The two novels I have written – the first two books of the Darke Lyfe Trilogy – have been labeled “vampire” books. And it is true that the central components of the trilogy’s storyline are a vampyre and a global population of vampyres (see the “Atticus letter” posted earlier this month for vampyre/vampire clarification). But I believe that the Trilogy is more than that.
Many good novels fall into the multi-genre category and have a healthy sampling of horror, mystery, suspense, romance, action and adventure. The Pendergast novels written by Doug Preston and Lincoln Child are good examples. In those books, there is plenty of story-telling using those genres. Aloysius X. L. Pendergast is an FBI agent from the Deep South whose adventures take him down pathways of occult, horror, forensics, romance, mystery, science fiction and detection. For sheer entertainment, I highly recommend The Cabinet of Curiosities, Brimstone, and Still Life with Crows. But pick up any of the Preston and Child novels and you’ll see what I mean: multiple genres woven into a brilliant fabric of literature full of diversity, depth, and dynamics.
By multi-genre, I do not mean a diverse approach to story telling: first person, then third person, etc. I mean that an MGN novel has substantial components of many genres.
My two novels, Ascent of Evil and Inherited Evil, fall into the multi-genre category. But in most literary award competitions an author is forced to place his or her book into a “dominant” category. My first novel won first place in a Florida competition. The book was entered in the horror/dark fantasy category, even though it has significant components of mystery, forensics, and science fiction.
My point – if I have one – is simply that there should be more recognition of the existence of the multi-genre novel as a legitimate type of composition. MGNs are recognized, to some extent, in articles on literature and the craft of writing, but I haven’t seen them listed as a separate genre category. Probably no one in a bookstore or a library wants to make the decision required to call a novel an MGN. But authors can certainly promote their books as such, if they choose to.
Is it more challenging to compose an MGN than, say, a pure romance novel? Probably it is not. It’s difficult and demanding to craft quality fiction – romance or any other genre – regardless of the ground rules. But I would submit that much of our literary entertainment is, in fact, MGN in nature. And, that the multi-genre novel is a distinctly rich and diverse form of composition.
So to my readers, or those who might consider reading my books, I would forewarn you that my work is adult fiction and that my books are not…not typical vampire books; they are much more. Their entertainment value accrues, I believe, because they are multi-genre novels.