No Genre Can Contain Me!

posted in: Various Musings | 0

Originally posted on October 29, 2011

That’s become my new mantra, and I like it so much, it’s in my Twitter profile now. I’m tired of readers giving me grief because I’m not quite what they expected. The problem is I have to pick something when I’m asked to put my book in a category. I know it would be easier for me if I wrote books that could be neatly contained within a genre, but I can’t. Here’s a rundown of potential genres and why they don’t work for my books:

Romance: Well, this seems to be the most likely category for my books, but here’s why my books aren’t romance: I write my books strictly from one person’s point of view. If you’ve read enough romance novels, you know the pattern, and you’ll recognize I don’t follow it. You, as a reader, don’t have the pleasure of knowing what the man in my books thinks—you have to guess and wonder, just like the protagonist. You also don’t know if the man and woman will end up together in a happily ever after. And the whole point of my books is not just getting a guy and a girl together. There’s always more to it than that, even though the plots don’t tend to be complex.

Erotica: Let’s just throw this one on the table. I’ve read enough erotica to know that, even though I write some steamy sex scenes, there’s not nearly enough sex in my books to qualify as erotica. At the same time, though, I do want to warn readers that there is sex in my books, and it is graphic as hell. I don’t want to give some dear unsuspecting woman a heart attack. But there’s simply not enough lovin’ to qualify as erotica, even in my books that have lots of sex (I think No Place to Hide, the third Nicki Sosebee book, came the closest, but there still wasn’t enough to rate as erotica).

Suspense: I guess some of the Nicki books could potentially qualify, but I’m sure true lovers of suspense novels would say I’m lacking in that department as well (no wonder I have penis envy). Granted, some of my books do build suspense and I like creating tension just as much as the next writer, but I’m no James Patterson.

So what category do I place my books in? The winner is…

Women’s fiction: Yeah, I know, I’m even letting this one down. The most basic definition I’ve seen of women’s fiction is this: “Stories by women about women.” But that doesn’t quite capture it, does it? Women’s fiction is more than that…a lot more. People are still in the process of defining this growing genre, but I can tell you my writing probably isn’t comfortable sitting in that category either. Still…I suppose it’s better than nothing.

So I’m waiting for someone else to tell me what my writing is. I love to read, and I haven’t quite read anything like my own writing. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I tend to believe it just is what it is. And as long as I have readers who love my work, I’ll keep doing it, even if I have no name for it! 

ADDENDUM:

November 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm

My friend Sara said this in an email: “Romantic erotic suspense. Or suspenseful erotic romance. I agree that you seem to fall outside of ‘genres’; I haven’t read anything quite like your books either, which is why I am so eager to read the next ones (not that I’m hinting or anything).”

Heh…she knows me too well. I’m eager to have the next ones read, so I’ll work hard to get them done ASAP. Guess I’d better quit writing here and get back to One More Time!

Leave a Reply