Recently I posted the following comment on my Facebook author page:
I’ve noticed a trend lately among authors of Amish fiction and it’s had me worried… But I’m beginning to realize that those worries are a bit off-base.
Authors of Amish fiction are not migrating to other genres because Amish fiction is losing traction.
They’ve used Amish fiction to break into the world of published authors because it is extremely popular and now that their foot is in the door, they are moving on to the genres they are truly interested in writing.
I find this unbearably sad. This genre is a comfort to my world-weary soul and I can not imagine a more tremendous blessing than sharing it with others.
I have noticed this as a growing trend. Many of the authors whose books I LOVE have left the world of Amish fiction to explore other genres.
And initially… I panicked. I’m writing Amish fiction. What will happen if it’s popularity is on a decline?
After much thought and exploration, I realize – it is not on a decline. Keep reading…
We can take this mass exodus two ways.
1 – Coincidentally, every single on of these authors is moving on to another genre after releasing 3, 4 or 5 books because they’ve run out of steam in this genre or their interests have genuinely changed (who am I to judge…)
2 – They’ve used the Amish fiction genre (which is tremendously popular at this moment) as a stepping stone to get their name out there and their foot in the door(s) of the publishers.
And I am quite certain that, for at least a few, it is the first option. Not every author… but most of them, at some point in their career, changes genres – or at least steps into another genre and gives it a try.
But as many as there are rushing to other genres as soon as they have a hit or two… No, I smell a rat.
I’m guessing that at least 3/4 of them are simply using a popular genre as a springboard for their career.
And that is tragic.
I know what you’re thinking…
Why can’t I just shut up and enjoy? Why can’t I take advantage of what’s there and be thankful?
Because it seems more like disrespect to me than simple misuse.
And I know I am NOT alone in feeling that way. Every person who gets attached to a specific writer, becomes attached to that writer’s work to the point that they want to read every single thing they write – feels the same as I do.
And when that writer leaves us behind and moves on to a different genre, especially one that we would never ever read, we feel betrayed and heart-broken.
Don’t they realize what this does to their readers?
Don’t they realize, that they can write in that other genre and build up a whole new fan base there while still keeping their other fans happy?
If they would just release a book now and then that we can enjoy too…
To be fair, a few of them do. But not enough. And not enough of them give us a whole novel every now and then. They write a short story for a novella collection or they offer an eBook novella once every couple of years.
I guess it’s my own fault for being so adamantly attached to this new genre I’ve discovered that is always clean and decent. It’s a difficult thing to find in this modern age of media – even among “Christian” fiction, which is more often lately referred to as “Inspirational” fiction.
Just like how much it bugs me that authors who write such wonderful inspiring stories spend their time reading and watching and posting about such un-inspiring things.
But that’s a whole different argument.
© Rachel L. Miller 2014