Friday, 10 June 2011

Fruitcake author?

Does slotting your book into a genre still mean as much in today's publishing world?
I seem to come across many novels that cross the genre boundaries and, yes, I think they are more gripping as a result.
In fact my own books have a little of the kitchen sink syndrome about them. I mean, to make them lively, interesting and readable I do find myself wanting to mix mystery, romance and even a dose of pshychological suspense. Sometimes I think I might be confusing making a fruit cake with developing a plot - all ingredients go into the mixing bowl! Or there again maybe I AM a fruitcake!
The problem, they tell me, is not about what makes a book exciting and readable but about how a publisher can categorise a book.
But there again, readers choose what to buy based on their own tastes for certain genres, or so I am told. I think most of us have a bent for our particular genre but personally, I also read as much as possible oustide my usual choices to broaden my reading experience. And I am sometimes quite pleasantly surprised to find I enjoy a particular book that I initally was not so sure about.
I suppose it's also about expectation - if you pick a book from the horror section you certainly would not expect it to be a cosy romance!
However, every book/story should have the basics of conflict, surprise, struggle and resolution - and if that story includes the odd murder, romance, scifi and even a cowboy, well so be it.
The issue then is for the author to decide what genre their work falls into.
But, I do think crossover books are gaining ground and a big, plotline-packed multi-tiered novel is going to be hard to categorise anyway.
I guess it comes down to what you want to write about...

So are you a genre writer? Do you stick faithfully to your chosen genre?

To read samples of my books visit
'The Witcheye Gene' is also available to buy on


  1. I thought I was a genre writer, had intended on being one until recently. I'm flip-flopping. Sticking with one genre can be a major part of a writer's marketing plan. It is limiting, though. Of course, you can always publish novels you've written outside your genre under a pen name.

  2. Hm, interesting question. With the advent of self-publishing, Kindle, etc, I don't think it matters quite as much. However, traditionally... I think it does still matter.