Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cross Genres. . .Do You Read Them?

No, I don’t mean hybrid cars or hybrid animals like Dolly the sheep~even though Dolly is cute.

I’m talking about crossing dressing for publication. YES~cross-dressing or some like to call it cross pollination or crossing genres. Since most fiction falls in a certain genre, such as; romance, mystery, erotica, inspirational (okay…maybe I shouldn’t put erotica and inspirational next to each other~teehee!). Anyways, each genre has there own followers so when an author decides to cross pollinate, they better do it right.

As a writer, you really have to be up for the challenge. You have to give the best of both genres because that is what you are promising as a writer to deliver. Romance+Suspense=Romantic Suspense. If you bought this book, you would be sorely disappointed if you found it to be a

Romance+Comedy=Romatic Comedy and no suspense was even involved. The most popular cross genres currently are PARANORMAL ROMANCE, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY.

We also have to consider how to market it. If you write cozy mystery with paranormal elements, like my very own Splitsville.com, do I market to the paranormal readers or the mystery readers?

What do you think? Would you follow your favorite author if he/she wrote a cross genre novel? If you’re an author, have you considered cross genre writing?


  1. I think sometimes cross-genres is exactly what's needed. It breaks up the monotony.

    I know this isn't technically cross-genre, but I write suspense/thriller YA (usually). I have more adults read my books than young adults, which is cool. A wider audience. YAY. Lol

    Great post, by the way. I think crossing genres is becoming more popular, like ebooks, we're all accepting it as it is and comes.

    --Emerald Barnes

  2. I'm a very big fan of the chick lit/mystery. I write them and read them. And I love chick lit/ suspense. I think humor and romance can combine very nicely with suspense. Nobody seems to have problems with that in film--think of Romancing the Stone--but somehow the publishing world seems to think it's an odd combo. I'm with ebarnes above. Cross genres are just what we need to keep things fresh.

  3. I love reading different genres. If I like the authors style and stories, I will definitely read the books she writes even if it's a different genre from what I normally read.

  4. It's interesting that you brought it up because that's one of the challenges I have with my own books.

    For example, my debut novel Drift is a "mainstream fiction with elements of horror and even some mystery" (in my own words). On one hand, the novel is really a mainstream fiction tale about someone reconnecting with their family. But at the same time there's a bit of horror to it. It's not supernatural horror per say but has a serial killer in it. So are those elements crime instead of horror? Even though it's not about the police or any kind of CSI work?

    It's a challenge alright but I enjoy a good challenge. And besides, that's one of the advantages of being an indie author. We don't have to worry about having a publisher dictate what we can or cannot write.

    I follow quite a few authors who do cross genres (or genres that heavily rely on elements from other genres). Stephen King doesn't necessarily cross genres (except in The Dark Tower series) but he does constantly write different genres. Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho and Lunar Park combine satire and horror. And I could go on and on about other authors that I read who mix it up.

    The whole topic itself seems like it could make for an interesting series of articles to talk about. And despite the challenges of Drift, I think it will be fun to see what kind of audience it ultimately attracts.

  5. I read what looks interesting to me.
    One example of 'cross-genre' which might sound odd at first is some of the novels set during WW2 which feature plots that rely heavily on established fact. To me it's like reading history but it's also a novel. Some might call it a 'historical' but to me it seems more than that. I also like what are called 'alternative' history or 'speculative' history ... in which about 90 per cent of the story is establilshed fact, but one or two things are tweaked to result in a very different outcome.

  6. Hi, Emerald! I've found it very exciting to write cross genre. When I was writing for the publisher, it was hard b/c editors would say, "I cant' categorize that. You need to stick with one or the other."
    I've had good and bad reviews on Splitsville.com because it's cozy mystery with light paranormal. It seems my cozy readers have accepted it, but they love the straight cozy too.
    Writing cross-genre has giving me a lot more writing freedom.

  7. Hi, Anne! Thanks for stopping by. I LOVE chick-lit and I never thought about putting mystery with it! I love that idea. It would be a fun write and read!
    I agree that cross-genre keeps things fresh.

  8. I agree, Geraldine. If I like a writer's style and voice, I also follow that author. I think that is what I'm hoping all my readers will do.

  9. Yes, Andrew! I think it can be a series of articles too. There is a lot of data that can be collected about this. I'm glad you have found your voice in writing cross-genre. It's challenging, but that is part of being a writer~breaking those boundaries and making a great story. I can't wait to read it!

  10. Jeff, I think that most readers do that, but they find themselves stuck in one genre. When they pick up Splitsville.com I think they are looking for a mystery, but get quirky paranormal in there too. I've had some readers that feel confused or wanted more cozy. Splitsville.com has been my best seller by far, and I hope I can keep those readers with the next Olivia Davis Mystery.

  11. I prefer cross-genre books - and that's what I write! But to sell to a trad pub, the book needs to be at aleast a little more of one or the other. My books run a close 50-50 romance/science fiction, which in many people's opinion, is why I haven't been able to sell to a pub. Thank goodness for indie publishing! We can read - and write - as cross-genre as we want! I really enjoyed Splitsville.com, and the mystery/paranormal combo is one reason. :)

  12. And that is why you are very successful, Jennette!! I agree, self publishing is great! I have been able to reach a wonderful audience with my cross-genre novels.

  13. If I liked the author's writing, I'm willing to give it a go. Whether I read the next similar one depends upon how the author handled it all. Cross genre is fine so long as you do it right--as you mention.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  14. That is a great idea, Sia! I did put paranormal, humorous mystery in my Splistville.com and I hope it got around.