I got an email the other day announcing the launch of a group blog called Austen Authors (Our very own Marilyn Brandt is a member.) It occurred to me that Jane Austen-inspired books are now officially a genre. These days there so many genres springing up it's hard to keep track. Used to be there were only a handful of tales to be told: Broad-Chested Boy meets Bosomy Girl, Who Killed the Butler?, Invasion of the Little Green Men, A Bump in the Night, Cowboys vs. Indians and Unicorns, Fairies and Other Fantastical Creatures.
After a while, people got weary of the basic genres and subgenres were born: Broad-chested Boy meets Bosomy Girl while being chased by a band of assassins (romantic suspense) or Werewolf meets Bosomy Girl (paranormal romance) or Bosomy Girl meets Bosomy Girl with a penchant for hot wax (lesbian erotica). Over the years, dozens of subgenres sprung up: steampunk, Regency, cyberpunk, Arthurian fantasy, serial killer, slipstream, space westerns, etc.
Sadly as new genres are created, others lost popularity (chick lit, horror, westerns).
I got on this genre tangent because this weekend I’m going to the Sullivan’s Island S.C., an area called the low country. Did you know that low country is also a genre with Pat Conroy as the king and Dorothea Benton Frank as the queen? Other recent low country novels are “Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry, “Last Light Over Carolina” by Mary Alice Monroe, “Saving Cicadas” by Nicole Seitz and “Folly’s Beach” by Karen White.
Have you heard of any new genres lately? Is there a genre you prefer over others? If you’re a writer, what influenced your genre of choice?