What genre is my novel, Blackhorse Road?
There was a robust discussion about that topic when my five enthusiastic proofreaders met over Christmas tea last month.
"It isn't just a romance," Marian said.
"It's self-help, but it isn't self-help either," someone else chimed in.
"But it's a love story although not a bodice-ripping romance," said one of them, and that remark caused a howled from all of us.
"Maybe it should be bodice-ripping," I joked, which produced some raised eyebrows and nods around the table.
Seriously, though, my friends had made an important point. Determining a novel's category is essential for many reasons, but from a practical point of view, identifying its genre helps readers find an author's book. While novels may cross over into several genres, having a home base helps to set expectations about the story and subject matter between the book's covers.
So where does that put Blackhorse Road? Read the synopsis and see if you agree with my choice that follows.
It's the turbulent 1960s, and eighteen-year-old Luci Bartolini is following her North Star and new beginnings. Her values are grounded in her Irish great-grandmother's grit, her Italian father's philosophy of choice and happiness, and the era's social justice ideals. A chance meeting at a street dance with a handsome air force cadet sets the stage for a romance that is filled with intimacy without bounds and is as thrilling as a roller-coaster ride. But lurking in the shadows is a powerful foe who robs Luci of her autonomy and shatters her love affair. Discovering the betrayal, Luci tumbles into darkness and a chasm of anger, hate, and despair. Can Luci free herself from the shackles of bitterness and resentment by walking down the forgiveness path? Does she have the strength to restore belief in herself and keep hope alive even as she believes she has lost her soulmate forever?
I believe the foundational home for Blackhorse Road is Women's Fiction. The novel is a story about a young woman on the brink of change who is searching for her place in the world. Her journey is one of personal growth and maturation spanning two decades and that details how she finds love, lives through sorrow and betrayal, struggles with doubt and forgiveness, and acts on her aspirations to achieve a flourishing life.
Cross over genres include Realistic Fiction, defined as stories about real life problems, Adult Fiction, defined as stories about and intended for adults, and for some of the audience, Historical Fiction (after all, the 1960s began sixty years ago) and, of course, Romance—a love story with a satisfying ending.
Publication now: March 2020