Have you ever been befuddled by genres?
My current series has teen protagonists (YA) who work at a library where books come to life (fantasy) and it happens in an urban setting (urban fantasy), but it has shape shifters and sorcerers in it (paranormal), and a time machine (sci-fi). It’s written as individual novelettes and novellas and then grouped into novel-length chronicles. Most of Chronicles: The Library of Illumination (books 1 - 5) takes place in a library in the real world (paranormal) but it has a nuclear energy theme in one of the stories (science fiction), and magical elements (back to fantasy). I’m now at work on the Second Chronicles of Illumination—which includes my latest novelette—The Overseers—and it involves travel to other worlds (sci-fi), with different beings and different cultures (fantasy, fantasy, fantasy).
For those of you who aren’t sure how some of these genres are defined, I’m going to attempt to simplify the differences between them.
FANTASY: Something that can’t possibly happen, made to sound like it can—in an other-worldly setting. J.R.R. Tolkiens’s Lord of the Rings is fantasy all the way. It clearly involves fantastical creatures set in other worlds or realities.
URBAN FANTASY: Fantasy in an urban setting. Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris fall under the urban fantasy umbrella.
PARANORMAL: Supernatural aspects (ghosts, shape shifters, werewolves) happening in a real world setting. The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer fits the paranormal genre. It happens in the real world, but there’s a weird element (vampires) in it. One of my books, Evangeline’s Ghost, straddles the line between urban fantasy and paranormal because my ghost travels back-and-forth from New York City to Heaven.
SCIENCE FICTION: Something that’s possible even if it’s improbable. H.G. Welles novels are as sci-fi as it gets. What’s interesting is that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is also considered sci-fi, although I would have labeled it paranormal. So, as you can see, this genre “thing” is not cut and dried.
Then there’s HORROR, which is any of the above genres written to scare the bejeebers out of you. Stephen King novels like Carrie and Mr. Mercedes are easy to identify as horror.
Just to add another dimension to the genre dilemma, my primary demographic is young adult, which is often listed as a genre. For the most part, young adult literature can be any genre that has teen protagonists. There’s also new adult, but I think that category skews older, with protagonists in their 20’s.
As my Library of Illumination series continued, I envisioned my protagonists morphing from YA into new adult territory, however, in The Overseers, they undergo a special ritual that stops that from happening. They may get older with each new adventure, but if you read the book, you’ll understand why that will no longer affect their YA designation.
One more thing: In celebration of the release of The Overseers novelette, I have a giveaway going on through the month of August, so enter for a chance to win a prize.
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(Library of Illumination) (Volume 6)
by C.A. Pack
Series: Library of Illumination
Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Artiqua Press (August 5, 2014)
About the book:
The Terrorian invasion attempt is still fresh in their minds when Library of Illumination curators Johanna Charette and Jackson Roth are invited to the realm of Lumina for Dean Plato Indelicat’s funeral. The teens soon learn there's more to being a curator than meets the eye—some of it good, some of it not so good—and they have to pass muster to keep their positions. To make matters worse, Johanna finds herself at the center of a bold scheme by Nero 51 to bully his way into the competition for Plato Indelicat’s now-vacant position. She has the ability to save the day, but her actions could result in losing her curator privileges. Meanwhile, the College of Overseers is committed to being fair and impartial, but its stance could result in the Terrorian infiltration of its inner sanctum.
About the author:
C. A. Pack is the author of Chronicles: The Library of Illumination, a series of novelettes about an enchanted library where the books come to life. She is currently working on the various novelettes that will make up The Second Chronicles of Illumination, which will recount the war of the realms. She is also the author of Code Name: Evangeline and the Evangeline’s Ghost series.
The author is an award-winning journalist and former television news anchor and writer. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and lives in Westbury, NY, with her husband, a couple of picky parrots, and dozens of imaginary characters who are constantly demanding page space.