Friday, December 03, 2010

Genre blending. Again.

I know its a topic that's been talked about to death, but I figure it's Friday, so let's pound that subject into the ground.
I'm reading (thanks, Molly) The Iron Duke, and it's really something. It's steampunk romance, and it is sexy and fast paced and original and deserves to be read by a lot of people.
And it's a great example of genre blending. It's a steampunk mystery/adventure wrapped in a really hot romance. I don't think it's for people who need the romance to be the central focus of the book, but as direction for romance novels, I think it's a really good example of where they can go.
I want to read more romance that is also plot heavy. I want adventure novels with hot sex.
A lot of reviewers have issues if they feel the romance is underdeveloped, but for me, as long as I believe the two people belong together, and you keep me entertained through the course of the book, I'm buying in.
I love regular romance, but a lot of the books I'm reading lately feel padded to me, as though the author is struggling to meet page count with introspection and unrealistic drama.
Nothing about the Iron Duke feels padded.
Anyone out there a romance purist? Is anyone feeling genre blending fatigue?


Eileen said...

It's got to be a balance for me. Too much relationship stuff with no plot and I start to view the people as whiny and irritating. Too much plot and not enough relationship stuff, I get bored.

Feeling impossible to please? Yep. That's me.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm with you Sinead. I find I'm needing way more from romances than ever before.

Even Sherry Thomas and Jo Bourne - who are definitely romance novelists - give depth and interest to their characters that are outside of the romance - which I love. Maybe it's not all about him loving her. Maybe it's about him just becoming a better him. The last Milan book was a lot like this too.

So I just downloaded Iron Duke to my Kindle (did I mention how dangerous???) But I saw the description of this somehere and wanted to try it anyway.

Now I'm psyched because it sounds like an awesome read.

My problem - as I spend my days panicking getting ready to send my book out...

You can't find in Publishers Marketplace 1 deal that says "sexy, historical, mystery" or "romantic historical mystery"

Not 1. I love the blended. I want to write blended. But the industry (at least it feels like) is one or the other except for these rare exception books.

There should be a shelf in the book store for "We don't know what this is... but we think it's good so you should read it."

Maureen McGowan said...

Well, you know I'm not a romance purist.

I bought Iron Duke for my kindle, too, Steph. I swear, my book buying habit, already out of control, will get much worse now I have a kindle.

I think the publishers and bookstores want to know how to talk about a book, so they want a way to pigeonhole it... but readers like the blends.

Like Sinead, I want more fast-paced adventurous, plot heavy stories--with hot sex and/or a believable romance built in. For me, this is best of both worlds. :)

Sinead M said...

Steph, I really want to read a sexy historical mystery. I don't want there to be so much pressure on the romance, that I'm disecting it.
I want more romancing the stone, and Iron Duke and even those old soapy Sydney Sheldon's...

Stephanie Doyle said...

Yes, yes!!! Those Sidney Sheldons - If Tomorrow Comes, Master of the Game.

I really am struggling - I bought these two "historical mystery" books that had a great back cover blurb, completely hint at a romantic element... but then it's like they don't deliver.

I don't want just looks and glances and blushes. I want sex! What is so bad about wanting both the mystery and fun stuff - and the sex too?

Simone St. James said...

"There should be a shelf in the book store for "We don't know what this is... but we think it's good so you should read it."

Stephanie, I'd be on that shelf, and my book sold. Historical gothic mystery ghost story romance, lol. Send it out!

Also, as I told my critique partner, there are books that are overrated, but the Iron Duke is NOT one of them. It's just that freaking good. Read it asap!

Sinead M said...

Simone, Congrats on the book deal!! I was thrilled to hear about it, and cannot wait to read it.

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