Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Friday 9 March 2012

Pick a Genre, Any Genre

Yesterday, I wrote about elves and rat-people battling underground. There was muck and dust and lots of killing, and then the walls came tumbling down.
Today, I’m going to write about the death of a serial killer.
I’ve written SF, I’ve written YA, and “Naming Names”, which finished in the top three of the Mslexia competition is something else again. I’m not a huge fan of the Literary Fiction label, but I guess that’s probably what it is... or maybe Women’s Fiction.
I like to write, and I like to write what I’ve got ideas for. I have ideas for lots of different things. I wonder if its the husband’s influence, or whether it’s because I began writing, seriously, only quite recently, but I’ve got more than one voice, and I intend to play with them all, at least for the time being.
All of my books are about people, all have themes about identity and parenting and sexual politics. I see no reason why an SF novel shouldn’t discuss autism, or a YA fantasy novel deal with an anxiety disorder.
There’s a good chance I might not sell all of my books, and “Naming Names” is probably the one of which I am most proud, but I don’t see any reason why I can’t follow two distinct strands, appeal to two audiences. Ian (M) Banks has done the self-same thing pretty successfully, and Ian (Jack Harvey) Rankin, Ruth (Barbara Vine) Rendell and Stephen (Richard Bachman) King have also had a go at it.
Ultimately, genre doesn’t much matter to me; a good read is a good read, and I’ll scour any and all bookshelves for a book that tells a compelling story beautifully. Some writers transcend their genre roots, and others, Kaaron Warren springs to mind, defy categorisation, so, don’t decide you don’t like horror fiction, or SF or Fantasy or a thriller, just peruse the shelves until you find a better book.

1 comment:

  1. I brought this up on Wednesday, asking 'what genre is my book in?' because I have to write about it for my dissertation. She came back smartly with 'oh, it's not genre at all.' She described it as reader's group - a read for intelligent (probably female) readers who share recommendations about books in reading groups and book clubs but also at the water cooler and school gate. Think Richard and Judy, Guardian book club. I'd never heard of this as, if you like, a new 'genre', but it makes sense to me.

    I don't think we have to tie ourselves down to one writing identity - I've got a children's book on the go and a crime piece. I think to do so might stifle creativity enormously.