As you know, I entered two contests recently. I didn’t win, place, or show in either, but that was no surprise to me. What also didn’t happen is my own personal slide into my-writing-is-garbage-despair. Yay! I’m making progress.
What did happen is that the secret agent, who turned out to be Rachelle Gardner, said some nice things about the opening 250 words of my novel. And she said she’d keep reading, which means I’ll query her.
But comments in the secret agent contest also brought into question whether I’ve accurately “pigeon-holed” my novel. I see it shelved in general fiction. I entered it in this contest as “women’s fiction.” That genre is apparently evolving and means different things to different people. Some see it as narrowly as the new term for “chick lit”—which mine is not—and others see it as broadly as any novel that would appeal mainly to women—which mine is.
Spanning a decade, The Brevity of Roses is the love story of three people. One thinks he knows all about love, another believes she’s incapable of it, and the third fears it. Is this general fiction? Is this women’s fiction? Is this a romance? Most agents expect you to define your genre in your query letter, but some genre definitions are vague or in flux.
Is anyone else querying a novel that’s hard to categorize?