I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I looked forward to Book Fair Day at school like nothing else.
The elementary school gym would be spread with tables, and you and your parents could peruse the Scholastic Books titles at your leisure (though your chance probably only came during one period of the day).
The process was streamlined later with four-color flyers sent home so you could order your books and they would be delivered to the school.
Recently, I re-evaluated how I’d describe the Retrowater Cycle while marketing the trilogy online. Romance? Science Fiction? History? Fantasy? Time Travel/Paradox? Mystery? Paranormal? Young Readers?
Of course, there’s a little of all of that going on in them. It made them tough to classify on Amazon!
But the thought that kept coming to mind was: I want them to be Scholastic Books for grown-ups.
Something that’s a little challenging to heart and head; that hits the thinks and the feels; that piques curiosity and hopefully makes you care enough about the characters to pursue the mysteries with them.
There are strong female characters. There are strong male characters. There are people of strong character! And many of them are regaining their youth and dealing with loss. So of course there are conflicts and differences of opinion and unresolved passions.
But they’re also generally kind, caring and intelligent people, who make the attempt to resolve problems and differences without a lot of self-centered drama. (Generally! — And some find out that doesn’t help!) People don’t have to be mean-spirited or driven by evil to have or create conflicts.
There’s no need to drag readers through salacious details of personal matters, and that’s the beauty of writing in the first person. Most people would not be that overly honest.
Besides, sex and romance are almost always more vivid in the reader’s experience when suggested rather than spelled out in every detail!
And if young readers enjoy them too, there’s nothing that their teachers or parents or individual consciences have to be concerned about.
So that’s how I’d characterize the kind of books they are:
Scholastic Books for Grownups.
Start me a new category on Amazon.