Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Choosing a Fiction Category

Depending on a few last minute details, like the cover art and final formatting, my next novel Follow That Mouse will be released in September.  It will be another Small Towns, Big Ideas novel, with high school aged protagonists in the current time.

Unfortunately, I'm still not certain what kind of a novel it is.  Young Adult Fiction for certain, but is it science fiction or fantasy?

Consider this trial blurb: "Ranch kids in rural Utah discover a scientist stranded in an abandoned military base and struggle to save their community from a billionaire intent on discovering the mind control secrets invented by the scientist."  That one sounds science fiction, once you buy the concept of a science of mind control.

But how about this one: "The animals of Ranch Exit were all acting strangely, and when Dot and Ned followed a mouse to a hidden tunnel buried under the mesa, they found themselves caught up in a wizard's duel between the ancient wizard underground and the eccentric billionaire intent on making himself a god-king of the valley." This sounds more fantasy, and once you throw in the nature of the mind-control artifacts, it's even more so.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of publishing, I have to make that call soon. Everything from the ISBN form to the various marketplaces all require one or more of the standard subject codes.  You can see the BISAC standard subject codes here.  Some places let you choose multiple codes, but others just one.  Even the ones that accept multiple subjects still tend to highlight the first one in the list.

So, am I trying to push a YA fantasy or a YA science fiction?  At the moment, I'm leaning towards fantasy and that feels so strange because I've always considered myself a science fiction author.

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