When you don’t normally write genre fiction, it can be difficult to talk to non-writer people about your work.

I love the classics, and have always worked hard to create modern classics of my own. You could call them Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, or just Fiction…but you wouldn’t call them genre fiction, as a general rule.

I guess my answers to questions about this stuff have ranged from inarticulate to downright surly.

Non-Writer Person: What’s your book about?

Me: It’s about 150 pages so far.

Non-Writer Person: What genre is it?

Me: I don’t know, the Awesome Genre, I guess.

I know, that doesn’t go over well, does it?

 

But What Genre Is It, Really?

My work in progress, Whizzers, is a case in point. When I started it, I’d never read, much less written, anything like it.

How do you define a novel about a guy who finds out that his six-year-old cousin converses with famous dead people, and hangs around with a golden-robed being known as The Coordinator? Throw in a wizard, and you’ve got a genre, right?

But what genre is it, really?

 

Defining The Indefinable

It’s probably less important to define something before you finish it. But once it’s done, the challenge becomes how to categorize it. In this day and age of sub-categories within sub-categories, it’s important to meet or even exceed readers’ expectations.

I always aim to exceed them, of course, which means I have to use extra caution when I finally put Whizzers out into the world. Readers of the Fantasy genre might be disappointed by a book that’s only 42K words, and has a heavy emphasis on the real world. Those who dabble in the Paranormal genre might be looking for something a little more on the scary side.

Like everything I do, however, there’s one thing that’s consistent even in my first toe into the genre waters. The themes of redemption, of comforting those who need to be comforted, and of spiritual awakening are always present in some fashion. That seems to be my wheelhouse, for better or worse.

Whizzers isn’t really a work in progress at this point, either. It’s in editing, and the story is finished. But when it launches into the world, I’m going to make sure my new baby gets into the hands of people who will like it. And that means I’m still learning, just like we all are.

forget

Writers, Don’t Forget to Write It Down!

It's happened to the best of us, right? You have a great idea, and you really should write it down. After all, you don't want to forget it. But it's well past midnight, and you're in bed. In fact, you're getting sleepy...very sleepy...your eyes are starting to --...
book launch

Ready to Launch Into 2019?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve shown an obsessive side lately – lots of content about my upcoming book launch. I’m releasing my fourth novel, Whizzers, in 2019. That means I’m putting a lot of emphasis on building my marketing plan well in...
IngramSpark KDP

Using IngramSpark and KDP Print For Your Paperbacks

This week's post is about using two different companies for Print-On-Demand publishing - IngramSpark and KDP. Ever since Amazon began offering services to authors, there's been a question in the indie author community: should I use them? My answer, initially, was a...
manuscript

Top Five Things to Check Before You Turn Your Manuscript Over

This week's blog post is for my writer friends. Everyone has a checklist of things they know they need to consider before publishing. When it comes time to turn that manuscript into a book, it's all too easy to get caught up in marketing considerations or thoughts of...

A Journey with A Few Heiresses

Way back in 2016, I got a guest spot on a blog called Writing in the Modern Age by an author named Marie Lavender. Of all the writers I've contacted online, Marie has to be the most prolific – more than 20 books published over the course of 15 years. Marie and I have...
NFL

Last Quarter and a New Partnership Announcement

The typical Monday blog post did not happen today. There were a couple reasons for this. First, I had to spend much of the afternoon with a client of mine. I went beyond my normal role as a writer, editor, proofreader, speaker, or publisher and was, instead - wait for...

Goin’ Home

About a million years ago, I read a Peanuts cartoon quoting Thomas Wolfe: "You can't go home again." Perhaps fifteen years later, I discovered Wolfe in a lit class, and read Look Homeward, Angel. Eventually, I also got through You Can't Go Home Again, along with a few...
apple

Why Does Apple Suck Now?

I never thought I'd write even a comment, much less a whole blog entry, complaining about Apple. Yet here I am. Just to give you some perspective, here's something I wrote about Apple in my free Marketing for Authors e-book back in 2016:  I became a total Apple fan...

Florida Drivers Beware

I’ve been on a blog tour for the past week, and it’s been fun and hectic and interesting. The big Miles of Files launch went well, and I’ve got lots to be happy about. And yet, when it came time for me to get going on a blog topic for today, the main thing I had in...
Martin

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2018

Here's wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For many of us, today is something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seems to have taken in the last year and a...