Cotton, peas, your friends, your seat, your nose… There are a lot of things you can pick. Family isn’t one of them. Disclaimer: Life is crazy, people are crazier and my family… well they get the crazy award if there is one. This is a work of ‘true fiction’ inspired by family. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. CAUTION: They cuss.
I have had genre issues concerning one title in particular so a couple of weeks ago I (finally) asked my eldest sister for an opinion. Be careful what you ask for. And the category Is…
Sister: Hey, I just called to thank you for the book.
Me: Oh you’re quite welcome. So do you have an opinion on the genre?
Sister: Well I have to tell you it started off a little staggery. You know what I mean?
Me: As in slow and unsteady, I agree. So what genre did you decide?
Sister: Clara seemed sort of dull at the beginning. I wasn’t sure what to make of her, you know? She’s rather meek and reserved.
Me: True. But what category-
Sister: Thank goodness she shines further into the story. You need to show that in the first few pages. You might omit chapter one all together or incorporate one and two. I see what you were doing there and I’m all about character development but step it up a little.
Me: The book is already out. My current problem is the specific genre. What do you-
Sister: Well no need crying over spilled milk, right? Maggie is likable. I like Maggie, she’s spunky. No wonder Linda has issues. With a name like Mucalinda and a mother who runs a voodoo shop in New Orleans. Geez!
Me: Thanks. Other than fiction would you consider it –
Sister: I hated that Lafont character! Hate is a strong word I know but I absolutely hate him. He didn’t suffer near enough in my opinion but Levi isn’t the type to torture people. He just done what needed to be done. Taking care of business, I loved that about him. So is he really a-
Me: Speaking of business I need your opinion on the genre. Remember I asked for-
Sister: Oh it’s definitely romance. It almost verges on soft porn at times if you ask me. Your brother in law couldn’t believe you wrote that. He had a time with it. Were your ears burning?
Me: You let him read it?!
Sister: Sure. He agrees with me – it’s romance.
Me: No, I don’t think so.
Sister: Yes it is! I am a seasoned noveller, you asked for my opinion now don’t argue. With the relationships and intimacy throughout you have to know it’s a romance.
Me: I really didn’t think it was. I categorized it under paranormal fiction.
Sister: Maybe as a subcategory. Now back to Levi, is he or is he not a-
Me: I’m not sure I should classify it as romance. One reader said-
Sister: I don’t give a damn what one reader said or one hundred for that matter. Do you know how many books I read a week? Sure you do that’s why you asked for my opinion. It’s a freaking romance.
Me: Okay. Don’t get your panties in a wad. So you want to know more about Levi but what about Vivian?
Sister: Vivian Cature? That wench has no redeeming qualities. I despise her.
Me: But she came from a troubled background. Aren’t you the least bit empathetic?
Sister: So what. That is an excuse! Everyone has junk in their past. No, she was looking out for number one and the way she treated her own daughter- not just the way she treated her friend but her own daughter! I don’t forgive her and I have no sympathy for her. Nope, I cannot abide such. She is a sociopath. She and that worthless man-whore deserved one another.
Me: You know they aren’t real people, right?
Sister: Well of course I know that but girl I cried twice. Oh, when Mr. O’Bromley was in the emergency room I had to get a tissue and blow my nose that just tore me up. — What are you laughing about?
Sister: You wanted my opinion. You should be flattered that I liked it.
Me: I am. I totally am. But I really just needed help with the genre thing.
Sister: It is a blasted romance. Let’s not go over that again. Now tell me will Levi be showing up in the next book?
Me: I don’t think so.
Sister: He could. There is ample leeway for another story, maybe bring him in to the lead, I would like to see that and why on earth did you kill off-
Me: You’re positive on the genre?
Sister: Damn it girl do I have to spell it for you? Would you rather ask mother?
Me: No! Romance it is. Thank you.
Sister: Anytime. Can you at least try to expound on the Duffy character. What exactly is he? And I don’t see why you couldn’t do more with Levi.
Me: I’ll work on it.
Sister: Do that and by the way you’re not getting the book back,
Me: That’s fine, consider it a gift.
Sister: I did.