The growing list includes: True Crime; Antiquities; Paranormal; Gumshoe; Literary Thrillers; Classic Mystery; Cozies; Romantic Capers; Comedic Crime… and many more that escape me at the time of this writing.
While it is wonderful to see our genre expand in this way, it does present many Crime authors with a minor dilemna: Where, oh where, do our stories and novels fit within this ever-shifting framework?
And does the answer to this question even matter?
It may be tempting to disregard the finer points that define our “Author Brands”. However, when we approach the question from a reader’s point of view, the distinctions become relevent.
Readers, when they enjoy our work, tend to be deeply loyal, returning time and again to a favoured author. They love to revisit characters, catch up with “old friends” and discuss the merits of a series with other bibliophiles.
As a life-long avid reader, I know this to be true.
In fact, some readers are so tied to their favourite styles, that many well-known authors choose to write under multiple names, in order to avoid reader-confusion.
For example, renowned Vampire author Anne Rice also pens under the names of Anne Rampling and A. N. Roquelaure. By doing so, she ensures that her loyal Vampire readers do not inadvertently pick up a copy of something…well…steamier.
So yes, in my opinion, “branding” does matter, even within the confines of our own Crime genre.
Here’s a challenge, and please feel free to leave your answers in the comment section below: As a writer, how would you define your personal “sub-genre”?
(I’ll begin by classifying all 3 of my published novels as “Literary Thrillers”.)