My mother has this theory that things come in waves. Story ideas. Art. Divorce. Organic food. You name it. Things roll through a culture and sometimes being the first to catch a wave can pay off in big ways (not so much with say, the plague). She would cite our cultural obsession with Gremlins in the mid 80′s as a perfect example. I would make the same argument with a more recent phenomena: Vampires. Even Jane Austen. It’s as though everyone wakes up at the same moment and thinks, “Ah-ha! Leprechauns! I MUST WRITE ABOUT LEPRECHAUNS!”
I’ve had many a conversation with my mother on this subject. Usually because I am averse to following a trend of any sort. It’s why I’m always the last to read a popular series. What’s interesting to me at the moment is how true my mother’s theory is proving in areas other than storytelling. For a while it was all the rage for women with their heads cropped off to appear front and center on the cover of a book. A lovelier, and far more fascinating trend has taken over these days, however: the exploding rose.
The most interesting thing about this trend is the process by which these photos are taken (see this Washington Post article). The three novels pictured above couldn’t be more different in theme or content. Yet I find it fascinating that three different artists, at three different publishers thought this similar image best depicted the story within.
I should know by now that my mother is always right. Things do come always waves. Especially inspiration.
Have you noticed any other book cover trends? Do you like them? Hate them?