10 January 2017

Revisiting My Genre

Sometime last year, I changed my author bio from Author of Contemporary Catholic Fiction to Author of Catholic Fiction. It is a subtle change but a significant one.

When I began writing book three, I discovered I was branching out. In a way, Vocation was a continuation of A Future Spring, not so much in plot but in style. And both books were safe, meaning, I was a bit timid in allowing the creative juices to flow. I actually held myself back.

Incorruptible has changed all that. I was less timid when I wrote it, and the plot has a different tone. I also delve into the supernatural, moving beyond what we experience in the natural world. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it doesn't mean New Age. It means I dive into the spiritual nature of things, the unseen world, but I still do that through my Catholic vision. That is one thing that has not changed.

After I wrote my third book, I started thinking about why I call myself an Author of Catholic Fiction. Why do I choose to write my stories around my faith?

Well, there are two reasons, really.

First, I see the world through the eyes of the Church, and there are things that have happened in my life that force me to write the way I write. I don't think I can really write any other way. If I try to write in a different way, my stories will become contrived.

Second, I find the genre lacking. There are "clean reads," meaning books without sex and violence. And there is "Christian fiction," usually written from a Protestant worldview. But there isn't a lot of Catholic fiction out there. In fact, there isn't even the genre on Amazon. Sure, there is Catholic fiction, but you have to hunt for it.

So why did I decide to drop the Contemporary from my genre? Well, like I said, Incorruptible changed the rules, and I plan to branch out even more with book four. I no longer want to be limited to contemporary themes and settings, and I will be moving to the past with book four.

Yes, there is a book four already making itself known to me.

I am just about finished with the novella that will be included with Incorruptible. There was more to tell of that story, and without giving out spoilers, I had to make this last part of the story an entity all its own. I thought about writing it as another novel, but you must read the novel, Incorruptible, before you read its companion novella, Corruptible, so I settled on a novella included after the main novel. I didn't want someone reading Corruptible first. It gives up too many of Incorruptible's secrets.

So, in order for my readers to know what they are getting themselves into, I will retain my own branding as an Author of Catholic Fiction. It may be limiting in some ways, but in other ways it opens up a whole new world.