Blending Genres I
How ‘High risk’ can reading be?
Let’s face it, even as a dedicated reader, my time is limited. Funds only go so far – so I choose my next read carefully. OH! The To-Be-read pile might be huge, but that is the pile to peruse – and who knows where those books come from? Discards discovered at yard sales; these are only the nothing-better-to-do books. I might –someday – be willing to risk a few minutes on these.
The books we flip open as fast as possible? Those are the ones we already believe will bring us joy. And, some of us are bigger risk takers than others,.
As readers, we may become somewhat – shall we say (?) attached to our favorite genre. (OK, ok – that’s the royal ‘we.’ I mean me; I admit it, but perhaps a few of you can identify with me.)
We may perhaps go further, looking first for our favorite authors…then perhaps widening the search to those most personally popular of publishers… and only later… grudgingly… (if we haven’t yet located something to read) casting our net wider. How do we become bigger risk-takers? How do we wander into a sea of text, and risk it all on some unknown author – perhaps from some previously untried genre?
Internet bookstores are good and bad for those of us who are just such readers. I want a romance – well, I can see with perfect ease if my faves have anything new out, and not only that but when I DO expand my search, can follow handy links to a bazillion products (or authors) offered as somehow ‘similar.’
I am particularly dedicated to Anne Perry (not just a mystery but those oh –so-tantalizing moments of attempting to convey great depth of romantic feeling while maintaining that stern Victorian formality!) I must confess that I never had a big interest in that particular time period – but now find myself buying the occasional regency, just to get that proper, drawing-room perspective on the world. My reading world expanded – because that very Victorian in what seemed a mystery, that then harbored a romance, also involved me in a historical.
The best part of many E publishers is that willingness to blend generes. This reduces predictability – OK, MAYBE we all DO want every romance to be a “Happy ever After’ – but when we start on page one, we don’t really want to KNOW that, do we? Many literary genres are blending. This is nothing new – check out practically any movie , play, or tale – and it’s a rare thriller /adventure/mystery/choice of label – that does not also have some touch of romance going on, some remembered tragedy, some hint of intrigue. No story is really just one thing – but the most long-lasting are very thoroughly more than one. Let’s face it, Indiana Jones might be one fast-moving adventurer – even in his later years – and it is fun to cringe when a scorpion lands on his toe, but when he admits that what’s wrong with all the ‘other’ women in his life, to charming freckle-faced Karen Allen, is that “they weren’t you, dear…” Now, that sends chills down the spine.
Blending genres keeps readers guessing, because things just might not turn out the way you think, or the way you want. Then again , they might. Either way, you keep on reading.
It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense that we, as readers, seek the ‘new’ in among our conventional ‘old’ favorites –but many readers do go by a certain ‘label .‘ That label might be a specific author, publisher, or genre; but a reader of romance might be more likely to pick up a mystery – if elements of romance are promised in there, as well. Some of the best romances are hidden around the corners of mystery or adventure novels… and are all the better for being a surprise! For just that reason a select group among the Anne Perry Victorians are my favorites ...do you have faves that blend more than one genre?
Help me take a big risk here : If you’ve read this far, take another minute to leave a book or story recommendation in the comment box!
And if you are interested in mine, where some sort of intrigue always manages to gum up a perfectly good relationship -- or is it the other way around?-- take a look at “The Painter’s” short story series – (on a special Sept Sale right now) at The Wild Rose Press.
I am also lucky enough to have a full-length mystery out, just this month… and what could be more romantic than a few days at sea with a handsome sailor?
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