Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Hybrids of Horror

I just finished my second novel and I’m in agent search mode once again.

Something every writer has to do when searching for an agent or publisher is categorize their work in a certain genre, i.e. literary, thriller, science fiction, romance, young adult, horror, etc.

But it doesn’t stop there. There are also sub-genres like steam punk, supernatural horror, dark fantasy; descriptions that can help agents or publishers understand where a book is coming from. It also helps authors connect with the right agent or publisher. I definitely would not be a good fit for an agent who only represents children’s authors or romance, but for someone who already represents other writers in my genre, I probably would be.

My latest novel, CREATURE, is a story about a mythical being that takes over a U.S. Navy super-carrier. I describe it as something like Stephen King meets Tom Clancy, or a supernatural techno-thriller. It moves at a very fast pace, but it’s terrifying, so it also fits in the thriller and suspense genres. It could even be put it in the mystery genre because there is a lot of mystery involved.

Primarily, though, CREATURE is a horror novel. That’s what I love to read and that’s what I love to write: things with supernatural twists and dark undertones and characters that overcome, despite the odds. Bentley Little, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, H.P. Lovecraft, Rod Serling, Ray Bradbury—these are people I consider to be influences. But I also love a good Vince Flynn, James Rollins or James Patterson thriller.

To me, horror as a genre can incorporate many different elements and in my writing, it does. So as I search for agents and publishers, I look at other books they have represented or published and also at their interests, because the types of books I write may be something they have never done but would like to do: a fast-paced thriller with horrifying elements and true-to-life characters.

That sounds like something I would like to read, how about you?

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