I describe myself as a British crime thriller writer. While strictly truthful – I’m British, and I write books containing lots of thrills and crime – it’s not the whole story. My full-length thrillers also sizzle with suspense, sex and romance. There’s often a dose of office politics, as corporate emperors play games with each other.
Why, then, be pigeonholed in a box labelled “crime thriller”? There are four reasons why I believe choosing a genre is important:
#1. Readers know what to expect. It’s true of any genre, whether it’s sci-fi, horror or even divisions of non-fiction like biographies. An avid crime thriller fan can accept a little romance creeping into the plot. It may even be the motive for the crime (in After The Interview, a single adulterous incident has far-reaching consequences). On the other hand, a reader of romantic fiction might balk at a murder or two.
#2. It’s hard for readers who love blockbuster-style thrillers (or any other niche for that matter) to find them at random in the packed General Fiction shelves of bookstores.
#4. The book trade – the mighty Amazon, bookstores and wholesalers – prefer it.
I give myself more latitude when I write short stories. Some, like 5 minute crime thriller The Gap, available free here, slot naturally into the crime fiction genre. Others delve into the realms of horror, romance and the supernatural. If you haven’t read my free e-book, Something In The City, yet, click here to receive a copy, and see for yourself.