Mix Those Genres!

Authors are constantly being asked to classify their books. I, myself, will only read humorous-small town-old fashioned-must have a moral-with a possible Victorian twist books.

Kidding aside, how does one classify a book? I thought mine fell under cozy. The locations are usually small town, the murder happens off the page, there is little swearing and minimal violence—the kind I wouldn’t mind my grandmother reading. Then an editor classified me as chick-lit.

Chick-lit makes me think of sassier-than-thou singletons who disparage men and spend evenings swilling martinis with their cool-but-obnoxious-to-anyone-who-doesn’t-really-really-know-and-love-them friends, the kind of women I would happily schedule a dental appointment to avoid. I HATE chick-lit. Or at least I thought I did. If I’m writing it, I must enjoy it.

But then I wondered if there could be a cozy/chick-lit cross. A woman who is a bit of a smart-aleck but not completely lost to cynicism. A gal who lives in the modern world but is old-fashioned enough not to find the term “gal” offensive. A feminist who avoids bashing men and actually thanks her stars when the masculine sex offers to change her flat tire. Someone who is comfortable in her female skin yet NEVER talks about her sexual needs/wants/desires. Could there be a market for such a character?

And that got me thinking about other genre mixes. How about classic/horror? Not classic as in Dracula, but classic as in THE Classics? Well, it’s a reality.

I bring you “Pride and Prejudice…and Zombies”. If this book had been offered in my high-school reading program, I would have leapt for joy. There’s enough of the original text involved to allow you to experience Elizabeth Bennet’s journey to true love. The Deadly Arts are thrown in for excitement. And the theme remains the same. When Elizabeth bites the still beating heart of a recently vanquished ninja warrior, you understand that it’s a comment on class conflict, as Elizabeth is subjected to sneers because her Master hails from China and not Japan.

If our sixteenth president can become Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, are there any limits? What’s next? Maritime/Native American/Romance? Religious/Lesbian/Horror?

I’d love to hear what new genre’s you come up with!

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