The Adventure of Blending Genres by Joe Hart
To me writing has always been an adventure.
Before I learned various rules and boundaries it was purely imagination and creativity fueling the story. Now that isn’t to say my first works were cohesive in a traditional sense, plus I was very young (nine or ten when I wrote my first stories). That feeling of freedom and excitement have never left me when looking at a blank page and that’s probably the reason I’m writing full time today, but learning the basic dos and don’ts helped shape my writing and gave it direction that it didn’t have before. As the old saying goes- you need to learn the rules before you can break them.
As I got older and my writing developed I noticed not only my craft changing but also the elements that made up my plots. Cross genre or crossover books are the terms that have become well known in recent years due to readership devouring stories that didn’t necessarily adhere to one specific category. To me this made perfect sense. Thrillers, horror, mystery, romance, political intrigue, and literary fiction had always been very definable, but these new works bent and broke the boundaries, they re-wrote the rules of what an author could or couldn’t have happen within the pages. I think several elements added to the rise of this amalgam of literature, one being the creativity factor that many authors were able to utilize without being bound to one specific genre. By being able to combine two or more genres the possibilities are endless. Imagine a homicide detective who is an angel cast out of heaven who doesn’t remember her past and possesses power she doesn’t understand. How about a murder mystery set on Mars during a crisis that threatens the entire established colony? Or maybe a literary novel involving the very last zombie on Earth who is desperately trying to survive and evade his human pursuers while trying to understand what makes us human in the first place?
Some wonderful examples of cross genre fiction are Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines trilogy and his upcoming novel Dark Matter, Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance Saga, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black series.
In my newest novel, The Last Girl, I imagined a world in which women were no longer born and the fallout 25 years after the phenomenon began. The heart of the book is a thriller, there’s no denying that, but there’s also dystopian elements, action/adventure, suspense, mystery, romance, and a touch of literary philosophy. It was a blast to write and that sense of adventure was there, strong as ever, which is crucial for me when creating living, breathing characters and a plot that draws the reader into another world.
I think readers have been hungering for crossover tales for some time since few people enjoy only one category of fiction, and from my own experience writing across many genres has kept the fire of creation burning that drew me to the craft in the first place.
About The Last Girl
A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.
Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.
Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.
About the Author
Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota. Having dedicated himself to writing horror and thriller fiction since the tender age of nine, he is now the author of eight novels that include The River Is Dark, Lineage, and .The Last Girl is the first installment in the highly anticipated Dominion Trilogy and once again showcases Hart’s knack for creating breathtaking futuristic thrillers.
When not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, exploring the great outdoors, and watching movies with his family. For more information on his upcoming novels and access to his blog, visit www.joehartbooks.com.
04/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™