There's often a lot of speculation on various message boards and writer's communities about what the "next big thing" in young adult fiction will be. Some say that paranormal (vampires, werewolves, etc.) has passed its prime. Zombies are becoming a little overdone. I've heard a few authors saying lately that they think the next big thing will be merpeople, which is as good an answer as anything.
I've personally never been able to write to trends. I write the stories that interest me, that I would have wanted to read when I was a teenager. (Which is probably why I often forget to give my characters cell phones and computers; I didn't have those when I was a teen back in the mid-1980s.) So some of my books are a little different. I've had reviewers praise my Reality Shift series for being something out of the ordinary; there aren't many paranormal or urban fantasy books out there about teens using energy healing and channeling to keep the universe from being destroyed. But sometimes I'm not sure being different is a good thing; some readers seem to stay away from the Reality Shift books for just that reason.
Despite the fact that some people say contemporary young adult fiction just isn't selling, I have two contemporary YA novels under contract. The publisher and my editor seem pretty happy with them; hopefully readers will be too. (I'll keep you posted as soon as I have release dates.)
So what do you all think? What's the "next big thing"?
Maybe I should start plotting a mermaid novel, just to be on the safe side...