Friday, April 15, 2011

Some genres, when crossed, explode

Genre is important in fiction. If you want your work to sell, book publishers and book readers have an easier time if you can hang ONE label on it: mystery, fantasy, mainstream fiction, literary fiction, thriller, romance, Christian fiction, Gay/Lesbian fiction, and so on.

But sometimes the writing urge comes on us to combine genres: Christian fantasy, fantasy-romance (girl meets vampire), Gay/Lesbian mystery. This also can work, some of the time.

But some genre-crossings don't work so well. Christian science fiction? Mainstream sci-fi fans may think: Christians--- aren't they those bad people who don't like science? And the Christian publishers/readers may think: science fiction--- isn't that the bad stuff that seeks to destroy our faith in Christ and in God's word? But there are some brave souls out there writing Christian science fiction, and some has even been published.

But Wildmage is the ultimate bad genre mixup: high fantasy that is Christian fiction (like Narnia or Lord of the Rings) and that is also Gay/Lesbian fiction (like Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald Mage series, or J. F. Rivkin's Silverglass), but doesn't promote the ideology of the Gay activist movement. Yes, wow, I can hear the heads exploding now. Mostly it seems like a great way to get blacklisted everywhere.... which I guess is why I'm a pen name and not a real girl after all.....

But in today's crazy publishing world where print-on-demand self-publishing companies like can make all sorts of cross-genre explosives happen, if it's what I want to write, I can do it. If I write well, and do some internet networking, maybe it will even build a following.

After all, years ago who could have predicted that every other book in the sci-fi/fantasy aisle would be about sparkly vampires?

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