What is cross-genre or hybrid fiction anyway?
Most define it as fiction that combines elements from two or more different genres. And though it’s relatively new, I think it’s here to stay. Why? Readers appreciate the intricacy that blending genres allows. Book clubs love the discussions and debates that ensue. And authors? Well, we’re feeling like someone just threw open the barn door.
Friends will attest that I think of most things in culinary terms. Since we’re well into June, let’s imagine a plain strawberry shortcake. A flaky biscuit topped with fresh strawberries and a generous dollop of whip cream. It doesn’t get much better…or does it? Now imagine those same perfectly ripe strawberries, macerated with a hint of fresh mint and perhaps a pinch of basil. Add some orange rind to the whip cream, and maybe even a little to the biscuit dough. Now you have something with nuances, something that will remain memorable amidst a summer of fruit crisps and vanilla cupcakes decorated with patriotic sprinkles.
That’s how I think of genre-bending fiction. In “Misplaced”, blending a bit of time-travel with historical fiction, and finishing it off with a healthy dose of fantasy was the right recipe for my first novel. One of the biggest compliments I’ve received is from a reader who was forced (her exact words) to read “Misplaced” in her book club. Her note said, “I never like books with time-travel, but I kept reading. She went on to say, “I don’t like books with fantasy either, but I KEPT reading. And in the end, it was such fun!”
So here’s hoping your summer is off to a great start. Be brave and try a cross-genre author. Diana Gabaldon, is among the most recognized, who doesn’t love her “Outlander” series? I’ve linked the recipe for strawberry shortcake which I found on the Epicurious site, below. It’s amazing, I hope you try it. Happy summer reading and eating.