Just when I thought I could take a deep sigh of relief that (thanks to even more research & great advice) the query letter has become less confusing to me, I run into another issue - what the heck is my genre?
I seriously thought I had it all figured out - otherwise I would never have sent out four queries already - but then (as if they plan it this way on purpose) several of the agent blogs I follow starting talking about how to properly classify your genre. This is where my trouble began.
As with a lot of current fiction, there is a blending of genre's that happens quite often. For example : urban fantasy was created, because so many fantasy writers decided they liked putting their creatures in the "real world". Erotica came along, because there were readers who wanted more of the gritty stuff and less of the will they - won't they of traditional romance, etc.
The problem for new writers (those of us still trying to land their first agent & publish their first novels), agents want you to be real clear on what genre you see your book fitting into. Many specialize in a couple particular ones and want to make sure they aren't wasting their time reading your work if it isn't what they represent - which is understandable. Only, what are you supposed to do if you aren't one hundred percent sure anymore?
This whole time, I thought I was pretty safe in labeling my story as a paranormal romance.
Yes, part of it does take place in Tudor England, but it's more about seeing how much time has passed since the characters were mortal (not vampires by the way, in case you were wondering), so there isn't enough focus on the time period to make it historical. There are some tense moments where everything the main character cherishes is on the line, but not hardly enough to label it as suspense. And while parts of the story do take place in a modern day setting, there really isn't enough to label it urban fantasy.
But here's what it does have. Two characters who start out human and become immortal, they are madly in love with one another, and outside factors keep trying to rip them apart from one another. So I thought ... paranormal romance it is. Except, just last night, I read that in order to be considered romance it must end with a "Happily Ever After" sort of closing.
Son of a *****! My story ends with the possibility for happiness, but there is also the chance for uncertainty. So now I don't really know what to do. I guess I could always change the end of the story and make it more "happily ever after", but that would make me feel kind of cheap (not terribly, only 'kind of') . . . but if I don't change it, then what would I call it?
Anyone run into this problem themselves or have any suggestions on what I should call it? (I thought about cheating and still calling it paranormal romance, but I'd hate to be rejected by an agent when they got to the end of the synopsis and didn't see the "Happily Ever After")