Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breakthrough on Comparable Novels and Genre

Whenever I see a book that has a concept- however trivial-that is remniscient of something in my book, I feel a bit sick. What if someone has my idea-gasp-and they've already published it?

A book featuring sinkholes as spiritual portals churned my stomach- until I realized their concept was totally different than mine. Big sigh.

But...what if...that attitude is wrong?

Genres get hot because bestsellers leave people wanting more. Haven't we all picked up a book hoping it will be as good as ______?

Writers should wish comp books a great run in the same way that homeowners want houses in the neighborhood to sell high when theirs is going on the market.

I'm going to read some reviews and see if anything resonates with the themes, plot, world-building, etc. of my novel, then pick a few books to actually read and see if anything makes the short list.

Finding comps is a problem because my paranormal romance is not full of heaving bosoms, ripped clothing, or even sex. Anybody know of a 'clean' paranormal romance? Do they exist?

Outside of Christian Lit, all I can think of is Twilight, and it's YA. Can I say that I am glad that Twilight is big? It has proved that you don't have to show everything to take the reader back to the thrill of first love.

My book is comparable to "The Giver" by Lois Lowry (for the theme of the need to experience all of life- the good and bad) crossed with "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer (for the romantic tone), plus some Jewish mythology thrown in. The problem is my book is not YA. Are there any adult fiction books that sound anything like this? Is this Urban Fantasy? Except the main section of the book takes place in the country, which would make it Rural Fantasy.

Seriously, the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy is very fine. I pulled this Gwenda Bond quote from Wikipedia, which got it from Publishers Weekly, 2009-

"T]he terms urban fantasy and paranormal romance are often used interchangeably. But most of the category's major editors work on books that fall into both categories and caution that while the two frequently cross over among audiences, there is a key distinction. Avon executive editor Erika Tsang explains: "In paranormal romance the relationship between the couple is the focus of the main plot. In urban fantasy, the world that the couple exists in is the focus."
I suppose that the focus is on the couple, which would make PULSE paranormal romance. It just doesn't fit in with the paranormal romance I've read so far.

In a side note, I would never compare my novel in a query to "Twilight" because it can't be done without coming off as presumptuous. Unless you are Stephenie Meyer. Then it's fine to say "I've been working on something a bit like Twilight."

But it's an indicator of unrealistic expectations and uncontrolled ego for an unknown author to do so. And I don't want to admit my unrealistic expectations straight off the bat.


  1. Go with Urban Fantasy, I think that's a better qualification for Pulse! ;-)

  2. I think you're right, Teresa. I feel totally lost with this genre stuf. I realized that most books I read (until six months ago) were at least ten- if not twenty- years old, so I playing catchup now.