Monday, 30 September 2013

A QUESTION OF GENRE

Hello, Dear Readers. Another reader question today, this one from blog commentor Astri:
I have a wondering: do you ever plan to write some kind of fiction that is not fantasy? And if so, would you change publishers/agents/etc. or that isn't how it works? Also do you know what you would work on once you're done with the Name of the Blade books?
This is a good question. Honestly, almost all the ideas I have seem to come with some kind of fantasy twist - my brain must be hard-wired that way. I've had a couple of what I would call contemporary ideas, but normally after I've thought about them for a bit, trying to find the emotional heart of them, the sort of life spark that would make me fall in love and really want to write them, I find that either they reveal hidden fantasy elements, or they sort of die off in my head for lack of that spark.

I wouldn't rule out writing a contemporary novel, if an idea came that had a real spark of life, that just begged to be written. In the meantime, I have plans to write lots of different kinds of books within speculative fiction. I've already written high fantasy and urban fantasy, and hope to continue to do that. But I have ideas for a paranormal romance, a Utopian novel, and a pure science fiction space opera. So... plenty of variety from me in years to come! 

The book I'll probably be working on directly after The Name of the Blade trilogy is going to be another fairy tale retelling. It's based on Beauty and the Beast, and as with my take on Cinderella, I definitely aim to shake up the traditional archetypes of that story, and subvert, invert, or question many of the classic tropes attached to it. This book will be set in the same world as Shadows on the Moon, but with a very different setting and heroine.

Now, if I did come up with some fantastic idea for a contemporary murder mystery or a straight historical novel or a romantic comedy, this would almost certainly be fine with my agent and my publisher, so long as it was still a children's or a YA book. My publisher is a children's/YA publisher, and they're committed to publishing a variety of quality children's and YA novels across all genres. The same with my agent; she works exclusively with childrens and YA authors, across many genres and age groups. The only thing that would matter to them would be that the book was really good.

What would cause a problem for my agent and publisher would be if I came up with an idea that needed to be written for adults. That would be a quantum leap into a whole new world, and I'm not sure if my agent would take it on - I suppose she might, if she thought she could sell it, but it would by no means be a sure thing. If not, I might need to find a new agent to handle just the sale of adult books for me - and that new agent would need to find a new publisher for those books, since Walker would not be interested in them. However, I would still stay with my current agent and publisher for YA or children's books (because I lurrrve them).

I hope this makes sense, Astri!

If you've sent me a question and I haven't answered it yet, please don't worry. I still have them all, and will keep on ploughing through them one blogpost at a time :)

Read you on Thursday, my dears.

2 comments:

Isabel said...

You've got me so interested in that Beauty and the Beast retelling!! I can't wait to hear more about it! I'm also the same way about genres, I can't really imagine writing anything in the foreseeable future that has no fantasy elements in it. But that could change when I get older! I'd also love to try urban fantasy someday :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Thanks, hun. I'm itching to write it; I hope it turns out as fun as I've been imagining.

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