I have been invited to join the International Association of Crime Writers. I received the invitation via an email from the North American branch today.
One problem: I’m not a crime writer.
Yes, my first book contains certain elements tied to crime writing, but my second book, UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO, has nothing to do with crime. Nor does my third.
It’s been interesting to see how readers, booksellers and other attempt to define me as a writer. I guess with just one book in print thus far, they don’t have much to go on.
But I’ve also been referred to as a mystery writer, a suspense writer, and a humorist, and I don’t think that either of these monikers apply. SOMETHING MISSING possesses some elements of mystery, and both books contain some humor (mostly unintentional), but I don’t think either could aptly be categorized as mystery, suspense or humor.
This all leads me to wonder how an author like John Updike was categorized after his first book. Not to imply that I am the next John Updike, but there are many, many writers like Updike and myself who just write stories. He was a novelist, but he did not write suspense, humor, mystery, historical fiction, science fiction, horror etc. He just wrote stories.
It would be interesting to research how readers, booksellers, reviewers, and others attempted to categorize writers like these based upon certain elements in their first few books. Updike’s first book was THE POORHOUSE FAIR. The plot summary from Amazon reads:
At the County Home for the Aged, the inmates, having shed their cares and responsibilities, live out their remaining years. On the day of the Poorhouse Fair the order is broken and the old people take charge. It is a day neither Conner, the poorhouse prefect, nor his charges will forget.
Sounds like it could be a Stephen King novel. Doesn’t it?
Updike as a horror writer?
I’ve ordered the book. After reading it, I’ll do some digging and see if I can find out what the public thought of the book and the writer after his first offering. Did they try to categorize him? Fit him into some convenient box? I’ll see what I can find out.
Another project. Just what I needed.