enough, so I could never write to market. Also, chasing trends may not be representative of an author’s best work. I’m a history buff, so I’d love to read stories written in the early to mid twentieth century.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | January 26, 2018, 11:51 pm

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