Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Cross Pollination of Genres…

March 10, 2014


As a cross genre author, I find juggling different writing methods to be exciting and engaging. There are many aspects of each genre that you begin to notice cross over into one another when you write multiple forms.

With children’s stories we are aware of the language limitations and simplistic plot arc. The writing requires quick action and characterisation to keep the reader engaged and interested. With YA, we find teens require even more action but the language can be more forthright and the plot must be intriguing to keep them reading. Adult fiction can run the gamut of red herrings; extended descriptions and complex plot arcs. However, depending on your story structure you can ‘borrow’ rules from each genre to use in another. When I write non-fiction, such as articles, newsletters or workbooks, the rules are again different but to absorb readers, some techniques of story writing can be put into play to make the subject stimulating.

In recent times the romance genre has seen an increase in multiple genre novels. Romantic sci-fi, paranormal or fantasy, are becoming increasingly popular. When I was defining my novels, it was the most basic theme of each I had to recognize. It turned out to be love in its many forms, whether romantic, familial or love of a cause or lifestyle. In The Twesome Loop, reincarnation was the subsequent theme to a love story across time. For Life in Slake Patch, my protagonist, Evan found love and was instrumental in changing laws under  matriarchal rule. My up coming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, deals with two forest sprites who, not only love each other but all the animals within their home that they assist.

Common GroundMy recent article in Strathcona Connect – , highlights a local community cafe. Without the love of its instigators and volunteers it would not have been created.

What is your experience in cross genres?

Did you find identifying a genre difficult?

What method did you use to resolve which genre your novel was?



  1. For many years, only one brand of romance novel existed, known generically in the United Kingdom as a Mills & Boon, and in North America as a Harlequin. Despite the lack of brand-name variety, however, the stories published under these imprints were widely divergent. Contemporary, medical, and historical romances were all published as Harlequin Romance or Mills & Boon Romance.

    But readers who gobbled up those original romances wanted even more variety, and authors wanted to stretch their wings with different kinds of stories—longer, spicier, more sensual, more confrontational, and including elements that just didn’t fit in the short, sweet, traditional package.


  2. Great post!
    Only recently did I realise that my WIP isn’t just urban fantasy, but historical too. Or at least it has historical elements.
    I didn’t mean to do that. It just happened, but that’s part of the reason why I had such trouble defining it before now.

    In a recent Twitter conversation a worrying buddy told me he thinks current genre definitions are outdated. I agree.
    There are so many hybrids springing up right now that all the old rules and boundaries are getting shifted all the time. And that’s VERY exciting.
    Though for us… It does make things a bit harder as we wait for the world to catch up with what we already know. 😛


    • Thanks Ileandra, the genre definitions are certainly becoming more and more difficult to separate. One friend of mine thinks her current ms is romance, time travel, and historical all wrapped into one!
      Soon the definitions will be as long as the blurbs!


      • But that’s part of the fun. I really think that will appeal to readers as tastes become more varied and jumbled up. People keep saying it’s an exciting time to be a writer, and they’re right!
        Just look at all the popular TV stuff right now. It’s all a giant mix up. ^_^


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at
%d bloggers like this: