John Updike once said that all his works were literary fiction because they were written in words, but he didn’t really like the term as he felt it limited him in his writing. I can appreciate that sentiment as in the month or so since releasing my first novel, I’ve struggled with the labeling because honestly, I’m not really sure what it means (I don’t think I’m alone on this either).
The trouble with associating my novel—or myself as an author—in a category that seems to have so much uncertainty about it looks risky in terms of marketing the novel—and so far I have yet to find a book site that did not ask the genre. After all, my story has suspense, it has action-adventure and romance. But it also has a very serious side as it tackles a complex, universal theme about law and child rearing. The people are complicated, the subject universal, the style lyrical and poetic. And so, when I was made to choose a genre, I chose literary as I felt it best described it. I’m just not sure in what way?
I am disappointed and always conflicted when people ask what genre is my novel. It’s just fiction, I tell them. More often than not they press for more (Okay, it’s like literary fiction, if you must), but I wonder in giving that to them if they don’t then imagine a story without action-adventure, without suspense, without romance.
So, in my zealous effort to cover all those bases, I quickly add: but there’s a flirty, hot librarian in it.