1. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Horror Is there a market for a new children's horror author?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by JCKey618, May 1, 2010.

    Hi all. I just posted a thread in the book discussion forum about R.L. Stine. I write horror novels and am trying to break in to that, but I was introduced to my love for reading with Goosebumps/Animorphs. I was thinking that as a sort of homage, at some point in my career I'd like to try my own hand at a horror series for children.

    Reading some interviews, I saw that R.L. Stine used to write a book a month, so I think maybe if I spent a year or so dedicated to the cause I could have a good sample of a potential series to send off to agents.

    Ultimately, I want to be the next Stephen King (and write horror for adults with complex characters, in-depth terror, etc, etc), but this kind of writing also allows for short and fun stories and if I can attribute to kids finding a love to reading like Stine did for me, I think it would be worth it. For example, a random idea I have is a kid who's being picked on a lot at school (cliche, right? haha) and when he gets fed up he ventures into the haunted forest that everyone talks about in hopes of being turned into a werewolf or something so that he can finally have the upperhand. But, instead, he's bitten by a wererabbit and everything just goes wrong from there.

    Not something I'd spend the time writing a full book on, or even a 'serious' short story, but I think kids could appreciate it.

    My question is: is there a market for this, you think? I ask because it doesn't seem like there are many Goosebump-like series that have been done well. For example, Harry Potter has done extremely well but there are definitely other authors who have found a lot of success writing books about wizardry. Or am I just out of the loop?
     
  2. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oops, I think I just answered this on your other thread. I think there is definitely a market since it looks like Stine is the only one out there with a series--or maybe he's the only one selling, I dunno.

    If I enjoyed writing horror, I'd definitely work to write an amazingly fun yet creepy first book for the elementary-age set, then work hard to get an agent to represent me.

    You might go to your local library and check the children's series section--they're usually all in paperback. See if there are any other horror series. I'd also read a bunch of Stine's books and some mystery-type books since they use similar elements. Good luck.
     
  3. EileenG
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    EileenG Member

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    I think there is a market, and there are quite a few writers doing horror/dark fantasy. Stine is not the only one.

    One thing I would watch: just because Stine could write a book a month doesn't mean you can. A children's book needs just as much work, as much plot, complex characters and big themes as an adult novel. Sometimes I think the only difference is the age of the main characters and the lack of explicit sex scenes.
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Christ! Don't we all?
     
  5. Afterburner
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    Afterburner Active Member

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    There's always a market for well-written and creative stories, no matter the genre :)
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why would you want to be the next Stephen King when you can be yourself? I know, slightly cheesy. On the other hand, it's true. You can only be who you are, no one else, and still be successful.
     
  7. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    I meant in terms of level of success.
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    And I mean that you shouldn't worry about what other people have done or how successful they are. Take it one step at a time and focus on yourself, not thinking about being huge. Most of the people who are that successful didn't plan to get there. It just happened.
     
  9. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    I don't think there's a problem with having big goals/hoop dreams.
     
  10. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's an evergrowing market for good writers. Nuff said.

    I don't see any problem with dreaming big, OP, but take it one step at a time. Focusing on what is 'popular' and what will get you 'famous' is one of the biggest mistakes made by aspiring authors, especially children's. What's hot this year can be cold in 6 months.

    Write what appeals to you, and what you believe will appeal to kids/young adults. Focus on improving your writing, broadening your research, and expanding your ideas. The rest will come.

    Good luck :)
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    regardless of market, you can't sell a series, till you can sell a stand-alone book that sells well... so, concentrate on writing a book that a publisher will take a chance on and if it goes over well, then you can offer the series...
     

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