Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Rose by Any Other Name...

The rose bit might work for roses, but it doesn't work for genre definition.

It has been a busy week at Cactus Rain Publishing. My day job allowed me only a few minutes in the evenings to attend to Joyce's emails ( We have been through seven test pages just to get to the point of having a fairly decent (awesome) opening page from which she can build the website template for Cactus Rain Publishing.

Now we have some working links and back pages to the site. I'm getting jazzed as this takes shape. In polling the Cactus Rain authors, the general opinion is thumbs up. Now how many authors get input or even sneak peeks at their publisher's website?

For those who are curious, I'm using the site at the link below to define the genre for the titles on the Cactus Rain Publishing site. If some of you are having trouble deciding what genre you write, look here. There are tons of these lists on the internet, but this is the one I've used from the beginning. If you are thinking of querying Cactus Rain, then use this genre list when specifying your genre in the query letter.

I've seen query letters where the writer has no sense of what genre they have written, for example, historical-horror-fantasy. Nope, don't go there. For one thing, historical and fantasy don't actually go together. Pick one.

I write, as I've said before, literary fiction. It is one of the hardest genre to pitch (and sell) to an agent and publisher. People want fast reads, like adventure or thriller, things that skim the cream on the top. The storylines cover short time periods and the voice is quick - page turners. Literary fiction is a meandering style. It is more sensual in the exploration of the characters and setting. It isn't a mindless diversion from real life.

If you're the type who plans, then start with the genre and write from there. For those who are even more of a business planner, research the market and try to anticipate where it will be three years from now - there you go, a nice little weekend project - or maybe not.

Just so you know, this is post number 299! Not bad for someone who didn't want a blog. I let the first anniversary of First Draft (April 2009) pass quietly.


  1. Historical and fantasy don't go together? Do you not watch Dr Who over there?

  2. Very funny, Glyn. I bet you think that phone booth is real. Time travel...let me think, that would be??? Um, SciFi.

    Did you know my friend Carrie's mum made/makes costumes for some of the aliens on Dr. Who? How cool is that?

  3. I will find the list useful, thanks Nadine. My ms is getting confused about its genre now. *smile*

    PS: It's an old Policebox, Superman had the phone booth. Oh dear, how sad it is that I actually knew that! LOL

  4. 'Did you know my friend Carrie's mum made/makes costumes for some of the aliens on Dr. Who? How cool is that?'

    That is so cool. I do not miss Dr Who. I have a radio controlled Dalek, my daughter bought me a sonic srewdriver for Father's day.

  5. Glynis, that idenity crisis is typical in early drafts. I think it happens less if you write the first draft straight through in a short period of time, a few weeks or months, rather than stop and edit as you write.

    No worries, though. It will all get sorted by the time you're finished.

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