Monday, October 25, 2010

Genre Cross-overs by Marvin Wilson

But people, including literary professionals, tend to pigeon-hole, so ... where to publish? – Marvin Wilson

I am pleased to be able to participate in Marvin Wilson's Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010. Doesn’t the tour name alone make you want to give someone a hug? But what if a homeless, smelly, ugly, unkempt old man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking and seek true love? Shake the demons of addiction free from a junkie? Make a Christian want to hug and love a Muslim and vice versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his divine embrace – nobody wants to come near him out of fear. That's the premise of Marvin’s latest release, Beware of the Devil’s Hug. You can buy it now from Amazon in order to find the answer to those intriguing questions.

Marvin D. Wilson has a widely varied and rich life experience background - from Hippie Rock and Roll musician, to nightclub entertainer, to Zen Buddhist minister, to carpenter, to small business owner, to network marketer, to sales and sales training, to skilled trades instructor and adult education teacher, to public speaker and motivational coach, to now in his chosen “golden years” career, a writer and multi-published author with the self-proclaimed, “audacity to write novels”.

Today he’s talking about genre-choice dilemmas, so take it away Marvin.
Jane, thank you so much for hosting a stop on the Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010 today. You asked for a guest post from me, on any topic of my choice. I thought today I’d expound a bit on the nature of my novels as it relates to genres.

As anyone who has read my fictional works knows, I write primarily in the spiritual/inspirational genre, but my books ‘cross over’ a lot into more secular genres as well. Owen Fiddler, for instance, has romances in it, complete with a few sex scenes, and the Christian theological aspects of that book are delivered in a rather humorous, sometimes even shocking and ribald way. Beware the Devil’s Hug takes the cross-over thing even further, with elements of suspense, mystery, intrigue, romance and even some erotica, violence, betrayal and betrothal.

Why all the cross-over? I like to appeal to a wide audience, and while my books are intended to deliver messages of love, unity, oneness—the all-encompassing, nonjudgmental, unconditional Love of Christ is my quintessential impetus for writing—and all things spiritual, I do not choose to ‘preach to the choir’. In fact, I don’t ‘preach’ at all. I want people to be entertained with an excellent page-turner of a story and let the messages seep into their deeper psyche—for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.

So this does give rise to some genre-choice dilemmas, as far as marketing and finding a publisher or agent goes. I used to submit my manuscripts to Christian book publishers, but always they rejected them, feeling the books were too graphic and worldly to publish. Conversely, the secular pubs would eschew them for being too ‘religious’—even though I am not a religious person, nor are my books ‘religious’, at all. I am a non-religious, dogma-free, Maverick spiritualist Christian, and that is the sort of tenor of the spiritual messages that come through in my novels. But people, including literary professionals, tend to pigeon-hole, so ... where to publish?

My first book, I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie), I had to go to a vanity press, through a very good and high quality small publisher, Global Authors Publications, who liked my story enough to publish it. And that book, by the way, still sells quite well, even though I’ve stopped actively promoting it for some time—other than at personal speaking engagements where I am talking about the perils of addiction and the route to not only recovery but absolute cure and freedom from addictions.

Then with my first novel, Owen Fiddler, I came across Cambridge Books, who considered the work highly enough to offer me my first contract. I got a tiny advance, which to me felt like a psychically valued million bucks! And with my last two releases, Between the Storm and the Rainbow, and now Beware the Devil’s Hug, I had the good fortune to have connected with All Things That Matter Press, with which I am on staff as an editor. ATTMP actively seeks out and publishes new and unique authors who deliver ‘message’ books, but in a non-preachy, well written, fictional format. It’s a great fit for me and my writing style. And while ATTMP is still a small pub house, they are growing fast and garnering an impressive lot of talented writers-on-the-rise, with an equally impressive inventory of high quality books offered and many more on the way. If anyone reading this is an aspiring author—who writes about any of the many ‘all things that matter’—seeking a pub house, and has gifted talent and is willing to go the extra mile for self-promotion and marketing, I’d advise him or her to submit their work to ATTMP.

So in closing, and back to the primary topic and the book being promoted here on the Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010, Beware the Devil’s Hug is, true to The Old Silly’s style, definitely a cross-over novel. It is a book that can be read on the surface for pure entertainment, and/or read deeper into, and the reader will derive inspiration and spiritual messages from it. Either way, and preferably both ways, it’s a work meant for all to read. Probably best for high school age and up; it is definitely an ‘adult’ book, so don’t buy and give it to youngsters still with virgin ears, but anyone who appreciates real world, tell-it-like-it-is, no punches pulled, hard-hitting action novels with a couple darn good messages thrown in to boot, will enjoy “Hugs”.
Thanks, Marvin. I think many new writers worry when their work doesn’t seem to fit into one particular genre. Hopefully this informative post will let them know that there is room in the publishing world for cross-over genres. Please feel free to leave questions or comments for Marvin.

The fun of the Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010 continues tomorrow (10/26) on Mason Canyon’s Thoughts in Progress.

Also be sure to stop by The Old Silly’s Free Spirit Blog to find out more about Marvin, his books, the tour and to enter his contest for lots of prizes and giveaways.

Additional Links:
Beware the Devil’s Hug
Owen Fiddler
Between the Storm and the Rainbow
I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie)
All Things That Matter Press

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next Monday.

Tags: Marvin Wilson, cross-over genres, Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour, Beware of the Devil’s Hug, All Things That Matter Press, genres


The Old Silly said...

Hi Jane - just had to stop in early and say, "Nice Job!" on the feature post layout, and thanks again. :)

I'll be back later in the day to interact with readers.

Marvin D Wilson

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Thanks, Marvin. I'm excited to be a stop on your virtual tour.

Carol Kilgore said...

These days lots of avenues are available to writers to publish their work. Thanks for sharing yours. And thanks for hosting, Jane.

Kissie said...

Yes, this is a lot of useful information. Trying to keep up with the tour ....

Until next time,

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think the exciting thing about writing a crossover book is that you have the opportunity to reach a greater audience. Congrats on your release, Marvin! Thanks for hosting Marvin, Jane. :)

Joanne said...

I can understand publishers pigeon-holing a book for marketing purposes, to focus those efforts. But still, it really does limit the author's audience in doing so. Kudos to you for crossing the genres and reaching out to many, and best wishes with your release!

Unknown said...

The writing is the easy part. Finding a publisher later can be a challenge, but the really hard part is the marketing. This tour is a great way to get the word out.
Marv's writing is inspirational but fun to read. This applies to all of his books. I've reviewed two of them and hope to review his next one.

Darcia Helle said...

One of the things I love about indie books is that they do tend to cross over so many genres, while mainstream books need to fit in a neat little genre box. That lack of confinement with indie work gives an author all sorts of room to create.

I have been wanting to read Beware of the Devil's Hug since before it was published! I need to hurry up and make some progress on my to-read list so that I can get to this one.

Helen Ginger said...

Having multiple facets to your book is a good thing. It gives you more opportunities and avenues to promote it and more readers will find something in it that they love.

Daisy Hickman said...

Hello Marvin, Jane: Interesting. It's fun to learn about new writers w/a message and a unique style. The genre question can be a problem or an opportunity it seems, but, hopefully, strong writing will rise to the top regardless of categories created by someone somewhere for some reason! Best wishes, Daisy @ (Guest post also on my blog, Marvin and Jane, that you both might enjoy!)

The Old Silly said...

Carol- You're welcome, and I agree there are more avenues open today than evn 5-6 years ago when I was first trying to get pub'd.

Kissie - you're doing fine - one of the front runners! :)

Liz - thanks, and we agree! :)

Joanne, thank you for visiting and the comment.

Unwriter, you KNOW you'll be on the reviewer list, dude.

Darcia - hurry, hurry! LOL, seriously I do hope you'll enjoy your Hugs.

Helen - yuup, agreed.

DazyDayWriter - it's all about making challenges into opportunities, hmm? ;)

Karen - glad you could be with us today!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like you cover a lot of ground with this book. I recently realized many novels cross genres, which is a good thing!

Arlee Bird said...

Jane, this was a nice showcase of Marvin and his work. Good job!

This piece presents some interesting thoughts and perspectives on getting published. I have been conflicted as to how to categorize my own work and reading about the journeys of others is a great help.

Tossing It Out

The Old Silly said...

Alex - Welcome, my fellow 'crossoverer' - lol

Arlee - Glad this post could help a fellow writer!

Hey Jane - family issues have got me tied up the rest of the eve, but I will check back early am to see if I need to respond to any other commenters. Thanks again for being such a splendid host!

Anonymous said...

Marvin and all, I can relate to the genre crossover. Its difficult for some people to stay with one genre, like cozy mysteries or futuristic sci-fi. I think that today more and more writers are empowered to paint outside the lines and be successful. And why not. Its a different world now. Writers can promote their works without the acceptance stamp of approval from the established literary crowd.

The Old Silly said...

Stephen - yes, I think you hit it right on the literary head, man!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My fiction was in that sweet spot between YA and adult.
Ironically, there's a new genre emerging called New Adult - go figure!

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world