Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Latest Happenings and Figments and Such

Just a quick update about things that are happening. To be honest, there's not much to report these days. In September, I took a job as a social media editor, and it keeps me pretty busy, on top of everything else. I am still waiting to hear back from a publisher about my last novel, Teth of the City. If it gets turned down, I'll just self-publish the darn thing. In fact, I've already designed a cover, which I can use if it comes down to that:

Click on the cover to learn a bit more about it.

Despite my busy work schedule, I do find time to work on my own stuff. Currently, I am writing a YA novel called The Figment Tree. I started this one way back in 2013, but I didn't get far. In fact, the idea was perhaps too bizarre for me then, and I didn't quite know what to do with it. A few months ago, the solution came to me, and I have returned to that story.

For the record, it is set in a trailer park in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1991. It's either a science fiction novel or urban fantasy, depending on how you look at it. I think it's turning out pretty good. Parts of it are incredibly sad, but the characters are interesting, the idea is odd, and hopefully the time period is evocative. We shall see! Anyway, it's nice returning to the Young Adult genre. It constrains some of my worst tendencies, which is good.

Also, the title is almost certainly going to change at some point. The Figment Tree title is based on early concepts of the story. It doesn't fit anymore. I'm thinking about The Ribbon Tree or something along those lines. When you read it, you'll understand why that is an ominous title.

Friday, January 13, 2017

My Trouble with Genres

So I tend to write things that are not easily categorized into specific genres. I meld elements of fantasy and science fiction, various sub-genres, with my own peculiarities. It's possible that this has sometimes served as a hindrance to my success since publishers prefer easy categories. In fact, one of my better novels (Shadows of Tockland) was once rejected by a major publisher for not having enough science in the science fiction. Just take a look at how the various genres factor into my novels.

Shadows of Tockland

Post-apocalyptic science fiction with very little actual science. It also deals quite a bit with the history of clowning. It's also got zombies, in a manner of speaking. Hard to categorize.

Garden of Dust and Thorns

Technically, it's a fantasy novel because it involves magic, but it has almost none of the trappings of the fantasy genre. It's also got some elements that smack of science fiction.

The Vale of Ghosts

The biggest mishmash of genres I've ever written. At times, it almost feels like a young adult novel, with its young, alienated female protagonist and her various misadventures, but it's clearly not written for a young audience. It involves magic, so that makes it a fantasy novel. I sometimes classify it as paranormal, because it involves, in a way, the spirits of dead people, but it's not an easy fit with your typical paranormal novel. There are numerous elements of horror throughout, but it also has a few science fiction concepts.

You see what I'm talking about. The same goes for most of the novels I've written. Even when I do limit myself to a specific genre, I tend to avoid the trappings of that genre. Maybe it's been a hindrance at times, but I can't help myself.