Thanks for hosting me today.
As I’m gearing up for approaching edits for One Word, which is book 3 of my contemporary fantasy series Hidden Places, I find myself thinking about books that cross several genres.
How do I promote a book which is a contemporary romance with a bit of mystery detective thrown in, which takes place in a fantasy series, but isn’t really fantasy?
In the meantime I figured I’d blog about genre crossing.
I love books which cross several genres. Many times when I’m shelving at the library I come across books which are catalogued as general fiction but also have an element of genre such as fantasy, SF, romance and mystery detective about them. Historicals—although they are their own genre—are shelved as general fiction in our library.
I’ve always had a weakness for stories which take elements from several genres. For example, I love historical stories, but add a touch of time travel to the plot, and I’m hooked. I’m a big fan of ‘fish out of water’ scenarios, so enjoy reading about a hero or heroine who is not in the time period they’re originally from. They will notice things that others won’t, and if they’re from the future it can raise the stakes the tension if they know what is coming. Often these characters find themselves regretting they hadn’t paid attention during history class.
Add in a dash of romance, and it quickly becomes more than will they, won’t they, as the risk of changing history brings with it the chance that time traveller has just destroyed any chance of going home. If home still exists that is… or maybe they were always meant to return to that time, and this is already recorded history.
I blame Doctor Who for a lot of my time travel obsession, and the second Doctor’s companion Jamie McCrimmon for my weakness for stories set in 1746 during the second Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. Needless to say, I’ve read every Outlander story by Diana Gabaldon….
A mystery detective story that takes place on an alien planet, or a time in the distant future is a wonderful opportunity for the world building found within SF and fantasy within the tropes of a different genre. Ditto if it’s a mystery detective in a historical setting. Thinking about it, most of my favourite mystery detective stories have an historical setting, although I’ve enjoyed contemporary stories in that genre too.
Except the last contemporary detective book I read did have a healthy helping of the supernatural and bordered on horror… And the one before that is really fantasy although the detective in question is a trainee wizard…
By now you’ve probably figured why I’ve written a novel that crosses genres. I write stories I want to read, or I figure what’s the point? But in saying that, I do also enjoy stories that don’t wander through genres quite as much as the scenarios I’ve mentioned above. That’s a lot of the appeal of crossing them over—taking genres I enjoy reading and writing, and taking that ‘what-if’ just a little further.
I’d love any recommendations of stories that cross genres, and any ideas as to how to promote a book that doesn’t behave itself and stick to one genre.