Category Archives: Reading a novel

Genre Bending Novels ~ What, Where and How ~ Answers for Writers and Readers

Have you even wanted to write or read a book which doesn’t quite fit into the norm of genre?

For the writer

Here’s some useful advice for the writer on current trends, how to go about writing such a novel and how to pitch it or market it once it’s completed.

For the Reader

Following all of this useful advice are places to look out for the ‘best’ genre bending novels available on the market at the moment. Why don’t you check them out?

Moving on from my last few posts on Themes in novel writing I was planning to write a post devoted to Cross Genre and so I carried out some research, finding some wonderful articles on the subject and so I thought I’d share some of them here instead.

Why reinvent to wheel?

Cross Genre Novels Explained


An excellent blog which gives:

  • an overall picture of what ‘cross genre’ writing is
  • the current trends eg science/fantasy and magical/realism

How to Write & Sell a Cross-Genre Novel

Michelle Richmond, author of Year of Fog

as well as explaining how to write and pitch a Cross Genre novel she discusses the need to:

  • Recognize your primary genre—and use it as your compass
  •  Draw on your strengths as a writer, regardless of genre

cross genre writing

is a blog which tells you 3 Rules for Writing Cross-Genre Suspense

Lists of Cross Genre Novels

A good place to start for an up to date list of cross genre novels is


Other sites are:

which lists cross genre mysteries collected in different subcategories

Postmodern Mysteries

Is an eclectic mix of ‘off the wall’ alternative mysteries.

Genre Bending Novels

And finally above is a list of 50 top genre bending novels brought out in April 2020!

Where does that put my latest MISSING, Past and Present?

 Mystery  is a genre of literature whose stories focus on a puzzling crime, situation, or circumstance that needs to be solved. … Many mystery stories involve what is called a “whodunit” scenario, meaning the mystery revolves around the uncovering a culprit or criminal.

Women’s fiction is an umbrella term for women centered books that focus on women’s life experience that are marketed to female readers, and includes many mainstream novels or women’s rights Books. It is distinct from Women’s writing, which refers to literature written by women.

…but it’s not a typical mystery. There are no dead bodies and there maybe no crime committed, just missing people

… but it’s not marketed for women. Many of my readers have been men too.

You see, the thing about Genre bending is that you need to have an open mind when you read the novel and not begin with any preconceived ideas.


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Filed under Blogs, Book reading, Book reviews, Marketing your novel, Reading a novel, Writing, Writing a novel

Themes in Novel Writing ~ Theme 2 ~ Mixed Marriage

If you look back at my introductory post, ‘Themes in Novel Writing’ just over  week ago, I looked at why we need to be aware of themes running through our writing. These are usually premeditated, but some creep into our plot unawares.



As I have described my initial inspiration for my new novel ‘MISSING, Past and Present’ was from my voluntary work at a  centre for the homeless in Luton, and more recently for local folks in need at Kirkcaldy Foodbank. Recently I have written several posts on this theme.


Our very own Harry and Megan


~ as a theme crept up on me as I was writing, and I even back tracked to ensure that it flowed and challenged the reader throughout the novel. How did this happen?

I had planned for two of my characters, Orla and Jamal to fall in love. Orla is an Irish Roman Catholic who runs The Ark, a centre for the homeless, with her sister Laura. Jamal, my protagonist Dorothy’s foster son, is a Muslim refugee from Syria.  It was a potential union of two beautiful people, in both appearance and personality. They were such lovely young people that I needed tension and intrigue between them in some way to give the plot a jagged edge of uncertainty.

Dorothy also lived in  refuge for a while and got to know some of the young ladies living there. It was quite natural that some of the shared their stories with her; Dot being quite motherly and the oldest resident.

After I had written this chapter, the theme MIXED MARRIAGE popped out at me and I slept on that thought. I often solve plot issues in my sleep. The next morning I back tracked and revised Dorothy’s memories of her married life with Gerald, up until he disappeared. Before they were married Dorothy had been a non practicing Jew, although her roots were deep within her psyche, but Gerald was a practicing Church of England. Dorothy agreed to attend Gerald’s church as her compromise and when homeless it was a subject she reflected on when wondering where their marriage had gone awry and in the moments when she was trying to make up her own mind as to what she now believed.

I now had two types of mixed marriages represented in my novel:

  1. Interracial marriage
  2. Interfaith marriage

and both had similar and yet very different challenges and issues.

With Megan and Harry’s interracial marriage I had high hopes that some of the problems related to the first might evaporate, given such a well known role model. If their marriage was accepted by the Royal Family, no less, surely that would benefit the race relations of the whole nation. We shall see now won’t we?


Thus MIXED MARRIAGE as a theme in my novel added:

  • tension
  • intrigue
  • a way in which the reader’s own thoughts and ideas could be challenged
  • an issue pertinent to today’s world
  • a confrontation of  inherent racism, which I will develop further in my next post
  • a way to encourage readers to empathise with the characters as they became familiar to them

I did not try to give answers and I certainly didn’t preach, just highlighted the issues arising in a natural way as they would appear in real life situations. After all, we have to go through our own journey of awareness, some steps quicker than others.

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Filed under MISSING Past and Present, Planning a novel, Reading a novel, Writing a novel

Reviews on Goodreads ~ I was a Year behind ~ Are you?

I’ve just tried to catch up with my reviews on Goodreads which I’m ashamed to say were nearly a year behind. How did that happen?

In some ways I feel that Goodreads is as important (if not more so) than Amazon. Why? …because

  • it included books borrowed from friends
  • books bought in book shops
  • or even from a charity shop
  • and also books read from a wide range of sources including Nook, Apple etc and not just on Amazon (although it is owned by Amazon now)

I have not been able to catch up on all of the novels I read in 2019; there are just too many, but I have added, however, all of the reviews I’ve written on this blog to give a flavour of what I’ve been enjoying all year. I do not write reviews for books I would give less than 3 *** to.

After today I have made a promise to myself to try to keep these reviews on Goodreads up to date.  Also I will try to write my book recommendations on this blog, ‘DIANA’S REVIEW OF THE MONTH’ page, going throughout the year. Amazon is easier because you are given frequent reminders.

If you’d like to ‘friend’ me on Goodreads after reading this post then do let me know.


My verdict to myself ~ Could do better!

       Do you review on Goodreads?

         If not why not?

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Reading a novel, Uncategorized