I can't remember when I first got the idea for Mishca, but it was before I read Twilight - not that I have vampires in Mishca. I know it was an idea that I had floating in my head for a while and my first draft that I have on my computer is from late 2008 - which is around when I first read Twilight.
But for me, Mishca is nothing like Twilight. Mishca is a very different from Bella as a protagonist. If you haven't seen the cover or read the extract - Mishca is not white for starters. She is also a pretty strong female character, sassy, smart and fiery at times.
The series Mishca is from (ah I need a name for it) is a speculative fiction, combining elements of urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and horror, so there are mythical creatures that come into the fore. But it is still nothing like Twilight - or the flush of teen paranormals that have flooded the market.
Paranormal and Speculative trends in the YA market are set to continue, and there has not been anything like Mishca set in Australia - yet I am currently being held hostage by the trendiness of Twilight.
Okay, maybe that is being a bit over-dramatic, but the Twilight trend has become an obstacle for me getting published at the moment. Three agents have expressed some interest in representing me, but they are all supposedly baulking because I have written a piece that is a current 'trend'. One agent apparently said Mishca would be a best seller if it hit the shelves. But no offer of representation has come yet.
So, what to do with writing and trends. Don't write to them, but don't avoid them if you have a great idea. I started writing Conquest in 2006 - and keep getting sidetracked. Hopefully by the time I finish I am starting a trend instead of "following one".
My other novel that I am working on outside of Mishca's series and Conquest is an Urban Fantasy called Leena Barclay: A Mountain of Trouble, but I am hoping the uniqueness of the plot and mythology used will have someone snapping it up.
I will keep writing whatever pops into my weird imagination and hopefully an agent out there will think "this is a good fit for me." But I will try to stay away from angels, ghosts and dystopian themes as I am sure by the time I am finished the trend will be so yesterday.