Why that genre?

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Monday musings by your favorite bestselling authors

Readers often associate their favorite writers with a genre: romance, mystery, thriller, science-fiction or fantasy, to name just a few.

Why did the author choose that genre? Your favorite bestsellers answer that question this week.

Alan McDermott

Action thrillers

When I pick up a book I want it to keep me gripped from start to finish and be something I can relate to. I couldn’t see myself delivering that with a science-fiction or romance novel. I could try, but I know I would soon get bored with it. If the subject matter doesn’t interest me, I can hardly expect my readers to become engrossed. I think it is important that you write about what you love.

D.G. Torrens

Romance, memoir and poetry

I write about what interests me personally. If I won’t read it then I certainly will not write about it. It is important for me to love what I do. Therefore, I apply it to what genre I write in.

Samreen Ahsan

Historical fantasy and paranormal romance

I write what I enjoy writing most, keep the readers busy. Someday, when I itch to write science fiction, I’d love to write that. Regardless of what genre it is, I want my readers to keep guessing.

Mary Doyle

Mystery, fantasy and erotica

If I were traditionally published, my biggest fear would be a publisher that insisted that I write in only one genre. That would be the end of my writing career. I’ve written mystery, urban fantasy, erotica and memoir and someday soon I’m going to write some dystopian fiction … maybe zombie stuff, maybe some other end of the world thing. I won’t write in one genre and you can’t make me!

Raine Thomas

Young adult and new adult fiction

I write romance across multiple sub-genres (YA, contemporary, sports, Sci-Fi, fantasy). I’ve always been a romantic, so my writing will always reflect that part of me. I also love diversity and exploring new things, so branching into the sub-genres allows me to explore that too. Who knows where the Muse will lead me next?

Toby Neal

Mystery, thriller and romance

I think characters are most important in writing, because no matter what genre you are in, people want to follow a heroine’s journey as they develop. So while I mostly write mystery/thriller because I love puzzles and surprises and a lot of tension, I am always writing that character arc of development. Over and over, whether it’s a thriller, a romance, or my own memoir. Riveting characters in a process of growth is what keeps readers coming back.

Gae-Lynn Woods

Mystery

I’ve always been drawn to stories with multiple layers and characters who grow and change. I love the challenge of figuring out “who done it” in another writer’s work, and seeing if I can keep the reader guessing in my own. I end up creating the characters I want to know more about and writing the stories I’d want to read.

DelSheree Gladden

Young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy and more

I write in multiple genres because I read just about every genre and like to try new things in my writing. When an idea comes to me, I go with whatever genre seems to fit that story and let it develop organically. The character’s journey is more important to me than following genre conventions.

Caleb Pirtle III

Thriller, literary fiction and memoir

I generally write historical thrillers or historical mysteries because I prefer living in the past. There is a certain feeling of the unknown and unexplained in an earlier time, especially when my stories have a World War II backdrop. Evil has a face. And the night holds suspense with every tick of the clock. It’s difficult for me to write suspense when all my hero has to do is pull out a cell phone can dial 9-11 if he’s in trouble. I can research the 1930s and 1940s, and every incident I find hides a mystery just waiting to be found and told.

Next week: more authors on why they chose their genre, including David C. Cassidy, Scott Bury, Seb Kirby and more!

And happy Canada Day to all our Canadian readers!

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Monday Musings: Micro-Genres?

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by Kathleen Valentine

genreRecently I received an email from Audible.com in which they offered a list of what they called “micro-genres” in their audio books. I found it pretty interesting and it got me thinking about quirky trends that I had been referring to as “sub-genres” but these are even more sub than that.

Awhile back, I came across possibly the most bizarre trend I’d ever seen and now I know it has to be a micro-genre. This is in the field of erotica—not a category I spend much time thinking about—and it had to do with dinosaurs. Yes, you read the right—sexy dinosaurs. I am not really sure if these are shape-shifting dinos. Shape-shifting seems to be a definite micro-genre so it could be either. I was not sufficiently curious to read far enough to find out.

So I looked up micro-genre and discovered the term has been around for awhile. Most of the references I found referred to contemporary music or to movies. Netflix, the huge online movie rental giant, has genres within genres, within genres. Those of us who publish with Amazon are also aware of these sub>sub>sub>sub genres when we try to find the best ones for our books. I have seen books on Amazon so deeply buried in sub-genres that it was hard for me to imagine more than one such book existed.

So here are a few of the trending micro-genres according to Audible:

Works on Art: This is mostly novels, but some non-fiction work, that revolves around an artist or a work of art examples being The Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Lady in Gold, and Vanished Smile. It seems to be genre that is growing in popularity as I have noticed writers like Alice Hoffman and Ross King producing these stories.

Communing with Animals: Some of these are loosely based in science others are just warm and cuddly tributes to animal friends and companions. Popular titles are The Genius of Birds, The Soul of an Octopus, and What a Fish Knows. I’ll let you sort them out.

The Drug Trade: The drug trade has captured the public imagination both the illegal trade as discussed in American Desperado and At the Devil’s Table, and the explosion of legal prescription drugs and their uses as in ADHD Nation and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.

Alternate History: I’m actually surprised to see this called a micro-genre because it has been around for awhile and is very popular from what I’ve seen. One of the best, in my opinion, is Stephen King’s 11.22.63 which I loved. The very popular Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell has recently been turned into a Netflix series. Other popular titles include The Years of Rice and Salt and Underground Airline. Hey, why not give it a try? It could have happened…

Handyman Romance, Cowboy Romance, Highlander Romance, Navy SEAL Romance: There is no end to this and all you have to do is go to Amazon and search one of those phrases. In fact, for your entertainment, I did that and the results show: Handyman Romance – 397 (including “handyman bear shape-shifter” I’m not kidding), Cowboy Romance – 500+, Highlander Romance – 500+ including a sub-micro genre, Medieval Highlander Romance, Navy SEAL Romance – also 500+.

There are a lot more micro-genres. For writers seeking a category in which they can see their books rise quickly through the ranks it can be worth your while to explore micro-genres that might fit. This could be your chance to rank #1 in a category—all you have to do is find it.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I couldn’t help myself–I just checked and there are 500+ listings for “dinosaur erotica.” Just in case you wanted to know.

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