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A genre by any other name…

I’m anxiously awaiting my income tax refund (Let’s go, IRS.  I’m looking at you, Iowa Department of Revenue). One of the first things I am going to do when I get it is register for the  DFW Writers Conference. To that end, I am doing my homework – learning as much as I can about the agents that will be in attendance. I am hoping to pitch my current WIP, Sixth South. (Which means I should be writing/editing, but that’s beside the point).

In the process of researching agents, I come across so many different literary genres. It’s fascinating, really.  I can easily cross a few agents off my list, such as those looking for mid grade urban fantasy.  I’m not entirely sure what that is. It sounds pretty cool, though, speaking as someone who reads a variety of genres. It definitely doesn’t describe my writing.

So what does?

I call it women’s fiction.  I’ve had readers classify After Ten  chick lit. I can see that, because there’s certainly an element of humor and snark to what I write, and doesn’t that characterize chick lit?  I think the lines and definitions between the two tend to get blurred.  My current WIP is a little darker than After Ten. Maybe darker is not the right word, but it has some subplots that are more serious/less light-hearted than its predecessor. The snark is still there, though, so maybe it’s still chick lit.

It’s not really a romance,  because so much is about the friendship between the four protagonists.  But each has a romantic element to their storyline, too.

So is it a romance?

One of the 4 MCs is a lesbian. So does that make it femslash? LGBT?

But what about the other 3?

One is a widow approaching retirement age. According to some, that falls into mature fiction.

I don’t know. It’s about women. 4 of them. Friendships. Relationships. Career pressures. I still call it women’s fiction.

I know it’s not Steampunk.

That at least narrows down the list of agents.

Now if I’d just get that tax money…..


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