I don’t know about other authors, but I don’t let genre define me when writing. Writing genre is one of the last things that come to mind when I’m working on a book. In fact, I’m not even sure what genre my current work in progress really is. Reading the synopsis, it sounds like a romance, but it’s not, as the main characters go from being enemies in the beginning to just friends at the end. It has elements of several different genres, actually, including fantasy, science fiction, and some erotica.
When I wrote The Lerewood, I didn’t say to myself I want to write a dark fantasy. I need to research some dark fantasy genre tips. I had the idea, and when I finished writing the novella, I figured out the genre right before I sent it to Kellan Publishing. I knew it was a fantasy, as my character has the power to control plants, but I didn’t even realize it was a dark fantasy until Kellan Publishing’s submission form asked if the book had a subgenre.
When I tell people about my book they ask me if I’m strictly a fantasy writer, and they assume I enjoy all types of fantasy. I don’t! I enjoy low fantasy—another subgenre—in which fantasy elements intrude on an otherwise normal, realistic world (think X-Men). I generally don’t like high fantasy, which takes place in a completely fictional world with its own set of rules and in which our ‘real-world’ logic doesn’t apply (like Lord of the Rings).
I think, for me and for most readers, reading is a way to escape reality. Plenty of readers will read a high fantasy and get sucked into that fictional world and enjoy being a part of it whenever they open up that particular book. But for some reason, if it’s not even remotely like the world I live in, I can’t picture myself in that fantasy. The lack of logic and reason prevents me from enjoying the book. There are exceptions, of course, but I always prefer to read a book in which our world happens across a little magic. It’s easier to fantasize about. It’s easier to fall into.
Of course, learning about your book’s subgenre can alter the sort of readers your book attracts. If I market The Lerewood as a fantasy, it won’t be as successful if I were to market it as a dark fantasy. But I don’t think about writing genre. I write my book first, and then I figure out how to label it at the end. Because that’s all genre is: a label.
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Welcome to Andrea's blog!
Here you can find news on The Lerewood and what I'm up to.