I have written a novel and I am having trouble determining genre. It’s a romance for sure. It has suspense for sure. But it also has ghosts. No other paranormal elements- just ghosts. It doesn’t have that goth somber flavor. Is paranormal romantic suspense a genre? If so can it be paranormal when the only thing supernatural is ghosts?
So let’s talk about genre. Genre means “kind,” so when you’re deciding on what kind of book you’re selling (not writing), all you’re doing is slapping a label on it. Continue reading
Here’s your link to the Haunting Alice Proposal. (If you’d rather go looking for it, it’s up at the top under the Works in Progress page; just scroll down til you hit the section on Haunting Alice.)
Most of you have read most of the first thirty-plus pages before, but there’s also the first page of the synopsis, which is the first act/first third of the book. You don’t get the rest because of spoilers. (A full proposal would be the pages, the synopsis of the full book, and a query letter.).
And now back to Nita.
Because I must get a proposal done before Nita is finished, I have started on a new book. Yeah, I’m not thrilled about that either; I love the book but balancing two narratives in my head is not a good idea, especially since one is overworked and the other is nascent, but here we are. At least it’ll make a nice change for you all since I’ll be bitching about Alice (aka Haunting Alice) instead of Nita (aka The Devil in Nita Dodd).
So what’s a proposal you ask, and how am I making one for Alice? (You have to ask because I need a blog post.).
I have been writing for a long time, started self-publishing in 2012 . . . [G]iven that I have not yet found an audience, is it likely to kill me that all my stuff is not in the same style? . . . I’ve got romance novellas, romance-adjacent contemporary novels, historical novels. My published contemporary novels are in three (so far) different styles. Two are alternating-first-person POV. One is 3rd/omniscient. One is straight-up 1st person. . .
First, those things are not style. Style is the way you sound on the page, your word choices and rhythms and world views, and chances are great that your style stays the same no matter what you write. I write ghost stories, romantic comedies, caper romances, demons, etc. but they’re all in my style; they all sound like Crusies.
What you’re talking about is genre (romance, adventure, etc.).
“What makes YA novels so popular nowadays with adults? And is the line between adult and YA fiction really there anymore, especially in fantasy and science fiction? I know that you aren’t a YA author, but with Nita, for example – is there a reason why your book couldn’t/wouldn’t be in a high school library? (other than perhaps sex scenes?)
As Cate said in the comments, the big determiner of YA is the age of the protagonist. A YA protagonist does not necessarily mean that the book is a YA, but an older protagonist pretty much means it isn’t. YA readers have too much adult PoV in their lives already; they want to read about people like them solving problems and making connections. The focus is also likely to be on different things. YA dystopias are different from adult dystopias; YA romantic conflicts are different from adult romantic conflicts. It reminds me of something somebody said about the difference between pop and country music: pop is about falling in love and country is about working on your second divorce. YA fiction is about becoming an adult and adult fiction is dealing with being an adult.
Nothing drives me crazier than author quotes. I hate asking for them, and probably 95% of the people I have asked for them have ignored me completely, which serves me right because I don’t give quotes to 95% of the people who ask me for them. The whole practice is a mass of desperation and bad feeling and you’d think it would just collapse in upon itself except for one thing: It really does generate sales.
The author quote is that sentence on the cover that says “A great read!” followed by the name of an author the publisher hopes you recognize and like. The real gets are Nora Roberts, Stephen King, John Grisham, and that ilk, but enough people want Jenny Crusie that I end up with stacks of manuscripts growing surly in the corners of my living room. I take them because I WANT to give author quotes. I want to help other people, it makes me feel warm all over, and besides that, it’s good for me to have my name on other authors’ book covers. It makes people think I’m somebody. They look at the cover and think, “Well, I’ve never heard of Jennifer Crusie but her name is right there so she must be famous,” and there goes my name recognition, up a notch.
For this reason, some of my friends are Quote Whores, and I say this with affection because they’re good people who like giving other authors a boost in sales. “Don’t send me the book,” they tell people, “just put on ‘I loved it!’ Melinda Q. Whore.” And everybody wins, the author, the quoter, the publisher . . . Well maybe not the reader. Continue reading