Here I am again, back around to trying to define the genre of my book(s). I stink at this.
It's not that I don't know where I would shelve my books. I just don't know where any given agent/publisher/editor would shelve my books. Of course, it doesn't help when I get conflicting information (like with Spectacle where I was fairly certain it was literary, but someone else told me it wasn't literary but instead a thriller, and a third person - an agent to be exact - told me it wasn't thrilling enough to be a thriller.) So you see my quandry.
Now I'm looking at RTL and trying to figure out which hole to shove this decidedly un-square peg into. (Is their a trapezoidal hole on the board somewhere that I'm missing?)
RTL is set in the near-future. Exactly when is never nailed down, but I've written it in such a way that it could be twenty years from now or, if you think of it in an alternate history way, it could be now. It has some dark elements - both with regard to the characters (especially the villians) and with regard to the setting (since most of the story takes place at night). Does that make it, to use a phrase borrowed from agent Janet Reid, near-future noir?
Or since RTL is set in the future, could it be SF? I've heard that the quickest way to be sure a book is SF is to ask yourself 'if you took out the science elements, would the book still stand?' If so, it's not SF. Since there are very few science elements in RTL, I guess it would stand without them, but the future element is absolutely necessary, and that is a SF device. Arrgghh.
On the other hand, RTL deals with an issue very close to many of the women in the world, which could make it women's fiction. Couldn't it?
And finally, being set in a dystopic future and speculating about the events that could happen should something else happen now, it could be considered speculative or even dystopic fiction.
Near-future speculative dystopic women's science fiction noir???
You see my problem.
On the bright side, having multiple genres to choose from gives me a wide range of agents to query. Which genre I put in the query letter could possibly change depending on the agent. Or I could be shooting myself in the foot by sending it out as a SF to an SF agent and get a stern letter telling me that in no way is this SF. (Like I got when I sent Spectacle out as a thriller.)
Am I the only one who has this problem?
I can't wait to finish JA: Cut and Dried. At least that one has a firm genre: mystery. Of course, it crosses sub-genres, but I won't obsess too much over that. After all, a cute hard-boiled detective mystery shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Right?
Sunday Update - Week 25
4 hours ago