Genre: Agents are asking me to define the genre of my novel. .

by Judith
(Mesa AZ)

Question: I went to the bookstore and stood among the fiction titles. The only books that vaguely resemble mine are Gone With The Wind, The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again. What should I tell the agent? I am my own genre? They don't want to hear this :)

Answer: Interesting dilemma. All three of the books you name (if I have the right ones) are historical fiction - though one has some fantasy involved (time travel). Perhaps historical fiction would be your overall genre descriptor?

Two of the books are also romances, so if your book is a historical romance that would be a little more specific. There is, I believe a sub-genre of historical romances that involve time travel.

The other question would be what the intended audience of this book is, to determine if the book is adult fiction, women's fiction, YA, or even middle-grade. A big clue regarding the latter three would be who the main character is.

However, I'm a little surprised your agent wouldn't be able to deduce the genre from your description of the story, assuming you've provided one. Usually a good description maks this pretty clear.

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