Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Genres in the Supernatural Underground (or “get into your box, woman!”)

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:

Melissa Marr

My Twitter Feed
Harper MicroSite (WARNING: Music!)
Carlsen Website (bc I sorta love my German publishers)


Sullivan McPig said...

For me that would be Afterlife on both accounts!
I sooo want to read that one.

theartgirl said...

1. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting looks very interesting. I like books about psychic abilities.

2. The Body Finder

Bast said...

So, I just read FIRELIGHT and loved it! I'm not sure I can exactly say why, but I just couldn't put it down. I just loved how it was written. For example, I usually hate first person present tense. I didn't even realize FIRELIGHT was in present tense until I was maybe five pages from the end. Sophie Jordon did a fantastic job.

As for what I'd like to read, I've been meaning to read WICKED LOVELY for a while.

YA Bibliophile said...

I just read Firelight and LOVED it but I've been **dying** to read Darkest Mercy since I finished Radiant Shadows...well, probably since I read Wicked Lovely but I didn't know it since in my world it didn't exist yet!

As far as what current book I'd like......I've been wanting to read The Body Finder for some time now :)

Great post. Book labeling is tricky!

iffath said...

I *really* want to read Firelight! It's not out yet in the UK, but I'm hoping it will be soon! The cover is absolutely gorgeous, I love the gold scales on her face!

I haven't read any so far, but am hoping to start Wicked Lovely by the end of this year :)

Please enter me if you are mailing internationally!


Sarah E Olson said...

1) Want to read: Darkest Mercy! I cannot *wait* to read the last book in the series. But, since this one hasn't come out yet...

2) Want to win: Firelight! I've heard so many great things about it from reviewers, the story sounds amazing, and the cover is GORGEOUS.

Darlyn said...

I have not read any of the book! For some reason none of it being distributed to my country currently. We wait a few months late to get those books. I would love to read The Body Finder. I've been rooting for it!Please pick me if it open internationally ;p

darlyn225 at gmail dot com

Terri Garey said...

GREAT post, Melissa! Yes, we are a hard-to-define bunch, aren't we? (I love that!) :-) Just yesterday I found myself fumbling (yet again) when it came to describing what I write to a stranger:

Me: "Well, there's a romance and a mystery and an ongoing battle between good and evil... oh, and a little bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, some really hot sex, a few ghosts and some demons."

Polite stranger: *looks confused* "Ah. Ok."

I didn't mind, really, because I'm pretty proud of the fact that I write "outside the box"! :-)

Good luck to the winners!

Cynthia Garcia said...

I have read Firelight by Sophie Jordan and it was great. I got sucked right into it!

I would REALLY like to read Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks.

I don't think that you should have to put your books in a category! I will read them any ways!

Mysteriousrose said...

I really look forward to This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost I can not wait to read it.

I hope it's ok I entered I'm international.


Anonymous said...

I love reading the Body Finder. It's such a fantastic story, I cannot wait for Desires od the deas.

I'd really like to win any of the books you are giving away.

Thanks for doing the giveaway.

Mysteriousrose said...

ok I forgot to list which book I would like to win.

I would love a chance to read: Firelight I have heard many great things about this book.

Nicole said...

I have Travey O'Hara's Night's Cold Kiss currently sitting on my nighstand and is next on my list to be read!

I would love the chance to win Firelight. Love dragons!

CrystalGB said...

I want to read Firelight. I am intrigued by the heroine.
I would love a chance to win Firelight.

Giada M. said...

1)I'm looking forward to read Firelight by Sophie Jordan and The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe. The premises just sound fabulous!

2)I would love to win Firelight by Sophie Jordan.

Thank you for this chance! :D

Giada M.

fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to reading Firelight because I have heard tons of great things about it.

I'd really like to win The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. My sister read it and she said it was great.

Thanks for the giveaway. And a great post.


Natalie @ Book Lovers Life said...

For me its the Body Finder by Kimberly Derting on both counts. I have had it on my wish list but havent been able to get it. Great post and thanks.
natcleary at gmail dot com

Llehn said...

I read and enjoyed Silver Phoenix very much :D

I would love to play for a copy of Firelight.


Anonymous said...

I recently flew through Jocelynn Drake's Wait for Dusk and am waiting for Burn the Night because Mira is a butt-kicking nightwalker with awesome fiery superpowers. What's not to love?

I want to read Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix. I've heard wonderful things about it.

CiNdY said...

1) I can not wait to read Darkest Mercy by...who is that again??...oh YOU Melissa Marr! I love the series and I so can not wait to read it!
2)I have been wanting to read Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series for a while now. So since I haven't started it, I would need the whole series to catch up or I would need to start with book 1 of the series (Halfway to the Grave). But if it has to be a recently released book I would choose Firelight by Sophie Jordan! :)

nymfaux said...

I just finished and LOVED Firelight!!!! And I'm also a HUGE Tera Lynn Childs fan!!!--Firelight and Forgive My Fins were the two SU books that I was over-the-top exited for--Forgive My Fins, because I LOVED both of Tera's other books, her sense of humor, her stories, her characters...and because I loved the idea of her writing about a mermaid on dry land. I'd never read Sophie before, but as soon as I saw the cover and read the description, I couldn't stop thinking about it dragons? People? Dragon-People???

But since I've read those...If I were lucky enough to win...there is *another* author... ;) I was lucky enough to have won one of your first contests, and I was really blown away by Wicked Lovely--the dark, modern, magical fairy tale; the who should be together--Amazing amazing characters, all of which I felt like I had a vested interest in--I didn't see anyway there was going to be a fairy tale ending, but I was so surprisingly satisfied!!!! I'd love to read Ink Exchange and read/see more of your amazing characters!!!!

Katie said...

1. I really want to read Firelight. I have heard so many good things about it and would love to give it a shot.

2. If I was going to win a book, it would be Firelight.

bigferret at email dot com

Dawn S said...

1)I am reading Jeaniene Frost's book First Drop of Crimson. I must say I am loving it! Cat and Bones story is great but I like Denise more than I do Cat. Thanks for the great story Jeaniene!

2) Book I want to read the most would have to be The Body Finder. It has been on my wishlist for awile now and I can't wait to read it!

Jennifer said...

I'm still trying to hunt down a copy of Firelight here in Dubai, but This Side of the Grave, Desires of the Dead, and Darkest Mercy are high on my list of Must Haves.

I would be over the moon to finally get a hold of Firelight!

Vicki Pettersson said...


How about we/you/they just call it a "Melissa Marr book" and leave it at that?

I think we're at that point, eh? ;-)

As for me, all I can say is what til you see what I'm doing *next.* *evil grin*

C. Michelle Jefferies said...

I just finished Radiant Shadows. I loved it. As an author who struggles with setting, I admire, envy and have studdied your ability to subtly describe your world. I'd love to read Firelight, and can't wait for Darkest Mercy.

Patricia Lynne said...

I devoured Eat, Love, Prey. Think I broke records w/ how fast I read it. I loved it, it made me laugh out loud (altho I did try to repress the laughing so my bf wouldn't look at me funny) That's what I love about the love at stake series, is they can be so funny and I've never had a book make me laugh out loud.

Books I wanna read... it is a shorter list if I stick w/ the authors here. Right now I'm dying to read Firelight and Afterlife. And if I'm picked as a winner either Firelight or Afterlife would be cool.

Donna said...

Enjoyed the post and agree trying to put some books in a specific niche can be very hard. ;)

I've been wanting to read the SECRET ONES by Nicole Murphy for awhile. I've always enjoyed reading books based around hidden paranormal societies within our own world and SECRET ONES right in there. I hope this trilogy gets published here in the US also because I want this book in a bad way. :)

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

I most definitely can't wait to read Jeaniene's This Side of the Grave!

One book I want to read but still haven't gotten around to it is Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder.


Britta said...

Great post, and great giveaway ;)

1.) I am dying to read Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. I loved The Body Finder and I cannot wait to spend more time with Jay- aahhhh *Swoon*-.

2.) I really want to read Firelight because a.) the description is very intriguing and b.) a book being so highly praised must be amazing

Anonymous said...

I've read Sophie Jordan's Firelight and I loved it! It was incredibly original and oh so intensely romantic :)

As for a prize, I'd like Forgive My Fins :) I'm not usually one for *cute* books, but I really enjoyed Kiersten White's Paranormalcy, and Forgive My Fins seems like the same kind of adorable story.

Lori Ann said...

Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks is the book that I cannot wait to read and would love to win. I love the Love At Stake series and have been curious about Carlos for a few books now. Kerrelyn never fails to make me laugh when I read her books.

Spav said...

I just finished reading THe Heir of Night by Helen Lowe and I loved it.

And I would love to read Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. I've had it in my wishlist for a while.

Lea @ The Yearning Mermaid said...

I would love to read Firelight! The cover is just beautiful and Ive heard only good things about this novel so far :)

Jeremy said...

I am dieing to read Sophie Jordan's "Firelight" and I happened to win a signed copy yesterday. Yay! I can't wait.

If I could pick a book to win it would be your book "Wicked Lovely" I have not had a chance to read this series and I hear their great.

Barbara E. said...

I'm really looking forward to Jeaniene Frost's This Side of the Grave because I have loved all of the other Night Huntress books.

I'd love to win Sophie Jordan's Firelight, because I've heard such great things about it, and I just can't resist dragons.


elaing8 said...

I can't wait to read Darkest Mercy and see how this series will end.

I'd like to win Firelight. I've read and heard some great things about this book.

April X said...

I want to read Firelight like a crazy person. I've entered about a million contests for it though... hopefully I'll win one eventually :)

Umm even though I wanna read Firelight really badly, I would have to say your book, Wicked Lovely :)

donnas said...

Mine would be The Body Finder for both answers. I have wanted to read it since I first heard about it. But have not had the chance yet.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

An upcoming book on my tbr is Jeaniene Frost's EKOD!

What would I like? Geeze... I have to pick just one?? Um... Afterlife. However, WAAAY more than one of the authors here are on my wishlist!!!

Rmaah said...

Hi! I read (and loved) Wicked lovely :) It was really interesting and it was just cool how it was written about faires. I also recently read the Body finder- can't wait for the sequel!! book to have?? I would have to say I've been wanting to read Firelight since it came out and I haven't gotten a chance too! It would be great if i won :D

Wenj said...

I really want to read Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr. I've read the rest of her series and have fallen in love with the world she had created and the characters themselves. They're always so fun!

One book to recieve? Obviously Radiant Shadows because I haven't had the chance to read it yet...and I'm really wanting to!

JenM said...

A book coming up that I want - This Side of the Grave. I don't mind that Jeaniene took a bit of a detour as I enjoyed the Night Huntress world books, but now I'm ready for a Cat and Bones fix.

As for books currently released, it's a toss-up, but I guess I'll go with The Body Finder. It features one of my favorite plot devices and I've heard such raves about it.

Casey H said...

I really want to read Firelight by Sophie Jordan because I've been hearing so many amazing things about it. (I've read at least one book by almost all of the S.U. authors and have loved them ALL!)

I want Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost =)

Unknown said...

Hey, I'm having a monstrous book giveaway on my blog, amandarosetew,blogspot,com, and thought you might be interested! Happy Halloween!

babygirlG said...

I've enjoyed Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity.

I would love to win a copy of Radiant Shadows please.

Van Pham said...

I just finished Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost and loved it. I love that we got to learn more about Mencheres.

I would love to win Firelight by Sophie Jordan. Thanks for the giveaway.

throuthehaze said...

1. I really want to read Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks. It is one of my favorite series. I ordered it the other day and I can't wait to get it :)

2. I would love a copy of Obsession Untamed by Pamela Palmer, but if it has to be the most recent book then I would like a copy of Rapture Untamed by Pamela Palmer.

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I want to read Graveminder and Darkest Mercy so bad.

As for a book I want from one of them...I haven't gotten a chance to read any of these other authors, so judging by what I have read here and beyond, Eternal Kiss of Darkness.

Brenda Hyde said...

I have your books, and Jeaniene's and Vicki's and Dakota's and Jocelynns...yeah, seriously, I buy them instead of new clothing. *snort* I'm really looking forward to your "adult book", and have been since I read the short story you wrote for Unbound.

I don't have Merrie's book Afterlife and I really, really want it, but I've been broke. (My teens needed clothing. Go figure.)She is such a gracious, sweet person--I've followed her on Twitter for over a year and have been so excited for her. I will buy her book as soon as I can, but if my number comes up I would love to win it.

Cherry said...

I want to read Juliana Stone's Jaguar series!! I would love to win His Darkest Embrace!! *dreamy eyes*

Will have to start saving now for that June release *wink*

Re-posted your contest at:

Cherry Mischievous
cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

Onge said...

I want to read Darkest Mercy!! I love all the characters and can't wait to see how it all ends!
I would like to win/read The Body Finder. I have heard a lot of good things about it.
Thanks for the amazing contest.

Book Chatter Cath said...

I have read all your "Young Adult" novels and am in love (or lust) with Irial ♥ but am hanging out for Darkest Mercy!!!!
And I have read all of Jeaniene Frosts books and swoon repeatedly over Bones. HE IS HOT ♥
Sophie Jordans FIRELIGHT sounds great so I would love to receive that:)

Thanks for a great always
Cath Cowley

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue S. said...

My favorite book as of now from one of the authors is Night's Cold Kiss.

One book that I do want to read is Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder.


Anthony L. Isom said...

I've been planning to read your Wicked Lovely books for like EVER! Waiting on my library to hold a copy of Wicked Lovely itself as the other books I've already got checked out.

The other books on here I'd really like to read at the moment are FORGIVE MY FINS by Tera Lynn Childs (love mermaids) and FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan(dragons are awesome)!

Christa said...

Firelight by Sophie Jordan! There are so many great authors here, it's hard to pick, but I've been eyeing Firelight for months! : ) Of course, I have Forgive My Fins & most of the Wicked Lovely series on my shelf (lovely cover for the new book, btw)... I'm a YA fan, if you can't tell, lol.

Thanks for the giveaway!
ambience.of.rain {at}

Sharon S. said...

I would love Firelight or The Body Finder. Why is it that YA books come out in hardback so often? Too expensive considering the amount of books I like to buy . So I have to wait for the paperbacks, but I want to read these right now!

I just finished Afterlife and not only did it entertain, it made me think. Loved all the POVs. Team Omega!

susan said...

i have just finished wait for dusk by jocelynn drake and i loved it but am so looking forward to reading darkest mercy.....

i would love to win either firelight by sophie jordan or silver phoenix by cindy pon cant wait to read either so winning one would be a plus!!!

thanxs !!!
susan harris (

Cathy M said...

Jocelynn and Vicki have two of my favorite series, love the worlds they've created in their stories. Can't wait to read Burn the Night.

Have Eternal Kiss of Darkness at the top of my wish list, and the upcoming Night Betrayed by Joss Ware.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

LoL, great post! Who wants to be inside a box anyways.

1.) I am dying for Feb. 22 to come so that I can read This Side of the Grave! It's my favorite series ever and I need me some more Cat & Bones, mmmm....Bones...I'm actually re-reading the series now and seriously neglecting my book club book.

2.)So hard to pick just one because there are a few I've been wanting to read. Hmmm...let's see...Sophie Jordan's Firelight. I've heard so many good things about it.

Cylver said...

I read Eat, Prey Love (that title still makes me laugh!) and now I'm waiting breathlessly till Vampire Mine comes out. Can't wait to read all about Connor!

And while I loved First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I just can't get enough of Cat & Bones. Really looking forward to This Side of the Grave!

Judit said...

I really loved Night's Cold Kiss, it was awesome. And I would looove to read Afterlife or get an english copy of Wicked lovely cause I read the hungarian version but would be interested in the original language.
Thanks for the contest.

Carrie S. said... fave as of right now would be Wait for Dusk by Jocelynn Drake!

A book that I really want to read is The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting!


Carrie S.

Jaime Z said...

I cant wait for the next Cat and Bones, This side of the grave. I am really interested in reading Firelight.

Anonymous said...

1.) I really love The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost so I really want to read and can't wait for This Side of the Grave February is too long away.

2.) What I would like to win would have to be Destined for and Early Grave, its the only one I don't have in book form.

Julia T said...

1) I want to read “This Side of the Grave” by Jeaniene Frost. I absolutely love Cat and Bones and have missed them terribly this year. Yes, she did give us a large dose of Spade and Mencheres, but just not the same.
2) Book I would like to win would be an ARC of “This Side of the Grave”, but you are giving that away so my second choice would be “Cheat the Grave” by Vicki Pettersson

Tanya1224 said...

I have Jeaniene Frost on my TBR list. I just was introduced to her books and saw the book trailer for EKOD and now I'm dying to read it. I would love to be entered into this contest to win her latest book.

Vivien said...

I cannot wait for Darkest Mercy. I'm so excited to see how the story ends. I have been eying "Forgive my Fins" by Tera Lynn Childs for a while now. I'm really intrigued by mermaid fiction right now. I just finished "Firelight" by Sophie Jordan. It was amazing. I loved the fact that the main character was a creature.

As for the book I'd love to win, obviously Darkest Mercy :) but since that's not current, I'll go with "Forgive my Fins".


Awesome contest. It is getting harder to categorize books these days.

Helen Lowe said...

I love that "Supernatural" so nicely covers us all ... and I've never been that into boxes. (My cat likes 'em though :-) )

Bella@BeguileThySorrow said...

I love that I can find so many "supernatural" authors all in one spot here:)Darkest Mercy is the upcoming book I'd most like to read asap, and in the current titles The Body Finder is the one I'd love to read but haven't yet gotten.

mariska said...

I'm still wanting to have my own copy of The Body Finder of Kimberly Derting. i'm so sold with the good reviews from blogs that i read.

- my choice The body Finder !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Sweet Rachel! said...

I love Jeaniene Frost's books. I have not had a chance to read her latest, Eternal Kiss of Darkness, But I very much want to! Which is MY book choice. I can't wait for your new book! Congratulations!

Katherine Hazen said...

Easy answer for me, Firelight for both. :)

Dusty said...

Same answer to both questions: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) by Jeaniene Frost. Why do I want to read it? It's been on my wish list forever because a) You've recommended her so much and b) I've read a short story by her and LOVED it!

Anonymous said...

Darkest Mercy is the answer to both questions! I am so excited to read it bc everything by Melissa Marr is FANTASTIC!

Caitlin Smith said...

Darkest Mercy is the answer to both - I love Melissa Marr's books so much and this one is sure to be just as fantastic as the rest!

Caitlin Smith said...

Darkest Mercy is the answer to both - I love Melissa Marr's books so much and this one is sure to be just as fantastic as the rest!

Claire Dawn said...

I loved FIRELIGHT. It's so different. And Sophie is so fab!

The book I wan to read is Radiant Shadows. I'm a WLseries-aholic. (Look at my pretty word :)