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30 Days of Fika Books: Sixteen

Happy Monday!

It's mid afternoon already. HOW is it mid afternoon already? I've chugged through 3000 or so words of Before Again, shared the Chances Are chapter from last week, and then went to a lunchtime aerial hoop class.

Still to do another dictating session on Before Again, draft this week's newsletter (I'm determined to get a week ahead so that I can send it out a bit earlier and am not spending every Friday in a flap). Tonight I'm headed to handstands then a pro choice demonstration (or anti anti choice may be more appropriate :-) ).

Over the weekend I got to thinking about genre.

I always describe myself as a genre-writer, because I love plot-driven page turners. I am definitely not a literary author! But more and more, I find myself rebelling against fitting strictly into genre.

I think where I struggle a bit is where genre expectations overlap with values. Like, I love a good paranormal romance... but must it always involve a vampire/werewolf/whatever who is a bullying alpha? (Not shaming those who love a bullying alpha, whatever floats your boat - but not my cup of tea).

A while ago, someone told me that the Shadow City series didn't fit into the paranormal romance genre because Frej doesn't take the lead. He's not the one introducing Kirsty to this world; in fact if anything, she is leading him through the 21st century. There are more twists and turns to come on that front as the series progresses, but I know that neither Frej's personality nor the dynamic between him and Kirsty will change to satisfy the conventions of paranormal romance.

Similarly, I am completely on board with romance books requiring a happy ending... but to me, monogamous commitment isn't the only ending that's happy. An ending in which she realises he was her saviour and protector all along, isn't happy at all! And even when my couples do end up together (more often than not!), marriage and babies aren't necessarily on the cards -- which can also be an issue.

I completely appreciate that there are readers only interested in books that end in marriage and babies -- but it doesn't sit entirely well with me that my books which are romantic, steamy and all-the-feels-y, aren't considered romance.

The crime genre seems to be a bit broader. I've never heard anyone describe Dark of Night or the Stockholm Murders as anything other than crime, even though they both include a bit more feels than many police procedurals.

I guess if a story involves crime then it's a crime thriller...

Why then, can a story involve romance yet not be a romance?

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