Finding My Genre

I am nearing the end of another revision to an old WIP, Songs for Ghosts (how many edits can one person do? Answer: many), and it has me thinking about genre. I have struggled for a while with categorizing this novel, for a number of reasons. Before I go into that, I’m going to give a simple logline for plot reference:

When the spirit of a serial killer begins wreaking havoc in the small, strange New England town of Holly Hill, Violet Hayworth must use the magic handed down through her family to excise him.

So we have serial killing ghosts, ancestral magic/witches, and everything that comes with “New England”. I have, in the past, labeled this as paranormal suspense. The problem with that, I’m finding, is the stigma attached to the genre of “Paranormal fiction”. When we think of paranormal these days, we are thinking of romances starring sparkly vampires, weird urban demons, human heroines stumbling into situations they must learn how to handle with the help of some handsome werewolf. I’m sure there’s more, but you get the drift.

This is clearly suspense. That part, I have down. But what do you call a paranormal novel that doesn’t fit within the accepted conventions of what we’re labeling as “paranormal” these days? Speculative doesn’t really cut it, I don’t think. Supernatural brings about the same issues.

What do you do when you don’t know into which genre your novel falls?







2 Responses to “Finding My Genre”
  1. Dave says:

    Wow. What a great mix. This might create a new genre. Serial killers, ghost story, magic/witches. I don’t know what to make of it, except it sounds great. Looking forward to seeing this eventually πŸ™‚

    Definitely don’t label it paranormal, because you’re right, it has way too many very specific meanings tied to it already, and those don’t apply to your story. Speculative doesn’t work … you’re right. Supernatural is closer. I don’t think of supernatural the same as paranormal.

    I don’t know, Hannah. This is going to take some thought πŸ™‚

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