Technical difficulties, or, a writer’s plea for help

As I enter final edits into “There With You,” I catch myself thinking ahead to the query process in which I reach out to agents and beg them (without actually sounding too desperate or pathetic) to read what I’ve written. I have one page of space — ONE — to explain what my book and I are both about. Before I can do that, I need to first figure out just what my book is.

Young Adult (YA), yes. But that’s not enough. I give you…

Categories of YA Novels

  1. YA Mystery
  2. YA Romance
  3. YA Sci-Fi
  4. YA Fantasy
  5. YA Suspense
  6. YA Paranormal
  7. YA Historical
  8. YA Contemporary

You get the idea: basically the categories of adult novels, except written with teenage characters. (I probably missed a bunch, too.)

As I said in an earlier post, it seems like publishing folks want work that’s multi-genre. My characters time travel and have some romantic tension between them, plus there’s the danger factor of their families, who are bitter enemies, finding out about their relationship.

Another book with similar characteristics was found on Goodreads under YA Romance, YA Fantasy and YA Paranormal.

One concern is that the categories have different definitions for different people. If I am not able to clearly say what my book is, an agent is going to fold my query up into a paper airplane and send it sailing out their office window. (No, probably not. That’s littering. In my heart of hearts, all agents are avid recyclers.) But, still, I’ve seen agents I follow on Twitter mention a bad query and prep a rejection notice without even reading a word of the story.

That is SO MUCH pressure!

So, to start, what the hell is my book?

A young adult paranormal-ish, maybe romantic, sorta/kinda fantasy about 18-year-old classmates from rival families who inherit a centuries-old time traveling… thing.

Yeah, it needs work.

Maybe I’ll just use a line from the book itself:

“You guys are like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet!”

Yeah, except with less suicide and more time travel.

If anybody out there has advice on how these categories tend to be defined, you’ll earn a virtual fist bump and my sincerest gratitude by sharing in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Technical difficulties, or, a writer’s plea for help

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