The Festival of Writing 2013 Part Four
Just before lunch there were a series of genre panels for everyone to choose from. These included Literary Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Children’s and Young Adult, Women’s Fiction, Crime and Thrillers, Scripts and, the one I naturally went to, Historical Fiction. This was chaired (see, still none of this facilitating nonsense) by two agents, Sam Copeland from Rogers, Coleridge and White and Chris Wellbelove from Greene and Heaton.
One thing that I was happy to hear in this session is that Viking and Medieval fiction is becoming a trend, partly due to the popularity of Game of Thrones and the upcoming Thor film. This, however, is a problem as, by the time a book is published, the market would be interested in something else. So, if anyone from Marvel is reading this, please ask your mates in the film industry to make another Thor film. Iron Man had three and you don’t want to be accused of favouritism, do you? In fact, why not make a fourth one that can be called Thor Four? Just a Thort.
Anyway, the general feeling was that most agents do not care when it is set as long as the story is good. It’s only publishers that look for trends in the market. There was also more discussion about how to pitch, the advice being that the story is the most important thing, followed by the time and place and a pitch should be like a blurb. All in all this was a good session and, if you want to write historical fiction, then write what you find interesting. Don’t choose a period because it is popular because by the time your book is published something else would have taken over.