Arlee, thank you so much for having me on Tossing it Out. I’m excited to be here. I, of course, participated in the A-Z challenge and I’m a huge fan of your blogging. Today, I’m going to tell you a story about genre blending and how it changed my path of publication.
This all started with one of the strangest pitches of my life. Not the worst. That is an entirely different post.
During a conference pitch, I sat down and greeted the editor. We chatted for a minute then I pitched the story, but I never made it past the genre.
Here is how the conversation went:
Me: “Escapement, book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, is a young adult post-apocalyptic—”
Editor: “No it’s not.”
Me: *Attempts to hide horrific look on face.* “I’m sorry?”
Editor: “Go ahead and pitch, but it isn’t post-apocalyptic.”
I take in a long breath and try to regroup. The pitch ends and I’m ready to bolt from the room, since obviously she decided she wouldn’t take the story based on the first line of my pitch. As I reach for my bag, and give a polite smile, she smacks the table. My four inch burgundy heel gets caught on the leg of the chair and I nearly fall face first, in a dress!
Editor: “LOVE it! Send it to me later today. Oh, but you need to come up with a new genre. We can’t sell post-apocalyptic.”
Me: “Um, okay.”
Yes, I know. Not recovering well, am I?
Editor: “Is it science fiction?”
Me: “It has some scientific elements but it is more futuristic.”
Editor: “No, can’t be futuristic.”
Me: “Well it is young adult and has Steampunk elements.”
Editor: “No it doesn’t.”
Me: “Oh, can’t call it that?”
Editor: “No, you don’t want to write that. Doesn’t sell. You can change that.”
This continues for the last four minutes of the pitch. When I get up, she tells me to figure out what genre it is and send it.
I have a brainstorming session with my WBFF and roomate, HIldie McQueen, and we come up with the following: post-apocalyptic, futuristic, Biopunk, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, romantic elements, fantasy, paranormal.
Once the list was done we both looked at each other and said it is all of these things in a way. Well, I couldn’t pitch that to her. At that moment, I realized my series didn’t fit in a perfect package. To this point, I’d had publication in mind when I wrote something, or I’d been willing to alter content to sell the book. I didn’t want to do that with The Neumarian Chronicles, so right then and there I made a decision. I was going to keep the book the way it was and self-publish.
Many books on the self-publishing front are genre blends. I’ve read several and LOVED them because they were fresh and full of new ideas. I think genre blending is really hot right now.
Here is my first genre blend, but I'm calling it Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic. :)
Weighted is a prequel to The Neumarian Chronicles.
The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.
Read Excerpt Here
Escapement (Book I) of The Neumarian Chronicles will be released in early 2013, followed by Pendulum and Balance later that year.
Have you ever had a conversation with an agent/editor that shocked you? Have you thought about self-publishing? Have you ever altered a book for a publisher and regretted it later?
Ciara writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her fantasy and paranormal books. Her debut novel, The Curse of Gremdon, was released to acclaimed reviews, securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Also, her young adult series, Battle for Souls has won several awards, including the July Book of the Month from Long and Short reviews.
Ciara is extremely sociable, so stop by her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and/or Pinterest pages.