The Difficult Second Novel…

I’ve been writing my follow up to Tiger Tiger for a while. It’s not a sequel, I decided that Rebecca Somersby was best off as a one diary kind of gal (I’m still reeling from the disappointment that came with ‘Edge of Reason’). It’s called ‘Fidelity Wars’, it looks at five characters and how they bend the rules of fidelity to allow for their individual indiscretions.

I know each of the characters inside out. I’ve plotted out their story arcs chapter by chapter. I’ve even completely finished two of the five ‘heroines’ tales. It was all going quite well. It excited me. It felt fresh and exhilarating. Then I decided to publish Tiger Tiger (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiger-ebook/dp/B00D5EYHAM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372865918&sr=1-1&keywords=tiger+tiger+nicola+sheehan) almost as a precursor to the completion and subsequent promotion of ‘Fidelity Wars’. And it’s got awesome feedback.

And there’s the catch, ‘Tiger Tiger’ has been so well received and ‘Fidelity Wars’ is really very different and so I’m suddenly struck with rather crippling writer’s block at the thought that I’m writing something that might disappoint.

I see camping in a coffee shop and lots of frustrated screen gazing in my near future…

Genre Schmenre

The other day I asked a good friend of mine if she planned to download Tiger Tiger.

“I don’t really think it’s my sort of thing” she responded.

This is fine on it’s own, different people like different things but on this occasion it confused me. It’s not like this friend only reads fantasy books or crime fiction, I thought that we had quite similar tastes and (not just because I wrote it) Tiger Tiger is the kind of thing that I’d read. I looked puzzled:

“Oh?”

“Well I read Fifty Shades and I hated it. I tried all three books but it’s really not for me.”

My flabber was well and truly gasted. Tiger Tiger is definitely not in the same ilk as Fifty Shades of Grey; not that I’m criticizing anyone who likes Fifty Shades but it’s definitely not the same genre. Which is the thought that led to my stuttering response. The same stuttering, clumsy response that I’ve given to many friends who have asked about genre…

“It’s romantic comedy, but kind of more comedy than romance, that is to say it’s not a traditional romance, not Mills & Boon-y or anything. It’s a bit Bridget Jones-y, but different. It’s… gah.”

And I fail to describe it. I get the occasional “Oh I like Bridget Jones” but I don’t want to sell it off that comparison. It is what it is. It will make you laugh, might make you cry, is honest, and sweet and written with love. I don’t think that’s a genre though.