When I write, I normally know what genre I am writing in. That is, until I wrote my most current release DIRT. It didn't seem to fall within the usual genre's. It isn't a thriller, a sexy romance, or even mainstream drama. It doesn't have werewolves or vampires, not even a glint of paranormal to be found within the pages. It does come close to historical fiction since it takes place in 1933, so, yes, it qualifies. But do I want it to be there? Most people relate historical fiction as a story that takes place hundreds of years ago. Dirt takes place in the early part of the last century.
DIRT does not include fancy gowns or military uniforms. In fact my characters are lucky they have anything at all to wear. You see, they are two children who become orphans during the dust bowl in the Oklahoma panhandle. There is no great plot to subverse a government or make a monumental change in their surroundings. But they do manage to make monumental changes in the people they interact with.
So I struggled with the genre when I was ready to publish. Do I put my book in the historical fiction genre and fall into a group of wonderful novels that take us back to an era we can only imagine? An era of time where we are immersed in a culture we only find in history books. A genre which is, for the most part, less popular (with the exception of romance) than the current frenzy dealing with the supernatural or the latest crime techniques. DIRT falls into this genre not because it follows the normal classification, but because it does take place over seventy five years ago and there are so few of the people still around who lived during those times.
Once I accepted this fact, I felt a kind of pride in that I have contributed to the knowledge of those who know nothing about that era. In many years to come when a reader picks up my book and learns a fact or two about this particular time in our country's history, I will have provided this small lesson. An unxpected bonus to the writing.
Causes Sharon Dwyer Supports
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association