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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Guest Post + Giveaway: Mixing Genres by @CatGerlach

Mixing Genres

One problem I've had from the beginning is the classification of my stories. Most of the publishers my German agent approached loved my writing style, my ideas and especially my characters, but they couldn't decide which label to put on the manuscripts. So ultimately, they passed.

These days, the box (or genre) is not half as important as it used to be. Many of the novels I read contain elements of romance as well as traditional fantasy elements; some incorporate elements of westerns or science fiction. New genres are popping up out of nowhere (5-10 years ago, steampunk was unheard of in Germany), and new age groups follow. Up until recently there was no reading age group of New Adult. These days there is although it's not (yet) as established as Juvenile, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult.

If find that more and more readers don't care so much about genre any more either. The people that follow me on Goodreads for example, are always willing to try something even if the initial genre isn't theirs. I have found many gems that way. Take science fiction as an example. For me those were mostly stories set in outer space with lots of technical babble involved and usually a space alien here or there. Two masterful writers I know and love to read (Holly Lisle's Cadence Drake series and J.A. Marlow's Redpoint Romance series) cured me. Sure, they have some outer space scenes too but it's mainly about humans and the way they interact.

The same goes for my "Gendarmerie Magique" series. Sure, it is basically YA Urban Fantasy, but it's also a crime story (a murder mystery police procedural to be precise), and it's got elements of romance and family problems as well. It sheds light on friendships and on non-human species. All in all, it's a conglomerate of genres. I can tell you what genres it isn't: it's NOT Science Fiction, it's NOT historical, and it's NOT contemporary. But putting a single label on it would be like declaring that a bird is a dinosaur – it sort of is but it sort of isn't too.

Don't you think it's time to set aside our concepts of genre and be prepared to trust the writer? If a story is well written, why should it matter what genre the publisher put it under?

About the Book

CSI with magic but without the gore

Despite her obvious lack of magical talent, nineteen year old Moira Bellamie apprentices with the Gendarmerie Magique, the magic police. She puts all her effort into solving a burglary at the National Museum where antique weapons have been stolen, to keep the hard won job. Falling for her partner Druidus wasn't part of the plan. When more and more people are murdered with one of the stolen weapons, Moira must tame uncontrollable magic, or the people she cares for will die, her partner first and foremost.

For lovers of Fantasy and Mystery from 14 years up.



I’ve been telling and writing stories all my life, but only two year ago, with the success of eBook publishing, I became an Indie author. I never looked back. Sure, my manuscripts have found praise with traditional publishers, but no one had the courage to publish something they couldn’t neatly stuff into a labeled box.

Well, just like my books, I don’t fit one box. I’m the daughter of a forester and a studied forester myself. I’m sister to three brothers, and a mother to three daughters. I’m a tomboy at heart and simultaneously tidy and chaotic – I can’t be any different with my Muse (the creative part of me) dragging me in one direction and my Editor (the neat, logical side) pulling in another. There are three things in this world I love more than anything: my family, stories (mine and those of others) and nature. The best thing that can happen to me is when someone I don’t know leaves a review for one of my books telling me how much (s)he liked it.

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Giveaway for "Swordplay – A Gendarmerie Magique novel"


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

As an avid reader, I'm only slightly interested in what genre the author classifies a book under. I use certain genres as a palate cleanser. If I've over read romance for awhile then I might want a pure horror story to read before I read a series of paranormals or UF or historicals. So for this reason alone I want to know what genre a book is. If I pick it up to read thinking it is PR and instead it is UF than I may lay it aside for when I'm in the mood for UF.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

This is the first time I've checked out the tour but this book sounds like one I'd enjoy and then could pass on to my daughter's classroom library so definitely checking it our further.

Katharina Gerlach said...

I'm glad the book sounds interesting to you, and I agree. A lot of readers try several genres and the younger the less settled they are.

@Kelsey: Thanks for hosting me. It's a pleasure

Trekelny said...

It's a worthy topic Kat, no question. On my own devices, looking for a new book, I will definitely gravitate toward heroic or epic fantasy. But when the author describes an entire new world- guess what?- it's got as many different experiences in it as the Alleged Real World! So there's some horror in Lord of the Rings, a big mystery in Donaldson's Mordant books, and so on. And when I get "caught out" reading something set elsewhere- even here!- good writing is still engaging. OK, maybe I have trouble with romance...

Mary Preston said...

I've just discovered the tour, but enjoying it thus far.