Sunday, 5 April 2015

What's my genre?

Not one to like putting people into pigeon holes, or stigmatising, or putting labels on people, although I do LOVE sticking labels, preferably colour coded ones, on anything that generally needs organising... but this is not about that.

I was recently approached by a journalist showing an interest in the articles and (unpublished) books I have written and I was asked:


  • What do you write? What genre are you? 


To which I pulled a puzzled face and have been pondering ever since.

Factual gritty life stories, I told them at the time, a little unsure if any of those words would qualify as a genre and what does it say about me as a writer to not know how to describe myself?!

What would you say, you read my stuff?

I have been asking around from those who I know read my stuff (poor souls) either through obligation or because they appear in the story!

Members from my tribe of besties were asked…

My BF said: factual...Gee thanks for that! Not strictly true and disturbingly simple. Does he read my stuff?

My oldest (length of time not age) best friend said: Eclectic musings on life as you see it, sexy stuff that shocks, humorous in the moment snippets, poetry, autobiographical stories, reviews, creative and thoughtful wider thinking…

Amazingly insightful, here have a badge for No 1 fan of the year darling. But like my own musings, wordy.

My Scottish bestie said: You are a master mood catcher with a freakishly good memory for events that would otherwise be lost in the fog of the moment…

Amazingly thoughtful, here have a badge for No 2 fan of the year darling. But as much as I love 'master mood catcher', it is alas all still too wordy and not genre realising.

And that’s just thinking about my writing.

My personal development path, where I am going could also be queried in the same way at the moment. I am traversing a huge change in lifestyle. And I often ponder my qualities, my purpose, my ‘self.'

What genre am I?

Does it really matter? Book sales I guess so. But personally, Nah! I would rather be a little of everything than a specified type of anything. Its obvious really isn’t it? I mean who wants to label themselves introvert and never be able to have a crazy day off, just being outlandishly generous or loudly exclaiming the wonderfulness of the day?

And who wants to be constantly extrovert? With expectations of a continuing ability to be weird and wonderful and never accepted when you want to be quiet and sublime?

There isn’t much about me that I cant change. Thankfully I dont want to.
I am white. I am 39.
I will never be a black 24 year old. Ever.
I am female. I am pan sexual. And I suppose I could change those things if I felt I needed to . But I don’t. I am happy in the soul I was given.

But genre? Gets me thinking. If my life was a book, what genre would it be?

Worthwhile is not a genre...

“Hello Mr Bookshop Owner, I would dearly love to purchase a book with a worthwhile story please!”
“Errr...can you be a bit more specific?”
“Well something that is generally good, has good intentions, but is also a wicked slice of crazy, unusual, funny, creative, with some involvement of cooking, surprises, animal rights, tomfoolery, fast cars, slow campervans, disco dancing in roller skates, adventures, soirées, double dares and falling up stairs, with dashings of good and bad luck. Oh and a mystery! And true love! And a map for all those déjà vu moments please. Oh and preferably under a tenner.”
Mr Bookshop Owner frowns with exasperation,  “So that would be what genre?”

And also! What if the genre gives the story away? For example, what if your main character is going to discover all these weird and wonderful things that have been happening are because of Aliens, then would the Sci-Fi genre not give you a teensy headsup to that?

So after much pondering.
I have decided.
I write modern day mysteries.

Its a mystery where it comes from.
Its a mystery if you will like it.
Its a mystery what will happen until you read to the end.

And I guess you can fit anything else (drama, murder, action, thriller, aliens) into a mystery.

So mystery it is!

Rather like my life. How can I put a genre on me when I have no idea what will happen or what will be the outcome (drama, murder, action, thriller, aliens)? Its all a marvellous mystery.

Modern day mystery writer. That's me. Ta-da!

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