About twenty minutes before writing this blog, I finished copyedits on my first adult novel (Graveminder). I say "adult"because it'll be pubbed via William Morrow, not HarperTeen. The definition of “adult” novel—much like the definition of “romance” or “mystery” or “fantasy” or “urban fantasy” etc etc—always fascinates me. We here at the Supernatural Underground skipped a lot of that classification confusion by declaring our texts “supernatural.” (Yes, that title was to be about the texts, not the authors, but seeing as how many of these fabulous folks keep their blinds closed during the day or have the preternatural ability to exist on liquid diets—is it really coffee in those mugs?—I won’t swear that these authors are all strictly human.)
Anyhow . . . I am now, in theory, the writer of a strictly adult novel. Some well-meaning sole overseas even wanted to add “a fantasy for adults” on the front cover. *laughs* No, it’s that sort of adult book.
At this point, when I am talking to people their logical next question is: “What is it?”
There’s the stumper. I don’t know what it is. In truth, I don’t know what any of these folks truly write. Jeaniene Frost is my crit partner, so that means I have the distinct pleasure of reading every novel, every short story, and every proposal she writes (Note: Should I ever need a flashy car, I’ll be opening the bidding for buying Frost spoilers; for now, I’m holding on to the joy of getting to be the first to read it and not having to share. I am selfish like that. Plus, she can be frightening when it comes to spoilers.) If you’d asked me a few years ago, I’d have said, “Jeaniene’s books are fantasy.” There are vampires, a half-vampire, a demon (in a short story), a werewolf (short story). Yes, fantasy.
Then there’s Vicki Pettersson. She has alt world, superheroes, comic store references. Clearly, I’m going to also call her books fantasy, too.
Yes, they are both writing fantasy. This seems clear, right?
. . . except Jeaniene is an Avon author. A-ha! She is a romance author. Yes, indeed. There is some seriously sexy stuff in here. *swoons* Mencheres is clearly worth some of that other sort of “fantasy for adults.” Ooh, and Vlad. Who doesn’t want a bite of that?
That must mean that Vicki, who is an Eos author clearly withholds on the sexy. No, wait. I’ve read Vicki’s books, and there are some blush-worthy scenes there too.
Hmph. What about Sophie Jordan? Her Firelight is pubbed by HarperTeen . . . that must mean it’s easier to classify—at least there I can say it’s a Book For Teens. That must mean not sexy or actiony or . . . *reads Firelight* Nope, that classification game fails too. It’s sexy, actiony, and well, I’m a card carrying adult, but I’m still swept away by the romance.
*looks around the Supernatural Underground suspiciously*
When I taught university, genres made more sense. There we used that word to distinguish between poetry, prose, and drama. That sort of definition made a lot more sense. You people are not making this easy.
Luckily, Terri Garey is a reasonable woman. I’ve met her and found her very rational. One could expect she’d be cooperative (unlike some authors). *reads Terri’s lovely books too* (Yes, I read very quickly. Just go with it.). . . Terri? You’re shattering my illusions. There’s clearly a mystery in this book.
Picks up Cindy Pon’s book . . . and now, historical too?
I fear we are at the point when my grand thesis, the one in which I figure out how to classify the books of the Supernatural Underground, is not going to happen. These folks are not cooperating in attempts to be boxed up.
Of course, the beauty of this is that I can now answer my own question about “What is Graveminder?” I can say with certainty that it is a book by one of the chicks in the Supernatural Underground. I’m not exactly sure that’s what my publishers are looking for (especially in Germany where they are—as they have with Wicked Lovely—releasing it as an adult novel and an older teen novel), but it’s what I know. . . and if that doesn’t work, well, I think I’m within rights to blame Jeaniene, Vicki, Terri, and all the rest of these folks for refusing to be categorized. Right? If they won’t do it, why should I?
And since I’ve mercilessly used them for examples, I’m going to buy three of their books. It's safer this way. (I did mention that some of them were not-exactly-positively-human, right?)
Three winners. Three books. Winners chosen by random number generator. Winners Announced 11/6
1) In your reply to this post, tell me which Supernatural Underground author’s current book or upcoming book you want to read (or have read and loved) and why.
2) Pick Your Own Prize: List a CURRENT book by any one in the community (myself included). It can be the same book for both answers if it’s a current release OR you can list a want-to-read and a buy-this-already-released-book-for-me.
NOTE: If questions on any of the contest details, ask.
If you want to hunt me down, here are a few spots to look:
My Twitter Feed
Harper MicroSite (WARNING: Music!)
Carlsen Website (bc I sorta love my German publishers)