David Pomerico, an assistant editor or Del Ray Spectra, was the publishing representative I hoped to learn the most from. Don’t we all want to know what they’re looking for? He started with some humorous suggestions about what would be the next big thing in fantasy after vampires and werewolves have their day. There were many laughs about the attempts to make zombies romantic and heroic. He suggested robots but with a grin that suggested he wasn’t serious. He believes plots with a post-apocalypse theme are very acceptable now and likely will be for some time.
An interesting insight David shared with us was his belief of 9/11’s influence on the popularity of certain types or heroes. People like a more human hero who might even be morally ambiguous rather than a super hero. He suggests we include the personal psychological outlook on life as the fireman and police who charged into the World Trade Centers when everyone else was running out. Readers want to believe we can all be heroes when the moment is upon us.
Tie-ins to video games, popular sci-fi franchises are always good such as Halo, Star Wars and others of that ilk. Military sci-fi, the space marine plot, are still popular.
David believes the fantasy, sci-fi fans and publishers are at the forefront of using the new technology available to the industry and readers. He sees more multi-media coming with video, graphics and games being tied to novels. He hinted at a rumor the newest version of the Kindle coming out next year will have video capabilities.
The question came up about how books are labeled and shelved. He simplified the answer saying urban fantasy is a novel where the fantasy is the most essential part of the book. He defined paranormal romance as including the important ‘happily ever after,’ and the focus of the book in on the relationships. He also emphasized how in fantasy and sci-fi, readers love series so it’s best not to write a book with no sequels in mind.
David was a friendly, patient and down to earth speaker. He called himself a nerd numerous times and entertained us with his wit and knowledge. He’s one more great example of the quality of people Pennwriters bring to their conference.
What do you think of David’s predictions and definitions? Do you agree with his idea of what readers want in their hero and heroine?