Saturday, February 13, 2016

Genre Fiction Trends: Mixed Horror and Crime Fiction

Glowing fingerprint and crime scene yellow tape
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For the last 10 years, mainstream readers have been taking both speculative and other types of genre fiction seriously. But they’ve also been more accepting of mixed genre fiction. The reasons for that may be many, including the popularity of mixed genre movies and TV shows such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries both of which are romance and horror (better known as paranormal romance) and themselves originating as book series. One reason for it is that writers want to create original stories but this has become hard to do within a single genre. Author JeffSummers says, “It’s getting harder and harder to find something surprising in the usual convention of genres. But [by] mixing genres together . . . every now and then you get something explosive and beautiful.” For the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of science fiction mixing with fantasy and horror mixing with epic fantasy. But the latest trend has been the mixing of horror fiction and crime fiction.

What I’ve Read In This Mixed Genre

If you look at Amazon, you’ll see that many of the top books in horror are ones involving a detective-type protagonist. Although some of these horror-crime fiction stories are turning into old tropes, there are some good ones out there. I’ll show you what the top three in Amazon’s horror category are in a moment, but first I’d like to show you two of the ones that I’ve read and found to be really good. The first is Blood Moon: A Rowan Gant Investigation (The Rowan Gant Investigations Book 9) by M.R. Sellars. It involves the protagonist, Rowan, who is a consultant for the police department and happens to be a warlock. He has the ability to hear the voices of murdered victims. But his extraordinary gift is more a curse than a blessing to him and so he struggles with both it and the police force that demands his use of it.

The second book is by horror author Charles Stross, called The Fuller Memorandum (A Laundry Files Novel). It’s particularly an espionage-horror novel about an agent who goes after the occult and the supernatural evil they conjure up. This is my favorite of the two not only because I like espionage but also because the main character is not as pitiful as the main character of Blood Moon is made to come across as. However, it gets very brutal towards the end. But the storyline is great and the characters, although not as likeable as they could be, move the plot along good.

Amazon’s Top 3 Horror-Crime Fiction Novels

Now for what’s at the top of Amazon’s List for horror (as of the writing of this article):

Ghost Gifts, Laura Spinella: This is like Blood Moon, in that the main character, Aubrey Ellis, also has the ability to communicate with the dead yet does not want to do so but is forced into it in order to solve a murder case. Only in this novel, she’s not so much a consultant for the police force than a writer for the real estate section of a newspaper who assists an investigative reporter with the case.

Joyland, Stephen King: This one was specifically made for the publishing imprint, Hard Case Crime. It’s a murder mystery that revolves around an amusement park’s fun house haunted by the ghost of a woman who was killed in it.

Harmony Black, Craig Shaefer: Book 1 of the Harmony Black series, it was released only at the beginning of the month and the title seems to be ringing throughout Amazon. The story involves the book’s title character who is an FBI agent and a witch. The criminal she and her team of agents must go after is, no kidding, the Bogeyman. It gets personal with her. How can it not? The Bogeyman “destroyed Harmony’s childhood.” 

You can purchase any of the above books at Amazon. Just click on their links or images above.

Where I’m at with My Fiction

I finally started revising one of my other short stories, and am on my final proofread of my one that I talked about a couple posts ago. I’m getting ready to work on the cover art for a short story that I’m going to publish in its own book format through Kindle Direct for sure and maybe even in print for those who are like myself and won’t even touch an e-reader. By the time I complete the illustration and get the story into its book form it will probably be released at the end of the month or the beginning of next. I’ll keep you updated on that next week.

Until then . . . 

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