Thursday, November 6, 2014
Adventures In Genre-Bending
No! I didn't say gender-bending.
My genre-bending adventure is about to begin. I just turned the second edit/pass of my latest novel into my publisher, White Whisker Books. I'm calling this my genre-bending adventure because it was apparent early on in the writing process that this book was not going to fit squarely into any one hole.
I started out with two ideas. I wanted to do something about my older brother in which my older brother was a ghost. No, my older brother is not dead, but growing up he was someone I very much looked up to, and I wanted to write about that from a young boy's perspective, a young boy needing to finish growing up without the steady hand of a brother he looked up to. I also knew I wanted to do something like The Green Mile. What I mean by that is, I didn't want to hit horror over the head. I wanted my book to be more wonder--John Coffey in The Green Mile--than horror. To this, I added a delightful romance that winds up driving the entire story. Oh yes, and there's a monster. So I've got a thirteen year-old boy (genre, YA), a ghost with a special power (genre, Supernatural), a sweet romance (genre, Romance), the last 100 pages are a thrill ride (genre, Thriller), oh, and the monster (genre, Horror).
For the past few months I've called it a romantic-horror-thriller. I like that, however, the first editor called it a paranormal coming of age story. Sheesh! Confusing.
The truth is, these labels only matter in marketing. You want to make sure your book gets into the hands of folks who will appreciate it. If someone is looking for pure horror they may give my book a bad review. Reviews are all important, and early reviews are the most important, so I want to make sure the book is appealing to the right crowd early on.
I did a little research on my favorite genre-bending novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (Sci-fi/ romance), and discovered most publisher's didn't want to touch the book because it was difficult to pigeon-hole. That didn't keep it from becoming a bestseller as well as a movie. On Goodreads, I did notice from the reviews that many of the reviewers were fans of romantic novels.
Of course, The Time Traveler's Wife is about adults and my book is about teenagers. Young love might not be as appealing as adult love. At any rate, now that I've turned it in, I't's got me thinking. Also, while I love the Wattpad cover (the book premiered last June as a Wattpad WIP. Click on the link to check it out) it's probably the wrong cover for romance and supernatural. What do you think? Does it matter? I should probably come up with a new title, too, huh? My publisher already suggested that. What do you think?
I welcome comments from anyone, whether you've written a genre-bender or not. I'd love to hear from readers as well as writers. If you have a moment, please leave your thoughts.
Anyway, here we go. I'll keep you posted as I lumber toward publication.
Keep Reading- Keep Writing!