Monday, September 5, 2016
Why I Hate Being Stuck in a Genre 😩
I hate the word ‘genre’. It sounds so pretentious as if you define your book in one, single category rather than having it overlap in many areas. Then again, is that really surprising since we also live in a world that wants us to define ourselves into small categories that are easily digestible, uncomplicated and make other people comfortable?
I stopped trying to define my books. With the exception of The Rock Star of Vampires and it’s follow up, Her Name is Mariah, I have always stuck with the genre of ‘fiction’ when checking in with my publisher and later when asked the question in which category my books fit. I guess in my mind, a great book should overlap into many categories; there should be some romance – but not too much. There should be some drama – but not to the point that it becomes unrealistic. There should be some suspense but not necessarily non-stop from chapter one. There should be some erotica but not in the Fifty Shades extreme. I think it’s important that readers get a glimpse of themselves in the story as well as someone they want to be or a fantasy that they may have, but would never act on.
When I write a book, I visualize it as if it were one of my favorite dramas on television. I like surprise twists and turns, I love strong emotions, I dive into dark topics that we don’t like to talk about as well as the light side of our personalities that makes us human.
Genres tend to be suffocating. When asked for themes in my first book, I stupidly suggested ‘romance’ even though it was only a fraction of the book. My publisher immediately suggested that I change the ending and do things differently to connect with the ‘romance’ fan. I wasn’t about to make my book into a tacky, $2 trash romance book and immediately said no. Same thing with the vampire books; I was told they weren’t ‘vampiry’ enough, not what fans wanted in this kind of genre – but to me, that was the point. Who says that all vampire books have to be the same? Isn’t the point of creativity is to be unique? Sometimes I think this is no longer the case.
Author of Fire, A Spark before the Fire and The Rock Star of Vampires, Her Name is Mariah, Different Shades of the Same Color, We're All Animals, Always be a Wolf, The Devil is Smooth Like Honey, A Devil Named Hernandez, And The Devil Will Laugh and The Devil May Lie. All are available at Amazon, Chapters, iTunes or most online retailers. Check it out at www.mimaonfire.com.