The Writers' Loop

For Readers and Writers

Brain Picking, Genre Picking



puppy all aloneIt’s a little lonely here at the Writers’ Loop without Peggy!     Readers, please let me know if you’re still out there.

You can do that by allowing me to pick your brain. Then, I’ll ask you to post a comment.  Here it goes:

I’m gearing up for the Unicorn Writers’ Conference next weekend (You can check it out by following the UpComing Events link on the sidebar.). On Friday, I’ll attend a Genre Dinner, my very first.  Apparently, it’s a working dinner and a great time to network with writers in my genre.  I’m looking forward to the experience and meeting new contacts. But here’s the catch: my novel crosses and blends so many genre boundaries that it doesn’t fit neatly or even sloppily, into just one category.  This prompts me to wonder which genres are most appealing to the readers of this blog.

book shelves

So, you can help me, if you will, by letting me know which, if any, of these fiction categories appeal to you: Women’s Commercial, Coming-of-Age (Adult), Nostalgic, Magical Realism, Pop Culture, or Humor. Would you mosey toward any of these shelves in your library or favorite bookstore?  Where would you linger?  Which genre might you pluck from the rack, snoop through, and/or peruse its dust jacket or back cover?  Any chance that you’d want to read the whole book, or…purchase it?

My next research survey is pretty straightforward, but it comes with a disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for food cravings or excessive salivation in the analogy that follows.

Now, my question. When one calls up Pizza Lean-to and orders an extra large (pizza 2guessing that one has the munchies for pizza) it’s usually custom made just for you.  You can get almost any topping that your little heart, or tummy desires, even anchovies.

And what about fiction?  If you could call up, oh, let’s say, Harper Collins Publishers, and order a novel written just for you, what toppings, what ingredients would you want?  Which elements of fiction would your novel have: mystery, humor, history, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, crime, western, _________?  (That last one’s a special-order-fill-in-the-blank, just for you.)  Would you order another werewolf, more shades of erotica, or maybe a novel that warms your heart, lifts your spirits and makes you smile?  Just wondering.  Please let me know.

And sorry, no; I’m not taking any pizza orders at this time.  You might want to try Pizza Lean-to.

I hope you’ll post a comment and let me know your opinion.  I’ll be so grateful. Thanks in advance!









16 thoughts on “Brain Picking, Genre Picking

  1. Hello Susanne!

    I think I would enjoy the nostalgic category the best out of the fiction categories listed.

    My special order ingredients for a novel would include romance, history and suspense.

    Have a great time at the Unicorn Writers’ Conference. It sounds exciting! I can’t wait to read about your experience there.

    You are so talented my friend! Janet

    Sent from my iPad


  2. I think for a genre I would go with Magical Realism. It’s fun to let your imagination go. I like to read to escape from the mundane drudgery of the everyday monotony we call our existence.
    I also especially enjoy historical fiction. A good book is like a time machine to witness an adventure in another time and place.

    • Ah! So well expressed, Garth! You must have writing in your genes! I totally agree. I’ll send you a copy of my novel as soon as it’s published. You’ll be able to venture to a new time and place with some laughs!

  3. I just have to say, cutest puppy pic ever!

  4. If novel has romance, magical realism and a good review, it usually ends up in my shopping cart.

    • Hey! I know just the novel for you, then…it has a curse-and a spell that needs to be broken, a ghost, the budding and possibility of new romance, all set high on a coffee plantation in Hawaii! 🙂

  5. Hmm, I’d probably choose magical realism. But classics and historical fiction are always my favorites. And humor always helps.
    I hope you have a terrific time at the conference and learn a lot.
    And I love anchovies so thanks for that option! I really enjoyed the blog.

  6. Susanne, like you, my tastes vary. My debut novel has romance, mystery, adventure, and paranormal. It’s also about second chances and is a time slip novel. I’ve basically written a book I like to read. When I pick a book, I don’t look for any particular genre. I look at story. Is there enough there to whet my appetite. My tastes are eclectic, similar to my taste in food. Have a great conference.

    • Thank you, Diana! My sentiments, exactly. I’ve written a novel that I would like to read, too. You said it so well! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll report about the conference in my next post.

  7. Hi Susanne.

    I would head straight for the mystery section. My extra-large toppings favorites are mystery, humor, women sleuths. If there is history, a little romance, or noir, all the better. While I read mostly mysteries, I’m also a fan of biographies.

    • Judy, have you read M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin mysteries? I find them hilarious and the mysteries are fun. I also love Diane Mott Davidson’s fun mysteries series with Goldie the caterer, where everything is “just right.” Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Hi Susanne. As an author, I’m in a similar situation. My second novel, which I’m on the verge of sending out, also can’t be pigeon-holed. It’s part secret society novel, part sci-fi, part comic novel, part satire. This happens quite a bit, of course — look at The World According to Garp, which defied traditional categories — but I think the challenge is easing an agent’s concerns over how to pitch it to a publisher.

    • David, Glad to hear that Novel Number Two is on the verge, that’s great. More and more, I’m reading that agents are looking for books that blur genre boundaries, so you’re right in step. Donald Maass writes about the “Death of Genre” in his book, “Writing 21st Century Fiction.” Since I’m blending genres and I’m happy to know what he’s saying ~ but he doesn’t address that crucial point about agents’ concerns. Thanks for stopping by!

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