Mixed genres

Karalee’s Post # 12 — In the last month I have had the privilege to listen to more live music concerts than ever before.  First Leonard Cohen, then the Mike Allen Quartet, and last Friday we took the entire family to the Barenaked Ladies with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO). The genres go from Folk (OK some people refer to Leonard Cohen as Pop/Rock too) to Jazz to a true mixed genre of alternative Rock with a Symphony Orchestra.

Now single genre music such as Folk and Jazz are highly entertaining with a certain expectation of style. But the Barenaked Ladies and the VSO, now that’s a different ballgame and it WORKED. I was curious what the combination would sound like, and it was great entertainment; moreso since it had a dash of the unexpected.

I think that goes for new book genres that have emerged over the last few decades as well. The first story written by the first author that introduces a ‘new mix’ of genre types is read with the anticipation of experiencing something different. Then of course, other authors follow suit and the genre (or subgenre) is truly born and becomes more mainstream.

For example:  mystery, horror, romance, fantasy and science fiction are examples of genres we grew up with. Then new genres or subgenres hit the scene such as:

  • Cyberpunk –  plots often center on a conflict among hackers, artificial intelligence, mega-corporations that tend to be set in a near-future Earth
  • Steampunk – subgenre of Cyber punk set in an alternate history Victorian era
  • Chick Lit
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Paranormal Romance
  • And then Diana Gabaldon wrote the Outlander series that is a mix of time travel, romantic fiction, historical fiction and science fiction. And all together they work too.

I’ve always been drawn to the fantasy and mystery elements in both what I read and what I write. I do enjoy other genres such as historical fiction, women’s fiction and some biographies. And of course, cook books fill an entire bookshelf in my kitchen.

And like cookbooks, a little of this and that from different recipes can give an exciting end result or something inedible. So I say, go ahead and mix genres, try new combinations and see what the end result is. You may be truly inspirational, or you may need to start over. And as long as the process is fun and you learn something, it is worthwhile. Success of new genres is merely dependent upon what readers will read.

That said, I help some family friends by picking up their daughters after school on Tuesdays. Yesterday they dressed up my two dogs (the first time ever for them, and I must say the dogs were good about it).


The end result is a new blend; a Christmas dog.  I know, it’s seasonal at best.

What do you think?

And in case you are wondering about me reaching my deadline, Act One is done. My protagonist has gone through door #1 with no turning back.

9 thoughts on “Mixed genres

  1. Good work on getting through Act 1 Karalee! Sounds like you’re listening to a lot of great music recently, and I’m also a fan of eclecticism in both music and writing – in fact, all the arts.

  2. We think competition in the writing world is daunting now. Imagine if we were all the same! Of course, that goes for any profession. Happy writing.

  3. My one & only book is a mixture of genres; historical fiction/alternative history/allegory (insights into current events by re-telling an ancient myth). I’m encouraged at the way mixed genres lead to new genres. Thanks.

  4. Allowing yourself to be carried away by creativity in an area other than the one you are working in always seems to spark your creative process, don’t you think? Hearing all that great music has lit a fire under you, Karalee. Congratulations. Now, about that Christmas dog . . .

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