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Food for Thought > What do you think about genre bending?

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message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Aug 01, 2014 12:46AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
Is it a problem for you when a writer throws in different aspects of various genres when they write? Or is it about how it's done?

I was thinking about this because I kind of like it when a book straddles genres. Only time it's an issue for me is if the book is mismarketed deliberately.

What do you think?

What are some good examples of this done well?



message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 22 comments Can you give some examples of books that stradles genres so I have a better idea of what you mean by genre bending? Thanks.


message 3: by Oleander (new)

Oleander | 53 comments I think genre crossing can make some very good books. An example that comes to mind is the early Sookie Stackhouse books. They had urban fantasy, pnr, horror, and a touch of mystery and humor thrown in. Other series such as Downside Ghosts combine UF, horror, and romance very well.


message 4: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney What I HATE is when a romantic suspense author randomly starts throwing paranormal elements into a series without any warning.

If you want to write paranormal RS, then fine. But to start adding in telepathy and magical cross-continent healing into a series that started off as regular romantic suspense is misleading - bait-and-switch.

Maya Banks lost a lot of KGI readers when she randomly made her KGI series a paranormal series in book #4. She dropped it later, but then it was even messier because the paranormal characters still existed. Not everyone likes paranormal, and people were buying the books on the basis it *wasn't* in that genre.


message 5: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney As for other genre-crossing. If the author is open about it, then it can be great. Zoe Archer's books are so cross-genre-y that at first publishers didn't know what to do with them.

I also enjoy the way Charlaine Harris has taken cosy mysteries and added paranormal elements to them. She had a really great formula in a few series.


message 6: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
I guess I don't mind it. But there are certain genres I don't read and it may be awkward for me if I start reading a book that contains elements of a genre that I dislike. I can't think of any examples of that happening though.


message 7: by Oleander (new)

Oleander | 53 comments Genre crossing is great but I agree that it is not appropriate for an author to do so midstream in a series. Bringing in a completely new genre is not fair to the fans. The Anita Blake series is a famous example of that.


message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Sonya Heaney wrote: "What I HATE is when a romantic suspense author randomly starts throwing paranormal elements into a series without any warning."

I actually didn't mind that in Banks's perhaps because I enjoy both paranormal and RS. In fact, Whispers in the Dark (KGI, #4) by Maya Banks ended up being one of my favorites in the series.

That said, I can understand why readers would dislike this because it really bugged me when Julie James changed her contemporary RS series FBI/US Attorney to straight contemporary.


Arpi !!!getting high on books!!! | 3 comments Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) wrote: "Is it a problem for you when a writer throws in different aspects of various genres when they write? Or it about how it's done?

I was thinking about this because I kind of like it when a book str..."



I basically read all genres, so I don't mind if there are different genres all mixed up in one book....But then it should make sense....if it doesn't make sense then i hate it....


message 10: by Paganalexandria (last edited Jul 29, 2014 10:04AM) (new)

Paganalexandria  | 354 comments I'm fine with it, if it's done thoughtfully, instead of an afterthought to appeal to more readers. But go into expecting a little backlash from some of the die hard sticklers of certain genres.


message 11: by Rachel Annie (new)

Rachel Annie (snapdragoness) Sonya Heaney wrote: "What I HATE is when a romantic suspense author randomly starts throwing paranormal elements into a series without any warning.

If you want to write paranormal RS, then fine. But to start adding in..."


Same thing in The Mercenary (T-FLAC, #1) by Cherry Adair . We're rolling along fine as RS, then some PNR sneaks in.

WTH?


message 12: by Rachel Annie (last edited Jul 29, 2014 10:13AM) (new)

Rachel Annie (snapdragoness) Kerrigan Byrne's books have a great mix of historical romance and PNR. I would imagine it's considered genre bending/straddling, and it really works for me here.


Arpi !!!getting high on books!!! | 3 comments Paganalexandria **wicked juices bubbling over** wrote: "I'm fine with it, if it's done thoughtfully, instead of an afterthought to appeal to more readers. But go into expecting a little backlash from some of the die hard sticklers of certain genres."

very well put Alex....I agree with u there....It drives me nuts when the author adds a particular thing to bring in more readers


Arpi !!!getting high on books!!! | 3 comments but backlash is pointless, i think.
I feel a story should flow properly, if it calls for genre bending then so be it...


message 15: by Heather (new)

Heather Blair (lovelyshivers) | 3 comments I love genre mixing!! But like everything else, it needs to be done well. Magic realism is still a fave of mine, too. :D


message 16: by Rachel Annie (new)

Rachel Annie (snapdragoness) Heather wrote: "Magic realism is still a fave of mine"

Wut dis?

(Hi Heather!)


message 17: by Heather (new)

Heather Blair (lovelyshivers) | 3 comments Where most of the story is just everyday real, but then they twist it with just a bit of magic or paranormal type stuff at a key point and everything changes. (Bit like how the movie Dusk til Dawn was handled)

And hi back! ;)


message 18: by Rachel Annie (new)

Rachel Annie (snapdragoness) Ah, got it!


message 19: by Paganalexandria (last edited Jul 30, 2014 10:20AM) (new)

Paganalexandria  | 354 comments Arpi !!!getting high on books!!! wrote: "but backlash is pointless, i think.
I feel a story should flow properly, if it calls for genre bending then so be it..."


I don't know about that, so much. If a series I'm reading has big genre switch in the middle, then I welcome reading the reviews warning me beforehand. An example of this is Gena Showalter suddenly changing things in the Lords of the Underworld series. Or Laurell K. Hamilton changing Anita Blake from murder mystery urban fantasy to hard core erotica all of a sudden. It might not change the direction the writer is going, but backlash definitely gives me the option of choosing to continue the journey or not.


message 20: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 394 comments I love genre bending and when books straddle different genres and incorporate different elements. When done well I also think having a mix of genres in one book can make the book even stronger. I personally find, for example, my love of historical, paranormal and books with mystery elements satisfied by a book combining all three - though I like to read those genres alone too.

A great example of genre mixing/bending is Outlander Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon This book by Diana Gabaldon (the whole series in fact!) combines and straddles so many many different genres that it's even hard to actually pinpoint which genre it should come under and how to explain it to other people! But, in this case all the different genre elements work and makes this story into something more!

Sometimes though, picking up a book and expecting one thing i.e. a contemporary romance, and then suddenly so far through the book has a paranormal element appear from nowhere, can be strange and doesn't always work.

Sometimes as a reader I pick up a book just wanting what it says on the tin - sweet medieval romance...then that's what I expect to read - and that's why I will have chosen that particular book.
But I do feel that good plot and writing plays a part. If a book wasn't quite what I was expecting but turned out an exciting surprise that left me wanting more, then the book have bended genre wouldn't matter so much.


message 21: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "I guess I don't mind it. But there are certain genres I don't read and it may be awkward for me if I start reading a book that contains elements of a genre that I dislike. I can't think of any exam..."

I agree with this point. I'm not into Erotica/BDSM, so when they throw that in a mainstream romance, I get steam coming out of my ears.

I can also see Sonya's point about randomly throwing in PNR stuff.


message 22: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
Oleander wrote: "Genre crossing is great but I agree that it is not appropriate for an author to do so midstream in a series. Bringing in a completely new genre is not fair to the fans. The Anita Blake series is ..."

Excellent example. I so left that series.


message 23: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
Natalie wrote: "I love genre bending and when books straddle different genres and incorporate different elements. When done well I also think having a mix of genres in one book can make the book even stronger. I p..."

Outlander is a good example of genre-bending done well. I think that it's dicey when it's done all of a sudden in a long-running series. I think it's fine when the author does it in the first book or the only book, as long as it's not wrongly marketed.


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