I love the romance genre. Heck, I devour these types of books and I write them. What fascinates me most about this genre is how the trends within it ebs and flows.
It reminds me of fashion. You remember back in the 60's and 70's and all those other decades with terrible fashion and music and hair styles that people said would never come back in style. Well, it did. And we fell in love all over again. And then there are those new, amazing, shining things that pop up and take over and make millions--like the Snuggie.
Fashion and romance--SO much alike!
Here are what I think are some of the strongest romance trends. And trust me, I know that all of these genres are still popular in their own right today in some way, shape or form:
1. There was a time when "sweet romances" were a big thing. People gobbled them up and thought they were so adorable. And anything more, uh, direct was just not done.
2. Cowboys, historical, romantic suspense. There aren't really any examples I can name that made these subgenres explode, but they are there, and they are strong.
3. VAMPIRES! Werewolves! Hotness. These come and go, and it seems the next one is always more popular than the last. Thank you, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Anne Rice, Laurell Hamilton, True Blood, Underworld, just to name a few.
4. New Adult. When young adult meets romance. It exploded a few years ago. Basically, the protagonist is between the ages of 18-25. It has a young voice and it's very intrinsic.
5. Erotica. Fifty Shades of Crap anyone? Seriously though. Erotica and BSDM have been around for a very long time. It's been VERY popular for a very long time. It's one of my favorite subgenres of romance. And it just blew up like an atom bomb when Fifty Shades dropped. This trend has given us another problem, however. Some authors find there is no longer an in-between with sexual explicitness. It's either all in or all out. They feel the happy medium is gone. *sad face*
Like I said, my trends may not be your trends. Everyone sees things differently. But for me, these subgenres have had their big moments. They've had their small moments. And they will all go full circle and do the exact same thing again.
What kind of trends have you seen in romance? Do you think there will be anything new and amazing?
I personally would love to see more romance books written by men. And not the kind that cater to women. The types that actually tell you what men are REALLY thinking. We might hate them, but damn, I bet they'd be funny!