Mixing Genres

Many people have told me that remaining within a single genre is the way to get your book noticed. That you’ll have better sales if you don’t straddle more than one genre at a time. Well, that works about as well as telling me that authors never get anywhere in this world.

They’ve just handed me a challenge I can’t resist.

The genre of teen books is wide and varied. Adding in a paranormal or science fiction element allows readers of those genres to enjoy a mystery tale. Even a historical aspect will grab attention.

The Canoples Investigations series began as a way to explain to my youngest child about the events surrounding the September 11, 2001 tragedies. He wanted to know why bad people had to hurt people they didn’t know. Within a week, BD Bradford and his crew of intrepid investigators were born but it would take more than ten years for this series to find a home and a group of readers who laughed along with their “rush in and get the job done” attitude.

Ghosts have always fascinated me. That brought about the Ghosties, a group of teens determined to track down and send ghosts to their unearthly reward. Hailey Hatmaker plays on her name with a collection of hats that take her less time to decide which one to wear than it does for her to solve the latest ghost involved mystery in her hometown of Landry, Georgia.

One thing I’ve kept to in these series and the upcoming Wildcat Crew books is that my teens have an adult they can rely on to help them out in times of trouble. That adult might not always give them the advice they want to hear. They might slide along the wrong side of the rules at moments when they have to get the job done. But complete the jobs they do, and with a panache that has many people laughing.

So remember the next time someone says you can’t mix a genre that’s not always true. Mysteries are far more interesting if a reader has a chance to catch them outside the standard theme.