Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Adulteration of a Genre

I used to have my novel, A Death on the Wolf, listed in the "coming of age" category on Amazon.  But then I started looking at the best seller list for coming of age.  The image to the left is a screen shot of the current #1 and #2 best sellers in coming of age, and if either of those books are actually coming of age novels, I'll eat my shorts.  All you have to do is read the descriptions to see that these are nothing but romance novels, plain and simple.  In fact, the top 20 spots on the coming of age best seller list are dominated by romance novels.

Maybe the whole notion of "coming of age" has changed, and if it has, then clearly my novel is not a coming of age tale.  For me, a true "coming of age" novel is the likes of A Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Piece, To Kill a Mockingbird, or A Gentleman's Game.  Coming of age stories should be about youngsters (and I personally would set a cap here of late teens) coming to grips with the realities of adulthood as they struggle to leave their childhood behind.  Something tells me The Bet and The Love Game would come up short along those lines.  But if that's the sort of story people are looking for who are looking for a "coming of age" story, then they would be very disappointed in my novel.  Hence, it is no longer categorized on Amazon as "coming of age," which, in my opinion, is a shame.

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