Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Genre blending...

Way back (ok, it wasn’t that long ago) in the 1980s, I started writing stories. I suppose to one degree or another, I was always creating stories, either with little drawings or with actual words. I never gave much thought to doing anything more than doodling with it. Then I graduated and somehow found my way to a writing course. From there I wrote my first novel which landed fairly solidly into a thriller category after some changes suggested by an editor and agents but with a truly occult touch I couldn’t completely remove like advised. My second book stemmed from a nightmare I had as a young mother and grew in my crazy imagination to a horror thriller or suspense. Then came my third.

The Unseen was the first book of my Manipulated Evil trilogy and defied easy categorization. Was it a science fiction? Not exactly. Was it a romance? Not exactly. Was it fantasy or thriller or action adventure? Sort of. How about coming of age? In truth it was a little of all of the above despite being labeled a science fantasy. And I’m told I do that blending a lot. My latest release, Rise of the Arcadians is a little bit Eco Thriller, little bit future fantasy, little bit action adventure with dashes of romance and a drop of magic. In general though, such mixing doesn’t sit well with big publishers or stores because they are hard to put in their place. But how about for readers?

I know I love a story that has many elements all mixed together. For me, it becomes more interesting and it’s not just me who’s doing the mixing. Authors like Laurell K. Hamilton are running along the same path, not building stories to any box easily tagged, but creating variety and excitement with a complicated recipe of story elements. So, are the big publishers learning what the small publishers have been promoting for years?

As an author, I don’t think it would be possible for me to write something that slipped easily into one cozy category. My imagination won’t hear of it and readers seem to love the mixing. As head of a publisher, it’s the stories that stretch the ordinary that stay on the desk at Star Publish and often those are the mixes.

So onward I go with Among the Ancients and Daughter of Gods, not trying to squeeze them into any category, but letting the characters do what they may for my readers.

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