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To Genre or not to Genre

Trying to figure out what genre mom's book fits in has made be think of genre. There are some authors who hate the word as it constricts them too much. The problem is you kind of need genre's. As a reader I'm very picky about what genres I read and it is the number one way I pick a book to read, especially a new author.

So most authors will write the story first and then try to wedge their story into the genre it best fits. And that is where my problem starts. Mom's book has romance, teenagers, families, exploitation, magic and all set in Africa. Do I focus on the romance? Except the romance is very subtle and none of the romance conventions are there except the HEA. I could focus on the teenagers and go with YA. But I have issues with that. That is a super broad genre and if you have a teenage protagonist and you can slot in but finding someone who wants to read your book in YA is difficult. YA already know their genre so you still have to fit yourself into a genre in YA except YA doesn't let you. Besides even though there are teenagers mom's book has flowery language which would stump most YA. So Not YA.

Okay the story really based around a family. There is a genre called family fiction but that is mostly about dealing abuse or blended families. Definitely leaning towards non fiction rather than fiction. With magic in the story it really is the polar opposite to non fiction so you can't really go that path.

The book is also set in Africa and that makes is unique. There is a flavour to the story that you wouldn't have if it weren't in Africa. There is one scene where there are ox drawn carts and yet it is the same world with rifles and cell phones. If you google "only in Africa" you can see what I mean by this strange mix of modern and the past. But still that isn't enough to decide the genre.

So I focused on the magic. Fantasy, yes I know fantasy. Except that fantasy isn't just fantasy, there is high, low, epic, urban and a dozen other kinds. Fantasy can be set in the past the future, the present and even on another world. Just saying it is fantasy doesn't actually help a reader find the right book.

In the end I decided to go with contemporary fantasy and romantic fantasy. It doesn't cover everything. I was tempted to make up a whole new genre but I wouldn't know what to call it.

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