Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Often, when asked about my writing, the question comes up about genre. This is a tough question for me and becomes a real nuisance when it comes to publishers. Book editors like things handed to them in nice neat little packages: What’s your style; What’s your category; What’s your book about? Simple enough questions that editors like answered in one or two simple sentences. When you have spent three years of your life laboring over a manuscript, nothing comes in simple, neat little one or two line packages.
Elysian Dreams is a work of fiction. But is it romantic fiction? Is it historical fiction? Does the element of time travel make it science fiction? Is it fantasy? The answer to all of these questions is no… and maybe.
Pigeon holing anything into a specific category or genre or type limits your target audience, regardless of the media. How often do you head straight for a particular section in your favorite book or music store, completely ignoring the latest new releases or recommended lists? To place Elysian Dreams (or most any book for that matter) into a structured, formatted category would be a great disservice, both to author and reader alike. But…
This being the real world, and editors being who they are, and the public being the public, we are stuck with the neat little categories we have boxed ourselves into. Thank havens for those who color outside the lines.
Antonio Manuel is one of my favorite authors… and someone who never learned to color inside the lines. Refusing to be categorized, itemized, serialized or otherwise packaged, Manuel coined the term Incredible Literature to describe his writing style. What, you have never heard of Incredible Literature? Maybe not, but I know you have experienced the genre. Ever read HP Lovecraft? How about Rod Serling aka the Twilight Zone? Even O Henry and some Steven King fall into this most unusual format.
To best describe Antonio Manuel’s Incredible Literature we need only to skip back to the 1980’s and a popular comedian whos routines make you go hum… Not quite fantasy, not quite science fiction, not quite mystery, Manuel’s stories dance with the possible, flirt with the extraordinary and make the incredible seem downright likely. In other words, an Antonio Manuel story makes you think: can that happen? could that have happened? sure, why not? That’s Incredible Literature!
I love writing short stories and have two compilations in the works for release in the near future. Most all are Incredible Literature. And, if pressed on the issue, I will place Elysian Dreams into this incredible genre. I’m still not a big fan of categorizing, but with Incredible Literature as least I’m in good company.