What do you write? Can you pinpoint the genre of your story without babbling incoherently?
I made a new friend recently and we chatted back and forth about indie publishing in general and my 'angel' series in particular. She asked: What genre is it?
It sounded like a simple question, and I was able to answer without hesitation. It was then she backhanded me with a question that sent me straight to Mars and back.
She asked: Why don't your tags on Amazon reflect the genre?
You could've heard my jaw hit the ground. She was right.
That simple question jack-knifed me into a place I'd always been afraid to look. Since I'd started writing the Second Chances series, I've felt the books were misplaced. I originally labeled them as Paranormal because well, all the other "angel" stories were labeled paranormal (or preternatural). And yet, it didn't feel right--not for my work.
Maybe it was paranormal for the other angel books because there were vampires, or witches, or elf magic. But my world was more complex than that, more...unique.
Was that why reviewers concentrated on the sex and perceived "paranormal" elements? Only one reviewer hit the nail on the head when she wrote that The Devil To Pay had shades of Richard Matheson's "What Dreams May Come". That was it exactly.
I wasn't building on the known paranormal world. These stories aren't even using the 'accepted' concept of Heaven and Hell. I had created my world from the ground up, and my square peg wasn't fitting into any of the round holes.
I felt like my eyes had been opened. It also scared the bejeebers out of me because now I found myself on a whole new playground, and it wasn't where all the popular kids played. I write Metaphysical fiction, the homely, four-eyed wallflower of the genre fields.
It all made sense now. To my shame, I had never read Matheson's work, but I had seen his movies. Time After Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come. (Ironically, I didn't like the movie version of What Dreams May Come, but I like the concept. I'm told the novel is much better.)
These were the kind of stories I loved. They were stories inside stories. And there were secrets, tiny manifestos that weren't always apparent to the casual observer.
I came to realize that I weaved those manifestos too, perhaps not as expertly as Matheson, since only a handful of people have picked up on the subtle clues I'm leaving behind in each story. But maybe when I'm finished with this series, it'll be clearer. Matheson has quite a few decades on me. You'll have to give me time to bloom.
What do you write? Can you define it in less than 25 words? I knew immediately, but was still unable to tag it correctly. I'll do better for the third book.
Starting Wednesday, I have a very special surprise when I host a DIY (Do It Yourself) Christmas. For the next couple of weeks I will have a guest post every weekday with recipes, crafts and traditions you can do yourself.
You don't want to miss this. Some of my guests are even offering early Christmas presents.