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Author Topic: Where is the genre line crossed?  (Read 9820 times)

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J.P. Farris

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Where is the genre line crossed?
« on: December 15, 2009, 01:01:34 AM »

I know of mysteries where a vampire is the protagonist.  I have seen books in the mystery section where the private eye is a ghost.  My last two novels - yet to be published - were supernatural thrillers with an intriguing protagonist working as a private eye, but he is an immortal.  So where is the genre line crossed between the traditional mystery and fantasy/science fiction?  If my protagonist is immortal where would the novel be located in the bookstore?  In the mystery section or in fantasy?  I do have some very good mortal sleuths in my latest mystery novel, but I'm considering writing in my immortal sleuth.  Would that be crossing the line?
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Kat

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Re: Where is the genre line crossed?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 03:04:51 PM »

It might be placed in the paranormal mystery section. That's just a guess on my part, but if you google paranormal mysteries you find all sorts of protagonists from ghosts to time travelers, etc.
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Where is the genre line crossed?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 12:28:09 PM »

The Thurlos (Aimee and David) have a series going about a state trooper in Arizona (or maybe New Mexico) who's a vampire.  I've usually seen them shelved in the mystery section of the library (if the library has a mystery section, which not all of them do) and in the mystery section of the bookstores.

Where it gets shelved is likely going to depend on how the publisher decides to market it, and that will depend on a whole lot of factors, many of them having nothing to do with the content of the book, as such.

Let's say you're Stephen King or Dean Koontz and you write a thoroughly terrifying novel about the police hunt for a serial killer.  And let's say there is not an iota of a supernatural element in that book.  Chances are the book is going to get classified, and sold, as a horror novel despite the fact that it's really a straightforward, if quite scary, police procedural with no supernatural, science fiction, or fantasy elements.

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT






Let's say, on the other hand, that you're an investigative reporter for the Washington Post who, like most reporters, has done time working the police beat, and let's say you write a DC-based cop novel about the hunt for a serial killer who, as the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear is actually a vampire.

And let's say the book gets picked up by Doubleday who decide to publish as part of their "Crime Club" mystery line.  In that case, as Les Whitten found out when he wrote a dandy but little-known gem called Progeny of the Adder,  your book is going to be marketed and categorized as a straightforward mystery, notwithstanding the supernatural horror elements in the plot.

If you've never read Progeny of the Adder, I'm sorry to spoil the surprise, but I did warn you, and there was really no other way to illustrate my point.






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Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 12:33:38 PM by JIM DOHERTY »
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Chuck

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Re: Where is the genre line crossed?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2009, 02:16:38 AM »

The Thurlo books are set in New Mexico, the couple I've read. If you liked Tony Hillerman, you'll like theirs.

They live in Corrales, north of Albuquerque. Great little town. I grew up there, back when it really was a little town.

Nothing much else to contribute. My novels are mysteries with a paranormal twist. I don't plan them like that, but since I never know from day to day where they're going, the paranormal always seems to find its way in.

The reality is, I'm lazy. Bringing in a paranormal aspect makes writing easier. Offhand, I don't know of any police manuals or procedures for dealing with creatures that don't exist, so I can let my imagination (such as it is) loose.

A bit off topic, but that's normal for me.
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sungyonx

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Re: Where is the genre line crossed?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 02:39:15 AM »


I know what I want to talk to anyone.

endarn

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Re: Where is the genre line crossed?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 03:59:23 AM »

I'm impressed, I need to read it first.
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