What's your Genre?
This can be a tricky question. There are SO many genres out there these days. Gone are the days when the main genres were Literary Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Nonfiction, etc.
So, if I'm writing a novel (fiction) with elements of romance, suspense, mystery and history, would it be considered a mysterious romantic historical thriller? Or would I take the heavier element and call it that?
I'd say the latter. If you find romance is the dominant theme, start with Romance. There are so many to choose from--Romantic thrillers, paranormal romances, gay romances, historical romances, etc. The lesser elements would define which category within Romance you fall into.
Does this make sense? Literary Agent Kristin Nelson said it perfectly in today's blog entry: (you can read it here)
"I’ll get a cover letter that will say something like this: “my story is a blend of science fiction and romantic comedy with elements of suspense. It can be called Chick Lit.” Huh? It is only the extraordinary writer who can outrageously defy genre boundaries and become a phenomenal success. It just doesn’t happen often. You need to know where your novel fits in the market."
This is directly from the Horse's mouth, folks. You need to nail down your genre--it will be hard, but you can do it!
I write YA historicals with fantasy/paranormal elements, and of course I throw in a little romance and suspense and mystery and thrills and chills.
But if you ask me what I write, I'll tell you I write YA.
If I can do it, you can do it! :-)