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Literary and humorous

Each day, Something Missing seems to pop up on another bookselling website, and each time Google Alert informs me of this, it’s just as exciting as the first time.

Though admittedly the book’s appearance on places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble were a little more breathtaking than the others.

What I’ve found most interesting of late is the categories under which the book is listed:

Fiction- Literary; Fiction- Humorous.

The Literary tag simply implies that the book is of a serious nature, focusing more on style, psychological depth, and character, whereas mainstream commercial fiction (the page-turner) focuses more on narrative and plot (this definition from Wikipedia).

I like this distinction. Though I actually think that the book is a bit of a page-turner and has strong mass appeal, the English major in me would like to think that the book is more than just a paperback suspense novel about a thief. It certainly focuses more on character than plot (I started writing with the character in mind and no plot whatsoever) and I like to think that the attention I paid to stylistic elements has been noticed and appreciated.

But it’s the Humorous tag that has me especially intrigued.

You see, I cannot remember a single moment in the writing of the book when I tried to be funny. In fact, had you asked me if the book was humorous while I was writing it, I would’ve said, “No. No way. Not a chance in the world, buster.” In my mind, I was writing a story about an unusual and quirky guy and the life that he had created for himself, but never did I think the book would be considered humorous.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the humorous tag (what writer doesn’t want to be thought of as funny?), and in rereading the book, I saw the humor in the story, discovered it really, and found myself laughing out loud at my own words from time to time. But in some vomit-inducing, artsy-granola way, it wasn’t me being funny.

It was Martin.

Martin’s life; his thoughts and ideas, the way in which he lives, and the principles that guide him turned out to be funny. I didn’t try to make them funny, nor was I even aware of the humor in his life during the writing process. I only found it later. Once I had stopped whapping on keys.

So I find the tag quite surprising. When asked to describe the genre of my book, I have great difficulty. People seem to think that all fiction falls into one of four categories: Suspense, horror, political thriller and chick lit. Though Something Missing certainly has a good deal of suspense, it’s not a suspense novel. Taryn, my agent, has described the book as quirky fiction, and I think this is an apt description, though it often leaves people scratching their heads, wondering what the hell quirky fiction is.

In the future, perhaps I’ll add the word humorous to my mangled description.

It will at least make me feel good.