Understanding Genres…


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Is it just me or does romance have every genre under the sun? I write Contemporary Romance. How would I describe Contemporary Romance? Let’s look at the word Contemporary…what does it conjure up in your mind? Modern, stylish, risky and non-conformist are some of the words that spring to mind. When I look at a contemporary building, I see a structure, that wants to stand out from the crowd. I see a design that wants to be recognized as modern, sleek and cutting edge. Now I apply those descriptions to my book and I know it is a good fit. Contemporary is exactly the genre my book belongs in.

My book has been described and I quote, “Categorizing this book is impossible. It certainly isn’t erotica, it isn’t that explicit and focuses on relationships rather than sex. It isn’t a traditional romance as those focus on a single couple with a Happy Ever After. Although sensuality plays a big part, there is also intrigue and a touch of thriller.”

Yes, all of the above describe my book. There are oh la la scenes in my book which are erotic but it is not solely an erotic romance. I have three different stories with three different endings so not your traditional romance. I have a twist at the end that is definitely thriller material. So far I’m in at least three categories.

The  romance genre is complex. Rockstar, Military, Mafia, Sport, Erotica, Sweet, Suspense, Young Adult, Paranormal…the list gets longer every day. Does the reader really delve that deeply, into what they want in a romance? Well if they do they make feel overwhelmed. I know I do.

My book isn’t designed to fit into a specific category of romance because it is different. A square peg in a round hole. Neither traditional nor conformist. Take Damien Hirst a contemporary artist. Does he try to categorize his work? No. He expects people to understand contemporary has different forms and expressions open to interpretation.

I think as an author, I can trust my readers to make their own decisions on a genre. What does romance mean to you?

I’m not a big fan of boy meets girl, boy wants to date the girl, girl plays hard to get, a struggle ensues, girl gives in, happy ever after or vise versa.

I want more. I want a good plot. I want to have characters I fall in love with. I want a plot that keeps me guessing. If I was goverened by listings, I would never have read Twilight (officially Young Adult), a genre that I rarely read. I understand there must be guidlines on content,  18+ should be stated clearly, but all these subcategories are confusing.

If we stripe romance back, a love story is the common theme but thereafter a storyline can become very diverse. So I’m asking, do not judge a book by it’s listing alone, but by its content. Amazon has preview samples  available free to your kindle or kindle app for every ebook on its database. I know the genre Contemporary Romance seems vague but to me, it means a standout out, modern, stylish and daring love story. Why not try it and discover…not all romance is the same.


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