What do you think of when you hear the words “Science Fiction?” I tend to think of things like space ships, little green men, and robots. Yet my new novel, A Wonderful Good Morning, contains none of those things. So why is it classified as “Science Fiction?”
The problem is that every book needs to fit into a genre, a known category, in order to be marketable. But how do you classify a novel that doesn’t really fit into any of the standard genres? I wish I had the answer to that question.
A Wonderful Good Morning is about climate change. It’s also a mystery story involving travel and art and even a little romance. So why call it “Science Fiction?” Well, because in writing about climate change, I took what’s known about some aspects of our warming planet and created a story that’s grounded in reality but then takes off into a world of my own imagination. I suppose I could have called it “Fantasy,” but that word brings complications, also. It conjures up images of shape-shifting creatures and witches and demons, which doesn’t describe my book any better than the words “Science Fiction” do.
So if you think of a more apt genre with which to classify A Wonderful Good Morning, I’d love to hear your suggestion.
The title is available as a paperback and as an e-book on Amazon.com. Click here to purchase a copy.
So January is nearly at an end and we’ve made it over the hump of another Chicago winter. It’s downhill from here–all the way into Spring. It’s been an interesting month for me, with my paintings on exhibit at 4 different venues: Sugar Grove Library,Studios 630 at National University for the Health Sciences, Lisle Library, and Caffe di Moda (Lisle). Then there was the author event last night at the Frugal Muse Book Store in Darien. So much fun! We had 5 authors and a musician (sounds like a movie title, doesn’t it?), readings, discussions, food and a big thank you to all who helped make the evening a success. But all good things must come to an end, and it’s time to look forward to next steps.
Other exhibits are in the offing and I’m still in the process of writing my next book, working title: Time Warp: a Love Story. (I’m thinking of changing it. What do you think about Sparkle Like Stars?)
I like to read Heidi Stevens’ column in the Chicago Tribune she titles “Balancing Act.” She writes about the difficulty of managing to make good parenting decisions, pursue a career as a journalist, and balance both of those major areas with the rest of her life. I totally sympathize with her problem, as I’m sure most of us can.
No matter what I’m doing, I always feel like I should really be doing something else. If I’m writing, I should be painting. If I’m painting, I should be practicing the piano. If I’m practicing the piano, I should be working on my book. Of course, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the rest of my life as a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, citizen, etc. I suppose this is a good thing. Still, maybe it would be nice to just sit back and relax in front of the TV once in a while?
Or–maybe not. There’s nothing much on TV, and anyway, at least life lived as an endless teeter-totter isn’t boring!
Well, I’ll tell you. NANOWRIMO is National Novel Writing Month, which is November of each year. It’s a national challenge for people who write to draft a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. The first time I participated was about 5 years ago, and the effort resulted in my first published mystery novel, Painting Lessons: a Bella Sarver Mystery (available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions). I had a great time, and the experience reminded me just how much I love to write. Although I didn’t participate in subsequent years, I did keep on writing, and produced 3 additional books in the Bella Sarver Mystery series: Brush With Death, Paint a Murder, and Death on the Danube (all of which are also available on Amazon).
My good friend Elaine convinced me to give NANOWRIMO another try, so I rejoined the local group this year and have very much enjoyed the preparatory workshops, speakers, and exercises that I’ve attended. I even presented one myself, on How to Write a Mystery Novel. But now November is here, and it’s time to try to meet the challenge again.
So–the working title is Time Warp: a Love Story. It’s an outgrowth of a short story I wrote that will soon be published in an anthology. (More about that in another post.) Like Death on the Danube, the story takes place on a river cruise, this time on the Rhine. I’m not exactly sure what genre it’s going to be, but so far it’s a sort of a combination of paranormal/romance/mystery. (Is that an entirely new genre?) I’ve spent the past 10 days coming up with an outline, doing some research, doing time-line maps and –oh, yes. Writing. Will I make the 50K? Watch this space to find out. About 12000 words so far!
Friday, Nov. 1st, 7 to 9:30 – Villa Park Library, 305 S. Ardmore, Villa Park
Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 1 to 4:30 pm. 95th Street Library, 95th & Cedar Glade, Naperville.
I’m really looking forward to participating in the two Local Author Events this week. It will be a wonderful opportunity for me to meet some of my fellow authors and for all of us to meet current and future readers. I’ll be signing copies of my newest novel, Death on the Danube, for purchasers ($12 each), as well as copies of the previous three novels in my Bella Sarver Mystery Series: Painting Lessons, Brush With Death, and Paint a Murder ($10 each). It’s going to be fun, so spread the word!