On genre – Thriller vs Romantic Suspense

MG 5x8The launch of Match Games is coming ever closer. And the question of genre is becoming evermore pressing. Amazon categories. Where to start?

How I would love to call it a thriller.
But it’s not.
Yes, it’s fast and furious in places.
Yes, there are car chases, beatings and blood.
There is betrayal, crime and backstabbing.
But, according to a lot of research, a thriller it is not.
A thriller starts with a bang.
Match Games starts with a stack of newspapers and several pints of lager.
In a thriller the audience knows who the baddie is virtually immediately.
In Match Games…well, the baddie is multi-facetted.
In Match Games we stumble along with Lukas in his laborious search.
Apparently, it’s more like … a mystery.
Suspense, certainly.
Like what I always thought a thriller to be.
The search for the baddie.But then there’s love.
And some romance, unexpectedly.
And now everybody shouts at me: “If there’s love and they are still together at the end, it’s got to be categorised as ’Romantic Suspense’!”
Oh no!
It’s definitely not some soppy romance.
Confused, I turned to my author friends online.
And then I saw sense.

Just because there’s love in it somewhere doesn’t mean that it must therefore be called romance. If a story contains humans (or even aliens), then there will be love. It’s part of life. To cut it out would make it sterile. Even Reacher occasionally feels something.
What determines a romance is the plot: if you can remove the love interest and there’s still a story, then it’s not a romance. In a romance the potential love interest is introduced almost immediately. The story is about them getting together, period. Two people, getting together, with something in the way. Match Games doesn’t do that. The first thing that’s introduced is a mystery, and a potential crime. No female in sight.

If love happens later as a result of other things, it’s not romance. It’s important to get that understanding right, because romance readers are not patient ones, and they’re incredibly vocal. If they feel betrayed, the backlash is insane, apparently. A romance reader wants a story about two people struggling to get together, and they MUST have a happy ending. Always. And that happy ending better involve the two people, in each other’s arms, happily ever after.

There is no realism or real life in romance.

With this advice in mind I will list Match Games in the following categories:

FICTION > Mystery & Detective > International Mystery & Crime
FICTION > Thrillers > Suspense
A huge thank you to Melinda vanLone for her contribution to this article.
What is your favourite fiction author?
What genre do you enjoy reading and why?
Please drop me an email and share your thoughts with me schirmerbea@gmail.com
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Filed under Bea Schirmer, Beatrice Schirmer, diary of a novel, Match Games

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