As the end of the year approaches, I suppose it’s natural to begin thinking about what the coming year will bring. One of my first projects for 2014 is to finish and turn in Ether & Elephants (working title), the last book so far contracted in the Gaslight Chronicles. While I won’t swear that this is the end, the cold, hard fact is that steampunk isn’t selling anywhere near as well as publishers originally expected. Fewer and fewer publishers are contracting the genre at all, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that steampunk is far more lifestyle than literary. As a working author, this brings up the difficult question, “What next?”
There are several directions I could go. Back to paranormal romance, although that field seems to be tapering off as well. Contemporary romance or straight-up Victorian romance are both viable options, and both things I’ve written in the past. Another challenge might be urban fantasy, outside of the romance genre, with perhaps a steampunky feel. I’ve also toyed with the idea of epic fantasy. I have an outline for one of those that’s been sitting in an actual paper file for over a decade. Maps and everything.
So my question for readers is this: If steampunk fiction fades from the marketplace, where would you like to see your favorite authors go? Fantasy? SF? Mystery? Contemporary or historical romance? All thoughts and opinions are welcome. As a thank you, I’ll give a free download of any book from my backlist to one random commenter.