Thursday, November 4, 2010

Niche? Goodness, I Hope Not...

One of my most recent worries is that the novels I am working on are too much of something that fits only into a niche.  My dream is to be the next J.K. Rowling (I'm really only half joking...) and her books appeal and apply to all, even adults like me, despite the very young main characters in the Harry Potter series.  Imagine my surprise that, despite the always full shelves at Books-a-Million, speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, horror, etc.) is a niche that not everyone can get into.  Honestly, I don't like the pure fantasy genre.  Maybe it's the astounding number of chosen ones, or maybe it's the vital-organ-exposing leather bikinis that female characters wear, but all the Tolkien (or Greek epic) clones out there really bug me.

Don't get me wrong, I like fantastical elements.  One of my favorite books is The Neverending Story.  (Not the movie...the book.)  I like it because it reads like a story book, but there's a little bit of scary, a little mystery here and there ("but that's another story and shall be told another time..."), and I love the characters.  I love the Harry Potter books.  I was recently thrilled to get the first two in hardcover for my 24th birthday.  They combine fantasy with a little mystery (yes, I did wonder endlessly about R.A.B.) and some comedy, with a touch of scary on top.  Add the characters that feel real and you've got a great story.  Concerning sci-fi, the jury's still out on that one.  My favorite movie is Star Wars, but that film doesn't really count as sci-fi (space opera is the applicable term.)  I enjoyed J.J. Abrams' take on Star Trek (the man knows how to mess with your head...), but it's also that the movie was just plain entertaining.  I occasionally indulge in some Next Generation, but that was a very character driven show (and Data is just like my boyfriend.  Awesome.)  I generally don't read or watch horror, but I enjoyed Sleepy Hollow, mostly because it's a fine mystery, an early CSI: NY, quite literally.  These particular stories do well because they can appeal to so many people for different reasons.

That's what I want to do with my books.  I'm gonna need encouragement in this area.  It's a fantasy mystery that combines the amazing locale of modern Eastern North Carolina, lacks the teenage romance that seems to be the norm these days, a mystery that has to be solved, and time running out for a world that resembles colonial America (seriously, tired of the all-too-common pseudo-Germany/France) with a little interesting machinery thrown in (think the Antikythera mechanism, and little to no steam.)  Will it work?  If I'm nitpicky enough, yeah, it'll work fine as long as I make it work.  As long as I can keep two teenage characters from turning into just another Edward and Bella couple clone (they're nothing like them.  Don't worry; I can't stand blatant copies.)  I'd like for anything I write to appeal to all audiences of all ages.  Wish me well, because I'm writing for everyone's enjoyment.  In fact, I'll keep my self accountable.  I'll post my progress daily, and y'all feel free to remind me or leave comments.  I love comments.  I welcome them.

Thanks for stopping by today, and tune in tomorrow for more!

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