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Mystery v Thriller v Suspense – Oh no!

I’ve always had a hard time deciding which categories my books fit into, mainly because there is always – always – murder involved. Inevitably, there will be a mystery to solve, dangerous and daunting challenges to overcome, and undeniably sinister antagonists to thwart. (At least, I think they are 😊)

Personally, I think the Pay Series belongs in the psychic suspense genre, but as you may know, there’s no such thing. Search psychic suspense and you end up at paranormal romance.

My novels are definitely not romance, though there is always a relationship brewing.

But are they thrillers? For sure. Is there suspense? Absolutely. Mystery? Without a doubt.

I even hired a professional to perform an in-depth analysis of every aspect of my books, and after reading Pay Attention, she felt that series belonged in the psychological thriller genre due to the profound insights into the mind of a truly delusional killer. That’s the last place I would have thought to plug it.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, my books just don’t fit neatly into any given genre.

So, I was on Facebook the other day – after the dread blackout of the day before, of course – (Hang in there, I'm sure I'll get back to the point in a minute) and someone posted about how movie production companies were looking for new material featuring female protagonists who don’t fall into the usual categories of: ‘Former Assassin’ ‘Tough as Nails Detective’ or ‘Military Special Ops’.

Well, you know where my mind went. I mean, Hulu just turned Nine Perfect Strangers into a TV series, right?

Wouldn’t it be cool, I thought, if my books about women like you and me finding their inner warrior were made into movies! A few readers have even commented in their reviews about how great it would be if Pay Attention and The Dells were turned into box office hits. It could happen.

I could see them in my mind’s eye, experience the fear and determination of the characters as they fight to survive the evil machinations of their enemies, and solve the mysteries underlying the events threatening to ruin – or end – their lives.

But who, I asked myself, would play the lead characters? Hey, I’m just being honest. This is how my brain works.

I’ll bet Amy Schumer would jump at the chance to play any one of the invariably entertaining moms in The Dells. Jennifer Lawrence might portray fictional author and dedicated friend C.C. Wainwright, and Jake Gyllenhaal would certainly fit the bill of her love interest, sweet and sexy detective Butch Cameron. Emma Stone would be in there somewhere too, without a doubt.

James Franco would, naturally, play the part of the fearless photojournalist Benjamin Drake in the Maeve Tidewell Series alongside Emily Blunt as the gutsy, determined single mother, Maeve herself.

Whew, I have to admit, I had never really thought about how many really gorgeous male actors there are in Hollywood right now. The possibilities are nearly endless. I’m pretty sure Emily and James have never done a movie together, and neither have Jennifer and Jake.

Maybe they should. What do you think? I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of making a book trailer, but maybe I should reach out to Jennifer and Jake and James and even Emily to see if they want to make one for me!

Okay, now I’ve crossed over into the realm of complete fantasy.

And then, of course, I begin to over analyze the question of what genre these highly praised films would be presented under. Oh well, the fantasy was fun while it lasted. And at least I’ve finally circled back around to the original premise of this post.

Online retailers generally only allow books to be enrolled under two categories (Though you can request to be added to three more under Amazon’s eBook rules) and I’m guessing movies are the same.

But what is an author to do when their books might fall under every category from Mystery/Thriller, Suspense, Women’s Fiction, or Female Sleuth’s to Psychological Fiction, Action/Adventure, and even Women’s Humor? I mean, lots of men like my books too.

It’s a conundrum, and because I’ve come no closer to solving this Rubix Cube, I decided I would ask you.

If you’ve read any of my books, I’m sure you probably had a genre in mind when you picked it up, right? So, I would invite my readers to drop me a line here about your favorite genres and where you think my books fit in the square peg – round hole issue of categorizing the kinds of stories you love to read.

The Author’s House, the third book in the Moms Weekend Mystery series will be out by the end of the year, and I’m sure I’ll know which category to put it in by then with a little help from my friends.

I mean you. You’re the friends. If you want to be one of the first to read and review it before it’s published, let me know and I’ll send you a free copy as soon as it’s ready.

Declan, (also coming out before the holidays), which is a kind of spinoff from the Maeve Tidewell series, will be a little easier for me to categorize, I think. It’s definitely Drama/Suspense and is quite different from my other novels. I can tell you right now, if Hollywood calls, I’m holding out for Henry Cavill and Renee Olstead to take the lead in this production!!

I originally thought maybe Emily Blunt for the role of Ailene, but she was already in Sicario. You know, Federal agent shedding light on the brutality of the cartels in Mexico, and I wouldn’t want to send her back to Juarez as a completely different character.

Aaaand, I’m back in fantasy land.

You know what would be fun? For my readers, not only could you tell me what category my books should be in, you should also give me your suggestions for who should star in the movies one day!

Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll start a Facebook group and post the link here once I get it done, since I just now thought of it. That way we can all get together in fantasyland and have a debate on which of today’s actors would bring the greatest ‘sizzle’ factor!

(Check back in a few days and I’ll try to have the group invite posted.)

Wait, one more thing! I almost forgot, since I started this blog post with one thing in mind and then went totally off the rails, that I wanted to share these twenty-five free books from twenty-five different authors with you. They all fall somewhere into the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense genres, so I’m pretty sure you’ll find some good ones in here! And who knows, one of them might just turn out to be the next blockbuster thriller 😊

See you back in a few days and don’t forget, if you want to read and review The Author’s House or Declan before they are released, let me know and I’ll add you to my list.

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