Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Genre?

Just recently I sat down with a good friend of mine. We talked about our Sci Fi interests, swapped marketing strategies and discussed the status of our projects. In the midst of it all we got on the topic of what genre my upcoming novel, Black Earth: End of the Innocence, is going to be. That was a tough question.

Personally, I'd like to think of myself as a mainstream author with Christian ideals. My Expired Reality series never mentions God or Jesus or anything about Christianity, but does have underlying ideals like redemption, forgiveness and mercy. Not to mention the age old battle between good and evil.

Black Earth is more open about the Christian themes that are presented in it: standing up for your faith, questioning God when things go wrong, trusting in God when all seems hopeless. Black Earth is, however, a much darker novel than what has been presented in the Expired Reality series so far.

So what genre would it fall under?

I don't have plans to market Black Earth:EOTI as a Christian novel. I think it would entertain the mainstream crowd more so and so I don't want to pigeonhole the book into a corner that the mainstream crowds wouldn't go near with a ten-foot pole.

I don't have plans, either, to strictly market my book as science fiction/fantasy. I think it would get lost in that genre among all the hundreds and thousands of other sci fi/fantasy stories that get created every year. I want something unique, something that is specific but has a niche that I can tell others about when I am asked what genre my novel is.

My friend mentioned that my work might fit into a the dark fantasy category. So, last night I did some research and found that he may be right. Dark fantasy can include stories about dark supernatural creatures and deals with darker themes than a normal fantasy novel. This would definitely describe some of Black Earth. I have demons and witches and supernatural beings who are all in a war to save/destroy the Earth. The fights with the demons and some of the material in the story could borderline horror, but doesn't extract the same type of feelings that a Friday the 13th movie would.

I researched some more, wanting to see if we could add something else to that dark fantasy genre and come up with a more specific description of my book. I thought about calling it dark Christian fantasy, but that's almost sounds contradictory in title. And that would also be pigeonholing me to the Christian crowds, veering me away from the mainstream outlet that I am heading for.

Then I found another genre, almost a subgenre of dark fantasy: urban dark fantasy. Urban fantasy contains stories with supernatural context that take place in real-world, contemporary urban settings. That would describe my novel as well.

So....urban dark fantasy? That sounds about right. We'll see though.

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