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AUTHORS: We like the books we support to be within our theme of “light in the dark paranormal.” We’ve picked the genres of adult fiction and non-fiction we would like to have on these pages, as shown below. If you’re an author who would like us to list your new book even if it doesn’t quite fit, send it anyway with the genre you think it should be in.

By the way, there is no one official list of genres and sub-genres. Amazon has its own; Smashwords has it own, and now Light in the Dark Paranormal has its own short list!

READERS:

AGENTS, EDITORS & PUBLISHERS:

Book Reviewers:

Editorial Service Providers:

Publicists:

Printers/Book Designers:

 

 

For actual titles on our niche-list, select a genre from the list below.

(link to separate page for each; repeat genre list)

Genres and Sub-Genres


SUPERNATURAL-PARANORMAL: We have our own definitions of what supernatural  and paranormal are. But because they’re not simple to define and not popularly understood, they’re not a dependable marketing category for publishers, booksellers, libraries, etc. So supernatural or paranormal fiction is sometimes hidden under mainstream fiction, or is subsumed by other genres. We suggest posting your supernatural story both here as Supernatural and in at least one other related genre/sub-genre (HINT: Supernatural titles are most often found under the Horror genre . . . only they’re not always “horror,” are they?).

Ghosts/Hauntings—even if classified as part of the Horror genre, these stories really occupy a sub-genre of their own. Books like Stephen King’s the Shining could be classifed in either category, but those like Shirley Jackson’s
the Haunting of Hill House are really not horror, but scary ghost stories. If you saw the book’s original movie version, the Haunting, were you scared or horrified? Carrying misleading genres to new heights, Wikipedia labels the story “gothic fiction.”

Psychological—based on the disturbed human psyche; often exploring insane, altered realities and the ambiguity of supernatural causes versus inventions of the human mind. Examples: the Turn of the Screw, Henry James; Patrick Hamilton’s play, Gaslight

Science Fiction—stories about UFO’s, abductions, cattle mutilations, cryptiod entities like Bigfoot, etc.

Paranormal Romance—among the most popular titles in the mainstream market, this sub-genre is really part of Romantic fiction. We include it here only because one or more of the main characters must be paranormal in nature. That also qualifies them as Supernatural as far as we’re concerned!

Occult Detective–Unlike the traditional detective, the occult version is employed in cases involving ghosts, curses, and other supernatural elements. If not actually with law enforcement, the detective is often a doctor or paranormal investigator inclined to metaphysical speculation. Some occult detectives are portrayed as being psychic or in possession of other paranormal powers. Some to the contrary are skeptical debunkers.

Paranormal Non-Fiction—research, accounts, journals, essays, and opinions of real-world hauntings, UFO sightings and abductions, Bigfoots, ancient mysteries and legends, and other documented and unexplained experiences and phenomena. Usually includes studies, eyewitness accounts, testimonies, or expert opinions.


FANTASY: fiction with strange or other-worldly settings that invite a suspension of reality.

Dark Fantasy–tales that focus on the nightmarish underbelly of magic, sometimes venturing into the violence of horror novels.

Dystopian Fantasy—sometimes classified as a subgenre of science fiction, and often written for the YA market, dystopian fantasies are about imaginary places where people lead dehumanized and fearful lives—an anti-utopia.

Urban Fantasy–defined by place, the narrative has an urban setting. Urban fantasy exists on one side of a spectrum, opposite high fantasy, which is set in an entirely fictitious world. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements.

Epic or High Fantasy tales with an emphasis on the fate of a fictional race, tribe, or nation often featuring a young  hero battling an insurmountable evil over many years. Of course, Tolkien’s
Lord of the Rings is the best example of that.

Bangsian Fantasy– 


HORROR: this genre claims many sub-genres that are described in dozens of different ways. Its like pornography: you know it when you read it. But instead of sexual arousal, horror causes sudden emotional stimulation characterized by fear, loathing, and an adrenalin rush that energizes a flight or fight response. Was the movie based on the Exorcist horror or supernatural? When I first saw it in a theater, I witnessed grown men get up and run out of the place! But I read the novel before I ever saw the motion picture . . . I couldn’t sleep the first few nights– too scared. My description: definitely Horror/Supernatural for the movie; Supernatural/Psychological for the book.

In other words, to be Horror it has to exploit your primal fear at its most basic level. Not just ghost or demon stories, the kind that scare you but don’t necessarily horrify you. Horror is visceral– biological/conscious jump-up and run away before you die fear; supernatural is cerebral– the more subtle psychological/subconscious keep-you-up-at-night or have nightmares fear.

Horror stories always overlap into other genres like supernatural, fantasy, science fiction and others– pick any sub-genre that you want to attach. One reader’s genre is another reader’s sub-genre, so we’re going to spare you a laundry list of combinations and permutations. As a reader or writer of such tales, you know what Horror is.

Having said all this, in addition to supernatural or paranormal categories, always post your ghost story to Horror whenever you can. Unfortunately, that’s where some readers, agents and publishers think they belong.

Worth mentioning: we do have an aversion to Horror/Slasher genres, as many of those stories feature only gratuitous violence, often against women. But if you are the author of such a story and you believe its still good writing and not just an exposition of blood n guts, let’s take a look at it!


SCIENCE FICTION: this popular genre has been defined as fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes. Its stuff that actually can happen, as opposed to Fantasy, which cannot. Like Horror, it encompasses dozens of sub-genres. Here are some we’d like to see . . .

Alternate History– speculative fiction that changes the popular account of real historical events.

Cyberpunk– stories featuring heroic interlopers entering a high-tech future where computers rule.

Dark Fantasy– tales that focus on the nightmarish underbelly of magic.

Dystopian– stories that portray a bleak future world; often combined with Cyberpunk.

Erotic– stories that combine with other sub-genres, but focus on sexuality.

Classic Science Fiction tales in which today’s settled science is suddenly enhanced or evolved into a future time. Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, where genetic technology is suddenly developed to the point of bringing back dinosaurs, comes to mind.

Heroic Fantasy– stories of war and heroes, often blending Dark Fantasy with Military SF.

High/Epic Fantasy– tales with an emphasis on the future of an entire race, nation, or planet.

Historical– speculative fiction set in a known historical period.

Military– war stories using future military technology.

Mystery– a cross-genre with a central mystery or classic whodunit. Example: Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip Dick. This work could also be described as Science Fiction/dystopian.

Mythic stories incorporating classic myths, legends, or fairy tales. A good example is a past television
script, Episode 15 of the original Star Trek series. Shore Leave combined the science fiction of the series with a visit to a planet inhabited by mythic creatures, including the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.


MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, THRILLERalthough these can each be genres in their own right, we’ve combined them into one super-genre. Again, the sub-genre attachments are endless, but there are obvious differences and more subtle distinctions among them. We can’t explain them any better than DailyWritingTips.com does. Name your poison on any one of these, attach any one of the above sub-genres to it, and you’ve got your book. Here are a few examples:

Mystery/Historical– a mystery taking place in a specific and recognizable historic period. Sherlock Holmes, anyone?

Thriller/Occult Detective– see above for Occult Detective description under Supernatural-Paranormal

Suspense/Espionage– the spy novel, only today the “spies” have been replaced by terrorists.

Mystery/Ghosts and Hauntings– see above for Ghosts & Hauntings description under Supernatural-Paranormal.

Of course, any of these combo’s can have supernatural/paranormal elements, which is what we’d like to see listed on Light in the Dark Paranormal.


NEW AGE/SPIRITUAL: this genre uses fictional story lines that are interwoven with the teaching of personal wisdom and growth. The narrative is not as important– the teaching is. New Age tends to be about laying out more secular spiritual principles in lieu of established religions. Example–
the Celestine Prophecy. Sub-genres are less important; the underlying message is usually fairly well depicted as its embedded in the story.


VISIONARY/TRANSFORMATIONAL: a relatively new category that may be more of a general type of fiction than a genre, as major genres and sub-genres can be written in visionary form.  Many visionary stories defy easy classification because they cover such diverse works crossing different genre lines. “Visionary is a tone as well as a genre. The ‘visionary’ element can technically be present in any genre and set in any time.”– VFA

Some examples:

Dystopian– The Stand by Stephen King . . . a visionary dystopian sci fi novel or visionary horror story.

Bangsian Fantasy– What Dreams May Come by Robert Matheson . . .  a visionary fantasy.

Thriller/Psychological– From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz . . . a visionary psychological thriller.

Supernatural/Occult Detective, or Supernatural/Ghost Story– Lanes End by Paul Hill (this author) . . . a visionary supernatural detective story, or a visionary ghost story.

 

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