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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Self-pubbed and Small Press


It’s the end of the month and tomorrow we change our theme from 'Genres' to 'Self–pubbed/traditional and other writing formats'.
I thought I’d kick off the subject so, a day early, I’m writing on my experiences. Many years ago when small presses started to show up I met with an editor at RWA. It wasn’t in the regular sessions RWA has. The company had a small hotel room and met with people in a separate room. I had been rejected by traditional pubs, so I pitched to Starlight. They liked the story and several more. I became one of their authors and never had any regrets. I learned the editing and revision process; how covers were designed and how much input the author had and the actual publishing process. One editor moved to another small press and I followed her there and learned a little more. It was a great experience.

I also co-authored a horror-romance. He wanted to use a different small press, so we went t with that one.

They were all good to work with, and are still around, maybe under a different name. They only drawback, and I believe it’s the same with traditional publishers these days unless you’re one of the well-known authors, was you had to do your own marketing, and you received a small percentage, in royalties. After several books, and hearing from other authors about self-publishing I decided to try that route. I’ll talk more about that next week.

Please share your experiences with any writing format. I know other people would love to hear about them. And check back Thursday for an exciting post on other writing formats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

On Genres with Kelli A. Wilkins

This week we’re going to find out a little about author Kelli A. Wilkins. January’s theme is ‘Genres’ so Kelli will be talking about genres. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

Loving a Wild Stranger was released in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

Kelli's third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?
Kelli: I write romances in nearly every genre (historical, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, and gay) at all heat levels. Some of my romances are mild (Loving a Wild Stranger) and others are super-sizzling hot (Killer in Wolf’s Clothing). I feel drawn to historicals, but I’m not “married” to the genre. If I’m inspired to write a character’s story, I go where and when the idea takes me. That could be in any time period, in any setting, and in any genre.
Although I’ve written several historicals, they all have different settings. For example, Loving a Wild Stranger takes place in the wilds of the Michigan Territory in the early 1820s; Lies, Love & Redemption is a western set in 1877 Nebraska; Dangerous Indenture takes place in Pennsylvania Colony, and The Viking’s Witch is set in 804 in Scotland. Setting books in the different locations and time periods lets me explore plot ideas and create unique characters for those settings.
Beverley: What prompted you to write in the genre/s you do?
Kelli: I like reading about history, watching historical movies, and visiting historical places, so all that plays a part in my interest in writing historical romances. I enjoy researching what life was like hundreds of years ago and learning about how people lived, what they ate, and how they survived in different time periods. I incorporate this information into my stories and use details to flesh out the characters and settings.
Beverley: What genres do you enjoy reading?
Kelli: I like to read everything in all genres: thrillers, mysteries, horror, suspense, non-fiction, and romance. When I read romance, I don’t just stick to historicals, I read paranormals, contemporaries, or whatever sounds interesting.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Kelli: I started writing professionally about fifteen years ago. At first, I wrote short romances and horror fiction. From there, I progressed to full-length romances. I still write horror stories, and I’ve been published in several horror anthologies.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Kelli: I’ve always been interested in writing and was an avid reader from a young age. So in a sense, all the books I’ve ever read have influenced me in some way. When I was growing up, I watched Twilight Zone reruns and got a taste for great storytelling. Later, I read a lot of Stephen King, and again, learned about the craft of telling an interesting story, adding details, and developing characters. I also took writing classes that taught me the basics. From there, I was encouraged to submit my stories.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Kelli: I don’t have many obstacles when it comes to outlining, writing, or revising a book, but finding enough time to do all that can be challenging. Writing a book is a time-consuming process. Authors need to set aside time every day (even if it’s just an hour) to work on a writing project, and sometimes finding the time to write (while still having a non-writing life) can be hard.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Kelli: A great idea will always inspire me to grab a pen and paper and start writing! Sometimes I’ll see or hear something that sparks an idea and that will give me the basis for an entire book. Of course, once I’m writing a book, the characters and the story keep my creative juices flowing. Even though I plot out my books and have a good idea of what’s going to happen next, every once in a while my characters will surprise me and take things in a different direction.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Kelli: Getting interrupted! When I’m in the writing zone and I get interrupted (by the phone or whatever), it’s sometimes hard to get back into the story.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Kelli:
Coffee is a must, and then usually cereal, oatmeal, or eggs.

Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Kelli:
I like to be comfortable when I’m writing, so I’m usually in sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Kelli:
That depends on the season. If it’s warm, I like to sit in my yard and write. During the winter months, or when it rains, I usually write in a chair in the living room. I actually write my books using pen and paper, so I can break out a notepad and start writing anywhere. When I’m editing or revising, I’m in my home office.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Kelli: Believe it or not, I watch a lot of cartoons. I find that their simplicity relaxes me and makes me laugh after a long day at work. My favorite is Felix the Cat. Felix is a favorite because I love cats (especially black cats) and he was a wiseass troublemaker who always found a clever way out of his jams.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Kelli: I think it would be interesting to sit down with authors that I read (Stephen King, John Sandford, Preston & Child) and talk about their books, characters, and their writing processes. I’d also like to meet several musicians and enjoy free concerts!
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Kelli: I’d probably spend most of it working on a book! Then I’d go for a walk or do something fun with my husband or friends.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Kelli: Last year I started re-releasing my romances previously published with Amber Quill Press. I’m re-reading, editing, and revising each book as I go, and most of them have gotten great new covers. I’m continuing that in 2017. Right now, I’m editing three books: Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights. They make up a super-hot historical/fantasy trilogy. All three books should be available in February. In addition to that, I’m working on a new (as yet untitled) historical romance. I’ll be pretty busy in 2017!

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers. I welcome questions, comments, and feedback about my books. Readers can contact me via my social media pages or by the email address on the news page of my website.

Blurb for Loving A Wild Stranger

 A woman running from her past… straight into the arms of an untamed man

In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and forced to rely on her instincts, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride.

Committed to her deception, Kathleen calls herself Michelle and starts her new life with Luther in an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. Michelle has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from.

Luther’s friend, Redfeather visits and tries to convince Luther to send Michelle back east. Distrusting Michelle, he warns Luther that his bride is not what she seems. But Luther is in love with Michelle, and he is harboring a secret of his own—one that might force Michelle to reject him when she learns the truth.

Michelle falls in love with Luther and adapts to her new way of life. Together, they face off against brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy everything.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6M551H
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1190943526
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loving-a-wild-stranger-kelli-a-wilkins/1125413251?ean=2940154172131
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/loving-a-wild-stranger
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/335361512/Loving-a-Wild-Stranger
Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/51d0c248-fe8d-4a14-b1db-b524786870f4
24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1854921

You can find Kelli at:
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/   
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview. This time a   discussion on Self–pubbed/traditional/ other writing formats, and why?  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cover Reveal


I know it’s Genre month, but I thought I’d use this blog to reveal my new cover, and write a little about the genre.
What do you think of the cover?

By Design is a mixed genre. I write romantic suspense, which should be fifty percent romance and fifty percent suspense. The stories should be intertwined, but able to stand alone and there should be the HEA ending. By Design started out as a romantic suspense, but turned into a medical thriller. It’s about cloning, and takes place in an isolated hospital in northern California. And I’m not revealing whether it has a HEA.
Here’s a blurb:

Evie Dalton succumbs to the temptation of a lot of money and a chance to work more closely with the sexy Dr. Adam Marsden. She moves from Los Angeles to an isolated hospital. Strange things happen at the hospital – dark limos slide in and out, screams pierce the night and there’s an animal farm on site. People disappear and turn up dead. The towns people don’t talk because their dependant on the hospital for their livelihood. The sheriff is more concerned about his job than finding the truth. Now Evie fears she might be the next to disappear.

Dr. Adam Marsden thought he had it all – great job, money, and chance to buy his own hospital. But he hadn’t counted on Evie Dalton and the fact he could also become a victim. Now they’re both running for their lives.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Why Writers Write


Happy New Year and welcome back to our group blog. Our great topic This month is “Everybody wants to write a book, but most do not. Writing is hard work. What got you started, and what helps you get through a complete story?”
How many times have you heard someone say, I’m going to write a book about that? They never do. I’m not sure what got me started. I’ve said several times before, I’ve written forever. In my teen years, I wrote locked room plots. I never wrote a whole book. I kept saying I should, but work, family life, got in the way. I still wrote, but never that book.
Then in my early forties I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was lucky. It was diagnosed early, but I’m one who believes things happen for a reason. I thought about where I was in life. I had a family, we’d done a lot of traveling, I had a great job. So, what was missing? And they only thing I could think of was that book I’d kept saying I would write. I had surgery, read, and practiced the Power of Positive Thinking and survived.

And I started to write. I did some reading about getting started on a book and it said writing romance was easy. So, I started a romance novel. First, romance isn’t easy. You need strong, well-developed characters, a good plot and great dialogue. And second, I like to read a good romance, but I need a murder, or crime or something suspenseful when I write. I finished that book. Why? Because I felt I had to, or I might get another nudge from somewhere in the universe. That book is hidden where no one will ever find it.
I’ve been writing ever since. Why? Because it’s addictive. It’s part of my life. I can’t imagine not ever writing. I’m published, but it’s the writing that’s so important. Once I start a book, I have to finish, because I’m never quite sure where the story will go and I need to find out.

Now I’m curious why other started and I’m heading over to find out. Check out the other authors below.
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Heather Haven http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-SK
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rachael Kosinski
http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com


Thursday, January 19, 2017

On Genres with Mary Martinez


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Mary Martinez. January ‘s theme is ‘Genres’ so David will be talking about genres. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and hers writing, and answer some fun questions.
Mary lives in Magna, a little town west of Salt Lake City, Utah. Together with her husband, she has six grown children, and six wonderful grandsons and five beautiful granddaughters. She loves to spend time with family and friends--she includes good books as friends!

Mary and her husband love to travel, especially to the Caribbean for relaxing, and Italy for the wine. And most recently she discovered she was Irish and Scottish, of course they had to visit Ireland and Scotland. Mary fell in love with both, but the green hills of Ireland felt like home.  With the experience from the exotic places she has visited, she is able to fill her books with colorful descriptions of cities, painting a colorful backdrop for her characters. One of her favorite US destinations is New York/Brooklyn, where her beloved Beckett's live. When she visits, she can wander their neighborhoods, favorite parks, and visit their favorite pub, Putnum's. http://putnamspub.com/
They are avid concert ‘Ho’s’! Yes, they pretty much want to do them all. They love outdoor amphitheaters the best and attend as many during the warmer months as possible.

Mary writes mostly romantic suspense, romance, women's fiction, and she has just begun to dabble in young adult mystery. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). During her writing career she has been a conference coordinator, workshop presenter, and chapter president for the Utah Chapter of RWA. In 2007 she was presented with the Utah RWA service award in acknowledgment and appreciation for outstanding service. Mary has also participated in numerous library panels on writing and co-presented a workshop on writing a series at the League of Utah Writers conference.
Mary and her husband are also enthusiastic college football fans. They have season tickets to the UTES, University of Utah Football and they tailgate every game. They love tailgating so much, that they were married at a tailgating in 1999.
GO UTES!

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?
Mary: I like to write Romantic Suspense. However, I have done Romance, Women’s fiction, and most recently Middle Grade with my three oldest grandsons.
Beverley: What prompted you to write in the genre/s you do?
Mary: I love to read romantic suspense and romance. The other two genre’s just sort of happened.
Beverley: What genres do you enjoy reading?
Mary: I like what I write. And that would be the only thing I would say a few years ago, but since I’ve been in a book club that has changed. Now my tastes in books have grown more diverse. I’ve read books that I would have never picked up on my own. We just finished reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. It’s about the concentration camps during the Nazi occupation and World War II. I loved the book, I think it was one of our clubs favorites.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Mary: I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Seriously writing? Since around 2000.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Mary: No one. I’ve always had stories in my head. And the tales I’d make up to tell my mother when I knew I was going to be in trouble for something, were whoppers. Sometimes they worked and most the time she saw through me.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Mary: First and foremost that I could actually do so. I wrote little stories growing up that were garbage. When I finally decided to write a book, the kids were older and I told myself it’s now or never. I guess the actual answer to your question is; I had to overcome myself and self-doubts.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Mary: You never know. It could be something I see that triggers an idea or it could be something I hear. I came up with the story idea for Watching Jenny when I was driving to work for my day job. The radio was blaring, as usual, and Alanis Morissette came on and I thought; “What would happen if a rock star had a stalker, and not one of the usual ones.” And it grew from here. I also listen to music—loud—when I write. While writing that story I listened to mostly Alanis and No Doubt/Gwen Stefani.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Mary: Interruptions. And Work. I have friends who can write at work when they have nothing to do. Not me, if I’m at work I can’t get a germ of anything creative. I have tried to go to a coffee shop at lunch and write. It works better for editing because when I’m writing, I just get on a roll and have to quit.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Mary: Weekdays, coffee and a fiber bar. Weekends usually eggs, bacon or sausage, and toast. Oh, and coffee.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Mary: Usually jeans and a sweatshirt, unless it’s summer then a Tee.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Mary: When I’m at home, my office. But every other month I meet my Critique partner for a writing day at Barnes and Noble. And once a year we do a weekend retreat and just write.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Mary: Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino. Because I have them on my bucket list, I would love to write a screen play with the two of them. I know it would never happen, but how fun would that be?
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Mary: I usually try to write, but if the house is dirty I have to clean first. I can’t write in a dirty house.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Mary: I just finished Profit Book V of The Beckett Series. I’m in the editing process.
Beverley: If you could be anything other than a human, what would you be and why?
Mary: I would be an Alien on another planet filled with beautiful gardens. I would want it to look like Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand or Kauai, so really green.
Beverley: Imagine your fairy godmother were to wave her magic wand and bestow a million dollars upon your bank account.  What would you do with the money and why?
Mary: I would set up accounts for my grandkids for college. I’d pay off my house and then figure out how much it would cost to live the rest of my life and set up a bank account that would pay me a salary each month and I’d write and live normal. Left over money would be split between my kids. And I would include money for travel. I have had this planned for a long time in the event that I win the lottery.
Beverley: What books have you had published? And tell us a little bit about them, please.    
Mary: I have a couple of novella’s, but here are my full-length novels.
Watching Jenny Known as Blade with wild pink hair, tattoos and piercings, Jenny McGregor works to keep her life private. But her self-constructed barriers are breached after she receives flowers and threatening notes signed by ‘Runner’.
Classic Murder: Mr. Romance Adam enjoys a lifestyle most men only dream of. Then one day he wakes up to find the morning headlines blaring, "Another victim falls prey to Mr. Romance. Who is next?" He suddenly realizes his way of life is not only frivolous, but deadly.
Chick Magnet When Madison and Brady meet, oranges roll. Thanks to Payton, Brady's nephew. The first eye contact over the fruit table causes the air to sizzle. No matter how much Madison resists the attraction, the two are destined for each other.
Romance and Misconceptions What happens when one small misconception changes the lives of six people? Oops, I mean seven; I keep forgetting little Abbie gets a dad.
Three Brides and a Dress Bella is a wedding dress. She has three adventures. The story is mostly in Bella’s point of view.
Four Sisters The early sixties was a time of making love, not war. Kathleen finds love and starts a war with her family.
The Beckett Series
Disappear After two years undercover as an FBI agent to infiltrate a crime organization and discover the identity of a hit man, Tyler Beckett’s cover is blown. Tyler’s new assignment is to protect the only witness who can identify the mysterious killer. If only he didn’t find her so attractive. Each day it becomes harder to keep his objective, especially since he knows the interest is mutual.
Innocent All Jessica wants is a home and a family. So how did she suddenly find herself falsely accused of a felony and then kidnapped by a hit man?
Quiet Christine Beckett’s dream of partnership in a prestigious New York City law firm has finally come to fruition. She has financial security, a loving family, and owns her home, why does she need a man?
Illusion Special Agent Reagan Beckett left Brooklyn for San Francisco ten years ago—and on bad terms with her family. When the World Banking Association (WBA), one of the biggest worldwide financial institutions, is targeted by domestic terrorists, Reagan is called to join the team with two others in New York City. Now she would be home for an extended visit.

Coming soon:
Profit Matt Beckett is the Chief Financial officer for Development International Group (DIG), a company that provides interest free loans to the poorest countries. Matt’s easy going lifestyle is threatened by an agency trying to take over the World Banking Association (WBA), the parent company of DIG. He doesn’t have any desire to be involved in cloak and dagger stuff, he’ll leave that to the other law enforcement Beckett’s.
Abandoned Glenna Beckett loves her family dearly, but being the youngest of six can be overwhelming. Moving across country helped her learn who she was outside the family. She’s built a successful business in the form of a quaint shop on Main Street of Calistoga, that sells a bit of everything vintage, the new age term for antique. What more does she need?
History Mysteries – Written with my three grandsons.
Zeke Adams has mixed feelings about visiting his nana for the summer. On the one hand, he’ll get to see her and his two younger cousins, Nick and Bart, but then they’ll be stuck all summer in the small coastal town of Cliffdale, California—a place they all believe will be boring. But it turns out, it's anything but boring.
Beverley: What is your philosophy of writing?
Mary: Do the best you can. Forgive yourself if you can’t keep to your writing schedule because of life and work.
Beverley: Finally, name the one thing in life you do not at this moment possess, but wish to have with all your heart. How would you go about making your wish come true?
Mary: I found my birth Father’s obit and found I had two sisters and a brother. I have met the oldest sister, she’s only three years younger than I am. We get along wonderful. However, the other two do not want to meet me. I am hoping that over time they will see that my sister enjoys my company that they’ll change their mind.

Blurb for Three Brides and a Dress

Hi, my name is Bella and I'm one of Heidi by Design signature creations. I'm a wedding dress. Someday I'll find a young bride with stars in her eyes and dreams of a future with her groom. I can imagine it now. The groom standing at the altar waiting, his gaze fixed to the door where his bride will appear and then walk toward him. I'll hug her curves and she'll shimmer and shine with the promise of what their life will be.

It all sounds simple and easy, doesn't it?

Wrong...

My journey is more of a zig zag than a top stitch along a straight seam as I search for the perfect bride who is my soul mate.

Buy Links:

Print only:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/three-brides-and-a-dress-mary-martinez/1116048892?ean=9781490966168
Books A Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Three-Brides-Dress/Mary-Martinez/9781490966168?id=6218957261198
IndieBound http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781490966168

You can find Mary at:

Web site: http://www.marymartinez.com/
Mary’s Garden Blog: http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/
The After Work Cook Blog: http://theafterworkcook.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marylmartinez
Faceboook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Mary-Martinez-1375378959454858/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/marylmartinez3/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTww3B2ofa11UPFrSe0WGAg
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102169317869219350490/102169317869219350490

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and discussion of genres.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are Mixed Genres Important?


How important are genres and mixed genres in this day to publishing in today's market? What do you look for when you’re picking a book to read?
I have posted books to this site that are a sci-fi, paranormal suspense romance with a touch of fantasy. Would you buy this book?
How many genres are there today?
Nonfiction books





 
Suspense
 
 Romance Novels- sweet, suspense, western, historical



 Thriller Novels– legal, medical


Short stories

Memoirs

Cookbook

Graphic novels

Literature and Fiction

Western

Historical

Paranormal

Women’s fiction
 
Help me out here. I copied the first list of genres down to short stories from Predators and Editors. Then I checked Amazon’s list and added the next four. I looked at the list and added the next four I thought were missing.

Then I went back and started to add sub-genres. I’m finding it a little overwhelming. As I’ve said previously, my books are romantic suspense, but contemporary western romantic suspense, with a touch of paranormal.
So, what genres am I missing? What about sub-genres?