Where’s All the New Age Fiction these days? This question was one of my main motivators for writing my first novel, The Lucidity Project. It’s not that New Age fiction doesn’t sell. Look at The Alchemist, The Celestine Prophecy or Way of the Peaceful Warrior. They’re all amazing novels that did spectacularly well, but those books were written over twenty years ago. Why isn’t there more New Age fiction being written now? There’s so much to mine in the magical, mystical world of the New Age: psychics, past lives, astral travel, ghosts, angels, fairies, astrology, near death experiences, parallel universes. You’d think the genre would be overflowing with titles. But it’s not. This makes no sense to me. Here’s why:
This guest post is by Abbey Campbell Cook. Cook studied creative writing at UC Berkeley. She now writes (and sometimes sings and dances) about her ongoing quest for spiritual and physical wellness on her blog, Adventures in Woo Woo Land, which often includes pictures of Channing Tatum in his underwear (Ryan Gosling too, if you're lucky). The Lucidity Project (She Writes Press, May 31, 2016) is her first novel.
1. There’s such a wide audience.
Over a billion dollars in revenue is generated by the personal development industry every year. Let’s face it, all those Oprah fans can’t be wrong—and believe me as much as we love our self-help books, we don’t want to read them all of the time. We love being mindful, living in the moment, and co-creating our reality, but we also crave romance, fantasy, and story. How hard would it be to take a book like The Power of Now, and add a little romance and some dudes without shirts? Ok, I’m joking, but really, how hard would it be?
2. New Age Nonfiction can be tiring.
Sure, A Course in Miracles is a mind-blowing experience filled with wonder and transformation, but if you’ve worked all day and are completely exhausted, it’s guaranteed to make your brain hurt. New Age fiction, however, when done right, can help you relax and inspire you at the same time. It’s like all the taste with half the calories. No, sorry, that’s actually lite beer. Lite beer does that. But you get what I’m saying.
3. Mainstream fiction can be incredibly violent.
If I have to read one more serial killer scene, torture scene, rape scene, or serial killer/torture/rape scene I’m going to throw my Himalayan salt lamp against the wall. These horrific scenes are repetitive and disheartening—not to mention such a bad energy to be in. For those of us sensitive souls, we’d prefer a good story without all the gratuitous violence, thank you very much. Writers of the New Age are incredibly mindful of what they put into their stories. If there is violence it will be there for a reason and not just for entertainment.
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4. New Age Fiction can help you raise your vibration.
The idea of “raising your vibration” may sound super woo woo to you, unless you spend a lot of your time reading New Age books like I do. Raising your vibes is all about feeling as good as possible and who doesn’t want that? The idea is to surround yourself with things that feel good. What you let into your realm of consciousness has an effect on you. New Agers know this and look for it when it comes to the books they read—including their fiction.
5. The New Age fiction genre is dominated by men.
The Celestine Prophecy. Way of the Peaceful Warrior. The Alchemist. What do these three New Age bestsellers have in common (besides the fact I mentioned them before)? They’re all written by dudes! No offense to our male counterparts who write some great New Age fiction, but let’s get some diversity up in here. I’m talking to you, ladies. I know you loved Eat, Pray, Love, but that was a memoir and also came out like ten years ago. The truth is women make up the majority of New Age shoppers. Let’s get some more fiction written out there for us, by us.
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Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer's Digest and author of the popular gift bookOh Boy, You're Having a Girl: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.