Sunday, May 31, 2015

Categorizing a Mystery Series

Categorizing a mystery series can be quite a challenge. While I know that the general category (genre) for my Malone mystery series is Mystery/Suspense, I was having a hard time figuring out what sub-category my books belonged to. 

The major sub-categories for mystery are:
1. Private Detective
2. Legal Thrillers
3. Cozies
4. Police Procedurals
5. Historical
6. Miscellaneous

Other than miscellaneous, my books fit the closest into the cozy category. My main character is involved in a mystery in each book and there is no graphic sex or violence, just like in a cozy. But somehow, having read lots of cozies, that term never felt right to me. So, I continued to wonder, what is the sub-category for my books? I was looking for something more specific than "miscellaneous."

Then something happened. A writer (someone I didn't know) contacted me asking me to read her new book, a mystery that she called a Family Drama Mystery. And the light came on! Family Drama mysteries is a perfect fit for my series and, even though Amazon doesn't list that as a category, it’s very satisfying to me to have finally found the exact niche for my books. Plus, I was able to add "Family Drama" to my keywords on Amazon.

And then, something else happened. I had asked another author to be a guest on my blog. She writes two mystery series and, as part of her post and in the interest of conserving space, I asked her to send me a short blurb for each series. She replied that she had never thought of doing that and I had to laugh because I realized that I hadn’t done it either. I decided to remedy that. Here's what I came up with:

"The Malone Mystery Series isn’t just about the mystery. It’s the story of Ann Malone Kern and her family and the struggles they face. As the series progresses, you will see Ann and the other characters change and grow as they deal with a multitude of problems and are involved in several dangerous, sometimes life-threatening, situations. But through it all, the underlining message in each book is one of Hope."

I'm constantly amazed at how life and the world of writing work. Each day of my life I learn something new from someone else and I hope there are people out there who are reading my novels and my blogs and are learning from me too.

How would you categorize the novels you read and/or write?