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It took me a long time to accept it, but my series, The Ghost and the Mask, is urban fantasy. 

For years, I complained that Headless, my first book in the series, was too complicated to fit into a single genre.

Mostly I called it a supernatural thriller, which is a pretty good fit too. After all, Jim Butcher’s 17th book in the Dresden Files series, which is clearly a genre crosser, is number one in Amazon in that category right now.

But it’s also number one in the Paranormal & Urban Fantasy category. 

Actually it’s number one in Fantasy overall. 

So there’s that.

The point is . . . I wanted to emphasize that my book also has elements of crime fiction, mystery, horror, and even historical fiction. And that it wasn’t just another pulpy vampire or demon-hunter book.

This is a trap that I think a lot of writers fall into, moaning over the fact that their book is so unique it couldn’t possibly fit neatly into a category.

And the truth is, it probably doesn’t. Neither their books nor mine. But we have to put them somewhere if we want to find an audience.

To be honest, even the concept of genre is somewhat annoying to me, the way we need to cram everything into neat little boxes. It feels stifling and gives us authors who “write to market,” pumping out generic concept fiction so they can capitalize on industry trends, instead of writing what is in their hearts.

But I admit we all benefit from categorization. Otherwise bookstores and libraries would be a mess, and we’d never find what we wanted. We’d also have a much harder time discovering new books by authors we might love.

So urban fantasy fits. I’ve accepted it. It does its job.

Neil Gaiman writes urban fantasy that is not pulpy vampire or demon-huntery. His work is unique, thoughtful, and moving. 

Not to compare myself with Neil Gaiman. 

But it made me feel better.

So, yeah, my current series is urban fantasy. I’m over it. I’m embracing it. 

And so there is no confusion, I have no problem with vampires and demon hunters. There is a demon hunter in my book, after all. But is it demon-huntery?

I don’t know. I’ll let you decide.

What are your thoughts?

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