18 May 2015

Pigeonholes Are For Pigeons: the delights of cross-genre writing

The third post in the Witchlight Blog Tour is generously hosted by Brook Cottage Books. In it J.S.Watts talks about cross-genre writing. Read the opening paragraphs here...

As a reader, I enjoy reading genre books of all varieties, but I always get a little thrill when I come across a book that strays beyond traditional genre boundaries, or merges two or more genres. Margaret Atwood’s wonderful novel “Alias Grace” comes to mind: a book that simultaneously manages to be historical fiction, literary fiction, a mystery novel and an insightful piece of writing on human romantic and sexual relationships. Or there is Marcus Zusak’s “The Book Thief”, with its blend of history, emotion and magical-realism. It keeps me, the reader, on my toes, makes me think harder and often manages to deliver the unexpected.

As a writer, therefore, it is perhaps not surprising that my writing tends to be somewhat fluid when it comes to genre boundaries. For example, my poetry, whilst literary in style, frequently has mythical or science fiction themes. My short stories often straddle two or more genres: fantasy and horror, horror and crime, science fiction and fantasy, fantasy and literary fiction, and my first novel, “A Darker Moon” has variously been described as horror, gothic romance, dark fantasy, mythical fantasy, magic-realism, literary fiction and dark fiction. At least everyone agrees that it is dark. I guess I write what I want to read and try not to limit myself to pre-imagined boundaries.

Guess what! My new novel, “Witchlight”, ploughs its own furrow as well. It’s definitely fantasy/ paranormal, as it’s a story of witches and magic in modern-day England, but there’s also humour and a touch of romance, as well as some dark undercurrents. Like Harry Potter, my main character, Holly, discovers she has previously unknown magic powers, but as she is thirty-eight rather than eleven, similarities end there...

You can see the post in its entirety and read its conclusion at Brook Cottage Books

Tuesday's post (the fourth in the Witchlight Blog Tour) will be hosted by the author Susan Roebuck over at her blog http://www.susanroebuck.com/index.html. Tuesday is, of course, the day that Witchlight is officially launched in paperback and e-editions, so there may well be some books up for grabs on Susan's blog! There is also, of course, the online launch party to look forward to on Tuesday as well. It's going to be a busy, but very exciting day.