Out of Beat – Available Now!

We’re beautiful even when we let these scars show… Danny ‘Madman’ Maddox isn’t supposed to make Skylar Haze’s heart beat out of rhythm. At least not anymore. She hasn’t seen that boyish face, always covered in a five o’clock shadow, … Continue reading

WIP Wednesday: Deadly Sins

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Quote:

COPYRIGHT 2013, Cassandra Giovanni

Photography:

COPYRIGHT 2013, Gio Design Studios

An Author’s Challenge–Closing the Genre Gap

The blog tour continues! I’m sorry that I did not post yesterday, but I was in a major accident yesterday evening. I am glad to say that all parties involved are fine with the exception of the deer. He’s quite deceased right now, and the cars are most likely too. I am waiting for the insurance assessor to tell me that the car that my husband and I struggled for is (deep breathe) gone. Cars are replaceable, but people aren’t, nor are deers. I apologize deer, but highways are not good places for you to be.
There are many times I’ve been asked what is the hardest thing about writing a novel; well, it’s not writing the novel! First, if you’re going this route, it’s writing the query letter. Oh, many an author loathes a query letter. What’s so hard about it? Well, you have the hook sentence and then the pitch. The pitch is essentially your book description AKA the blurb. The blurb is the hardest part for me. If you aren’t an author, imagine condensing 60,000 plus words into less than 300. It’s a daunting task, and I can’t tell you how many blurb drafts I’ve done. There’s so many approaches, first person or third person and how much information you give away. So, what does this have to do with the genre gap? What is the genre gap?
The “Genre Gap” is the difference between what the book actually is and what the reader picks it up believing it to be. I’ve learned very quickly that genre is the foggiest of areas of writing imaginable. I quickly came to terms with the fact I was mainly a romance novelist, but none of my novels are merely romances–that’s just not my style. They all have small back stories that build the characters and their relationships. Now, in reading my blurbs its pretty obvious that the books are romances, but the other part is the foggy destination.
I believe there are two reasons behind this issue. The first being stereotypes created by popular predecessors of the genre. This was a challenge I faced with In Between Seasons due to the fact that dystopian/post-apocalyptic is very popular right now. Thus, people expect a certain “string” of similarity in all of them. I must say that most authors deliver this, me, well not so much. It’s character driven with the back drop of a corrupt world. The lack of detail into the corruption is due to one thing: my character’s knowledge of the corruption. In Between Seasons shows the world as Hunter an Kate understand it.
The second issue that I believe contributes is the lack of genre specifics available for authors on Goodreads. There is no place for the author to choose a genre (Unlike say, Amazon or B&N where you specifically choose the target market, genre and sub-genre. For me it is always Juvenile Fiction (aka YA)>Romance>Sub-genre). On Goodreads the genre is based on what shelves the novel is on, shelves that might I mention, are personalized to the user. So, right now In Between Seasons shows up as Sci-Fi>Dystopia. Now, if you have read some of my previous posts, you know that I didn’t even know that In Between Seasons was post-apocalyptic, dystopian until after I wrote it. Walking in the Shadows was far easier, from the beginning it was always very clear to me what I was writing. A romance with a suspense back drop of a rampaging murderer obsessed with vampires. Vampires, do however, typically fall under paranormal romance, but seeing these aren’t “really vampires” it does not fall into this category at all. So, I looked up the definition of Romantic Suspense and discovered it only accounts for 7% of the Romance genre. Here’s a brief quote from Wikipedia:
“romantic suspense novels are often similar to mysteriescrime fiction and thrillers, and paranormal romances use elements popular in science fiction and fantasy novels”
Indeed, Walking fits well into this plot line, but it blurs it too. I don’t fit my writing in a box. Here’s where it blurs it, Wikipedia goes on to say:
“Like all romances, romantic suspense novels must place the development of a relationship between the protagonists at the heart of the story. The relationship “must impact each decision they make and increase the tension of the suspense as it propel the story. In turn, the events of suspense must also directly affect the relationship and move the story forward.”[36] Romantic suspense novels tend to have more “clean” language, without the “emotional, intimate” descriptions often used in more traditional romances.[36] Because the mystery is a crucial aspect of the plot, these novels are more plot-driven instead of character-driven.[36]
 

The last sentence is where I blur the lines, and honestly, as an author and an artist, I think that’s okay. My romantic suspense is character driven. The other feature that ties my novels together, besides romance, is being character drive. As for Walking, I mean with a name like Tad Knightley, of course it’s going to be!

The last reason for the gap is one of human nature, one that we will never be able to address; human nature. Words are open to perceptions, Walking mentions vampires briefly, and thus could be construed to be a paranormal romance. I can promise you one thing, there is not one iota of paranormal in this novel.

The question ends up being how do we address this gap? I’m honestly not sure; as an author I struggle with closing the genre gap in displaying blurbs that make it blatantly obvious and don’t give too much away.

It’s possible the only way to close the gap is proper marketing and then of course, reviews. The more reviews a book obtains, the more likely it is to become clear what the book genre falls into if there is some “fogginess”.

It’s occurs to me now that there may be “trigger” words an author should keep in my, like, oh say, vampires… Nope, no Edward Cullen here, try again later.

Today’s Blog Stops:

YA Book Addict– Review 4 Stars “It was definitely the authors easy flowing writing style and the romance that pulled me in and kept me engrossed in the story.”

Reading Away The Days– Character Profile, learn more about Abigail first hand! (This was one of my favorite things to do for the blog tour, so please check it out!)