I have a long list of favorite authors and an even longer list of favorite books. I am constantly on the search for a new series that will captivate me completely and engulf me in a world that I never want to leave. It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that YA fiction is my absolute favorite. I think some of today’s YA writers could compete with some of the best adult fiction writers in the industry today. Their ability to create worlds, characters that haunt you long after the final chapter is read, and leave you begging for more, is a small example of how absolutely amazing their fiction can be.
The difficulty, however, comes when you read a book that hits so close to home that you find yourself lost and unsure of how to react. This recently happened to me when I read a book that held certain similarities to the book that has been my love, my insanity, and the bane of my existence on occasion. I’m talking about Age of Eden, the book that Stacey and I have been working on for the last couple of years. It’s one of those things where you come up with an idea for a book and you’re absolutely positive it’s unique and hasn’t been done before, but then you realize you brilliant piece of art isn’t as unique as you thought it was.
Granted, I’m not saying there aren’t unique aspects to AoE, but reading the book I mentioned previously and the descriptions of the other books in the series, I find myself unsure as to how to feel and what to think. I still believe in the book that we wrote and I still believe there’s a place in the publishing world for it, but still the doubts nag at the back of my mind.
So, I guess my question is this. How do writers—established or aspiring—come to terms with their storylines crashing head on into storylines that have come before? Or after really. Do you trust that what you’ve written is unique enough to stand out? Or do you make the conscious decision to change what you’ve created to make sure you’re not falling head first into the footsteps of someone else?
Hmmm…a lot to think about and I think the jury is still out on this one. Thoughts?