Writer’s Craft #91 – Genre Mashups
K. A. Laity: All-purpose writer, Fulbrighter, uberskiver, medievalist, flâneuse, techno-shamanka, Broad Universe social media maven, History Witch, Pirate Pub Captain currently anchored in Dundee, Scotland.
Agents, editors, far more successful writers all tell me the same thing: it helps to stick to one genre. People who like that genre and you will stick with you if you keep to that part of the playground. Although I tend to fit under the broad umbrella of “fantasy” in my work, I can’t say there’s a lot in common between my works.
My first novel was a fairy tale, set in an approximation of medieval Scandinavia. I’ve written a comic gothic novel and a slightly supernatural thriller, while my forthcoming novel is a science fiction/urban fantasy/shamanic journey/road trip/retelling of the descent of Inanna.
Yeah, my publisher went with “science fiction” for the label, but we added a catchy new tagline, ‘shamans vs aliens’.
But some SF folks will argue it’s not what it says on the tin. And fantasy fans may overlook it. I hear more and more that people like this kind of literary mashup — after all, why not try something new — but the truth is it remains difficult to market them. People say a good story is more important than the label on the spine. But discovering books remains a difficult process.
How do you find new books and new authors?