View Full Version : Genre-jumping?

10-12-2007, 11:08 AM
At the moment, I'm querying literary agents, but I have a small dillemma concerning the genre thing. My first MS is a YA novel with a GLBT (heavier on the T) themes, so while looking through Agent Query, I'm doing a broad search for those who take in YA stuff, then a scan through for those who accept Gay/Lesbian fiction. The thing is, there are only a handful of listed agents who are listed as handling both YA and G/L, and what happens if I am rejected by all of them? Would an agent who accepts YA submissions disregard a submission that's GLBT themed if they don't indicate that they accept it? Would I be wasting my time querying those whose profiles/websites don't mention G/L material?

The other concern I have is of second, third, or further novels. I don't plan to write in just a singular genre. My second at the moment lies between YA and general adult fiction (its development is coming-of-age and beyond, much like Judy Blume's "Summer Sisters"; the characters start out in late junior high and the story follows them into their mid/late 20s.) Another project is supernatural, heavy on the sex scenes. Another is a more adult angstfest. All collaborations with my husband are strictly Fantasy. Do I search for an agent with the broadest range of materials accepted? Am I worrying too much about future works?

(Also, I have a problem if any of my works, especially the current WIP fall under "women's fiction" vs "general fiction". Many of my main protagonists are females, but the stories are no "Ya Ya Sisterhood" or "White Oleander". Or is my definition of women's fiction majorly skewed?)

10-12-2007, 07:19 PM
I am not the best person to answer all of these questions, and therefore I'm only going to answer one of them since I vaguely know the answer to it. Wehn I was trying to decide what genre my novel was, I was all over the place, thinking it could be anywhere from mainstream to thriller to women's. How did I finally decide to call it women's? I asked myself who, if they were browsing in a book store, would be most likely to pick up my book? The answer was women in their twenties and up were most likely. While the story has other elements that do throw in a thriller aspect (military scenes), the main character is on the homefront and not in the thick of the "battle", and her story centers on relationships. I hope maybe this helps some.

10-12-2007, 07:27 PM
I can't help you at all.
But I can add that my current WIP is a mystery with heavy (read: BDSM) sexual situations. I'm lucky that there are categories for Erotic Thriller. But I'm with the OP, what about cross genres that aren't widely accepted? What do we do about those works?
I look forward to reading this thread.

10-19-2007, 10:11 PM
Bump. Anyone got any advice?

10-19-2007, 10:24 PM
I'd say a lot of YA agents would accept a story with GLBT elements, even if they don't specifically list it as an interest.

10-19-2007, 11:09 PM
I'd guess it really boils down to each agent's personal taste.

10-20-2007, 12:20 AM
Well, there was Harry Potter and the GLBT of Fire.


What the hell does GLBT mean? Am I that out of it?

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-20-2007, 12:28 AM
Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans, I believe.

10-20-2007, 12:35 AM
Well, there was Harry Potter and the GLBT of Fire.

That absolutely made me laugh! Good one!

Penguin Queen
10-20-2007, 03:17 AM
Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans, I believe.

That, yup.
TBH, it wouldnt even occur to me that an agent should specify that they do handle LGBT themes, I wuold jolly well expect them to handle these as well as all other YA topics. Sex, sexuality, identity, is stuff that figures heavily in YA lit, isnt it?
(Sorry about dodgy typing, cuaght index finger in door. Ouch.)

As foir the multi-genre thing, yeah, I'm thge same - my published book is literary short stories (with a smalllit press), I am currently looking for an agent for a finished mystery, am working on a travelogue & a collevction of children's stories & have an idea for a lit adult novel. When looking for agents I have to make sure they do both fiction and non-fic, and children's as well as adult.
I'd worry about finding one that covers all the genres rather than the LGBT thing. :)