By Lonnie Cruse
I'm sure all of us know that books come in different genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, western, etc. But there are also now a great many sub-genres or categories which leave book store clerks scratching their heads as to where to shelve the books, not to mention the writers who write them. Sigh. (Publishers always want to break a writer's book down into all of these small categories which drives the writer nuts trying to figure it out. Trust me. We write them we don't categorize them.)
Mysteries alone come in categories like: cozy, procedural, suspense, thriller (one presumes thriller is a step further into scary than plain suspense, but, one could always be wrong) and so on. Then comes all the sub-sub-categories JUST for cozy mysteries like quilt cozy, knit cozy, cat cozy, cooking cozy, scrap booking cozy, and, um, well you get the picture.
Obviously if you are a knitter or a cat owner or someone who loves to cook, or drink multiple cups of tea then when you see that listed on a cover, it will draw your attention and might make you put down another book in favor of buying the one that matches your particular hobby or fascination, assuming you can't afford both books. So, the cover with the beautiful quilt or lovely knitted "whatever" will grab you first, followed closely by the description of what the heroine is doing in her spare time between murders to be solved. And, boy howdy, has this trend exploded in the last few years.
Time was when a mystery was fairly simple, suspense with plenty of blood and gore was probably set in a big city, and cozy with lots of cats was probably set in a small English village. If the protagonist was a knitter, like Miss Marple, it was barely mentioned. No knitting patterns, no recipes for tea or cookies or whatever were included in the book.
Mind you, I'm not complaining. These new categories get my attention just as fast as anyone else's. I adore beautiful covers on books. I adore the new variety in books to read. No more straight, simple, bloody murder. The protagonist must be able to do more than check footprints or bloody fingerprints. I like that. Guess I should say I love it because the lead couple in one of my series has the hobby of restoring vintage cars. Where did that come from? Perhaps the TWO cars parked in our garage that are painstakingly being restored while the car I drive parks outside, regardless of the weather. Where was I?
My point, here, is to ask you readers what you think about all these genres, sub-genres, and sub-sub genres? How much attention do you pay to them? Do you look for books that feature hobbies that you enjoy or would like to enjoy if only you could master them? Do you struggle to find books now that there are so many different varieties?
And if you could write a book, what sub-sub-sub-sub-sub category would you want it to be in?
The inspiration for today's blog post comes from my recent struggle to learn how to knit. I used to knit a few decades back and want to re-learn, but this is NOT like riding a bicycle, something you don't forget. I've had lessons from a friend, printed instructions off the Internet, snookered my way into a consultation with the ladies at J & R Needlenook here in Metropolis, started the same shawl three times and ripped it out three times, and I'm still not knitting properly. I plan to try again. I love self-punishment. Will I write a book where the protagonist knits while she solves crime? Not a chance. I might, however, stab someone with one of those pesky long needles. Most likely myself.
Have a great day. Thanks for stopping by. Anyone up for a craft day?