fbpx

It’s romance, but what kind? Deciding the genre for my novel

It’s romance, but what kind? Deciding the genre for my novel

It’s romance, but what kind? Deciding the genre for my novel

I’ve recently been involved in an interesting discussion with my publisher, Omnific, about what genre my upcoming novel Burning Embers fits into. My book is a love story, so categorising it as romance is no problem; but what sub-category within which to situate the book?
 
The list of sub-genres within the romance genre is extensive. Here are just a few: adventure, chick-lit, contemporary, fantasy, erotic, gothic, historical, medical, mystery, paranormal, suspense/thriller, young adult/crossover. Some books are easy to situate within a sub-genre; for example, Stephenie Meyer’sTwilight is a paranormal young adult/crossover; Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary is chick-lit; Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl is historical fiction. So where does my novel fit?
 
Burning Embers is set in the 1960s in Kenya, which makes it in a sense historical fiction. However, ‘historical romance’ is a genre that implies knights on horses rescuing fair maidens in corsets: in other words, when we buy a book categorised as historical fiction we expect the book to be set before the modern era – the official definition of historical fiction is a book whose action does not extend beyond the Second World War.
Clearly, then, historical romance doesn’t fit my book, which is set in a decade that heralded many changes that have formed modern-day society, such as the civil rights movement, the development of feminism and the sexual revolution. Burning Embers, then, with its strong, independent protagonists, is a more contemporary book than classic historical fiction. But still, it’s not entirely contemporary; there are echoes of a bygone era. Thus the book is a combination of the contemporary and the historical, set in the time period that historians call ‘contemporary history’. And hence the genre decided upon for Burning Embers: contemporary historical romance.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email