November 29th, 2012


Between the Niches

I experienced a Christmas miracle last night. My choir kids were quiet and relatively peaceful! I had a couple of kids who were out the last time and didn't get a chance to make their tambouracas, so I had some I'd put together and gave them to those kids to color. Then the others wanted to do more work on theirs, so I passed them out. For fifteen whole minutes, they were almost utterly silent as they worked. Since those kids being quiet -- and where I could see them, so I knew they weren't building atomic bombs or tying each other to railroad tracks -- is such a rare and wonderful thing, I just let it go until they started getting restless. They also picked up the rhythms and how to play for the song we're doing. I now have high hopes for next semester. I may be able to get into more music theory and actual teaching if I don't have to do so much lion taming.

I'm re-reading a book prior to discussing it with my agent, and I've fallen in love with it all over again. I admit that there are some plot things that need to be fixed, but I really love the writing, and I seldom can say that about my own work. I usually always want to tinker with it. This book just gives me a silly grin. That makes me want to do whatever it takes to get it into the shape it deserves to be in. While my agent has said she loves it, too, she's already concerned about it being difficult to sell because it doesn't really fit into any of the niches. The romantic elements are too light (and with no sex) for it to be paranormal romance. It's not really "literary" or emotional enough to be fantasy women's fiction, and the fantasy elements are too overt (the women's fiction stuff tends to lead toward magical realism). It's not dark and heavy enough for fantasy. It's sort of a fantasy screwball comedy -- something you could imagine Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant and Irene Dunne or Barbara Stanwyck starring in.

Someday I'll have to try writing something that clearly and obviously fits within the established -- and currently popular -- parameters of a particular genre, so that it will be painfully obvious exactly where to market it and the editors won't be saying stuff like "but we don't know how to position this" or "we've never published anything like this before." But where's the fun in that?