I’m currently reading Shadow Throne by Django Wexler. The book is okay so far. I’m two quarters through. Although, I would have put it down by now if my job wasn’t so slow that I have to have something to read to make it through the day. Reading through, I’ve gotten confused several times on what the author means to say. He throws in his own lingo often, and writes really long sentences that could’ve been trimmed or split into individual sentences to make his point clearer. He’s also one of those writers who believes it’s necessary to give his characters ridiculous names for the sake of sounding original.
As I read this story, I ask myself how the author found a publisher and became a best-seller. Then it came to me around pg. 60, when the major characters were revealed. He employed some very marketable “secret weapons” to raise his work’s relevance for today’s readers.
Here are the secret weapons in today’s publishing market (any entertainment market, actually):
- Must have a strong female lead – Django has a revolutionary force headed by all women, and his main protag is the typical modern heroine; smart, witty, pretty, kick ass..so forth, yawn.
- LGBT protags – Django has a lesbian couple, one of the girls cross-dresses…two bases covered.
- Scenarios that mimic contemporary issues – In the Shadow Throne, a primary issue is immigrants who seem to be taking over the country and natives who want them out. Sound familiar?
Shadow Throne takes place in the 18th century, so the scenarios are unlikely, but the author played the market and got published through Penguin for it. If you’re a writer and you don’t want to include the above “secret weapons” in your stories, just wait ten years and new trends will come about, guaranteed.