At dinner tonight, after scanning agent wishlists for an hour I mentioned to my husband I was having a hard time nailing down the genre of “The Silent Apocalypse”. Contrary to it’s title, it’s not a Dystopian. I’ve been calling it horror, but it may be lacking in blood or the sinister tension of traditional horror. It’s kinda urban fantasy, but lacking the grit and hard fantasy that typical UF possesses. Is it sci fi? It’s got scientific elements to it. And it takes place in the near future. But again…
There’s a problem. Genres have gotten so specific since I started writing. When I was first submitting queries Paranormal Romance wasn’t even a thing and the MG market hardly existed. Now I’m pretty sure there are agents that only want Southern Gothic Urban Fantasy Romance and only if they don’t have any vampires in them.
I’ve been trying to nail down my genre since I finished the first draft. I have asked everyone who’s read it. Here’s what I got so far: Thriller. Horror. Paranormal. Speculative Fiction. Sci Fi. Fantasy. Urban Fantasy. Magical Realism. Survival. Paranormal Mystery.
So what’s the combo genre for that? And is it remotely marketable?
Anyhow, if you are having a hard time determining your genre I did come across this awesome blog post by literary agent Jennifer Laughran detailing each of the genres.
Of course, it was written in 2010, so there may be about 50 new genres that weren’t invented then.