Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The M.R. Sellers/Doroth Morrison show, Part 2

One of the reasons that I wanted to meet M. R. Sellars was that he's trying to do what I'm doing: merging an existing genre with modern-day witchcraft. In his case, he's merging the mystery genre (sub-genre detective?) with a Wiccan who helps the police using his pyschic powers. In my case, I'm mergin a horror novel (sub-genre vampire) with witches who help a geekette fend off vampires.

We both face similar problems: Our main-genre readers (mystery, horror) won't be familiar with some of the beliefs and practices of our witch characters. Our Wiccan/Witch/Pagan readers, on the other hand, don't want a lecture about something they already know. Our main-genre readers expect the aspects of the genre that appeal to them; that is, each genre has its own set of conventions that an avid reader of that genre would come to expect. For example, in the mystery genre, there's going to be a dead body (usually). In the supernatural/vampire genre, there's going to be a vampire. And blood.

There are other conventions regarding lushness of description (or sparseness thereof), pacing, atmosphere, and so on. People who are reading one of our novels because it's part of their preferred genre will expect those stylistic conventions to be followed. For example, I've heard that in Romance, there needs to be a happy relationship at the end. (Don't know if that's always true, but that's what I've heard.)

Though readers who normally read those genres expect those conventions, people who are reading one of our novels because they're interested in (or are) witches or pagans aren't going to necessarily expect those conventions and might even be put off by them. They might normally read a completely different genre (science fiction, fantasy) or even just mainstream fiction.

Unfortunately, Murv (Sellars) and I never had time to talk about any of that, but we did talk a little about writing. And I did actually talk to "Morrison," too! :-)

Stay tuned for part three...

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