Monday, April 26, 2010
Finding your niche
This photo was taken at the Cedar Hill Marina at Joe Pool Lake. I was fascinated with all the lines and angles of the boats. I had to wonder, how the bleep do you find your boat in all that? (Like how I'm keeping this blog all family friendly?) I felt lost just looking around.
Bookstores are like that. It's easy to get lost in there and I'd never find anything if they didn't put up helpful signs that said "mystery" or "romance" or "fantasy." Unfortunately, I can't always choose where a book will be. I'll spend ages looking in "fantasy" only to find that the books has been shelved under "romance." Umkay. It was a paranormal and there was a romance, but seriously, sometimes it's hard to tell.
As a writer, we can't control where we get shelved. We can steer toward a certain genre, but that's no guarantee of how others will perceive your work. The First Ghost was that sort of book. It's got paranormal elements: Portia Mahaffey sees dead people. It's got a mystery to solve: Who killed her roommate? There's some romance: Will she choose the hot doctor or the handsome detective?
So where does my book fit? I tried pulling out the elements and seeing if the whole structure fell apart. Take out the love? Still a dandy story. Take out the paranormal. More boring and I would be sad, sad, sad to see this story without Hephzibah, but...still a story. Take out the mystery? No more story. So my primary genre is mystery and my subgenre is paranormal. Paranormal mystery. I can live with that.
How about you? a/s/l? Now I'm showing my age! Genre, it's funny stuff. How funny? I'll let the kittehs explain it to you.