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Saturday, March 12, 2016

What Have Mashups and Travel Got In Common?

'Tis spring again, a time when many of us think of the magic of Ireland. I'd like to feature my evergreen novella, To Kiss A Leprechaun, today. It's a love story for all ages, a delightful tale with wizards, witches and plenty of the lore and lure that is Ireland. It reminds us that beauty is not just skin deep, and sometimes we must overcome our fears in order to find the hidden gem of true love.

I just read an article titled The Future of Fiction, by Jacqueline Seewald. It discusses how mashup novels are changing the face of fiction. Jacqueline explains that a ‘mashup’ refers to the blending of two or more genres in fiction writing, such as classical literature and horror. She points out that as the borders are blurred ever more in fiction, the rigid ‘rules’ of how to write a mystery or a romance are dissolving and are being replaced by an ‘anything goes’ type of novel, true to the creative urges of the author.

I tend to see the world around me as interactive. I look for signs and nudges from the universe in everything I see, so her article acted as a verification of something I’d been pondering for days. 
Story ideas can flood into our minds at the oddest of times. A bizarre skiing holiday with my teen son and some friends this month caused the seed of a very strange story to start building in my mind. 

We drove to a ski resort for a few days of snowboarding. Him, not me. Our friends had found the ski resort and it was a real bargain, although I’d never heard of it before.

From the moment we arrived, everything was ‘off’ and the employees were hostile. Every single one of them. The mountain was oppressive, like it didn’t want us there any more than the employees did. They were all glazed-eyed zombies (maybe that’s a genre I should throw into the mix!) and had no interest in communicating. Some looked downright menacing. 

There were abandoned buildings all around the property, the place was falling apart from total neglect, and at times threatening looking locals drove up the mountain for a few hours skiing. The restaurant/bar was not filled with chatter and laughter; a brooding silence filled the packed room. 

On the second night my son awakened to a nightmare where the spirit of a Native American woman who had died on the mountain hundreds of years earlier begged him to help her free herself. He did, by the way, discovering an unknown gift he inherited from his father, but that’s a story for another day. 

I had the dilemma of wanting to leave immediately, but not wanting to spoil everyone’s fun on the slopes. And since the trip was prepaid, I decided to take it one day at a time.

My mind went into creative mode… it occurred to me that there is a deep dark secret there, that the entire ski resort is nothing more than a front for a heroin production and distribution facility. The staff members are all addicts. A young woman arrives for a weekend holiday and stumbles into a building she shouldn’t be in, or sees something she shouldn’t see. Yes, a Gothic ski story is born. The hero might be a rough looking biker by day and an undercover cop at night… paranormal events abound and she doesn’t know if they are real or manufactured, or if she can trust the enigmatic but dark hero who seems to be stalking her. Is he looking out for her or has he decided she needs to fall off a cliff on the treacherous double diamond run? 

It’s a story unlike anything I’ve written before, and it doesn’t fit in any one genre, or even two. I’d describe it as a paranormal mystery Gothic romantic suspense thriller….

I was about to set the idea aside until I read Jacqueline’s article, which I took as a sign from the universe. Maybe I should give it a whirl. The freedom to write the story the way it unfolds, without wondering how many rules I'd be breaking, is alluring. If nothing else, writing such a different story with free creative license could be as liberating as coloring in a coloring book or doing dot-to-dot books for adults. Creative therapy, right?

My muse is celebrating the thought by launching some firecrackers. Maybe there really is a place for such a strange novella, if I can figure out where that place might be.

Have you ever written such a mashup cross-genre story? Please share your thoughts on how to market one and how you would list it on Amazon and other platforms. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

GEMMA JULIANA writes all kinds of love stories, from contemporary to paranormal. She has a penchant for romantic international settings. Gemma lives in a cozy cottage in Texas with her very own hero, teen son, and a spoilt dog who rules them all. Chocolate and coffee nourish her muse and fuel her creativity. She loves hearing from readers.


Cara Marsi said...

Gemma, I love your idea of a Gothic ski story. Love the picture you painted of this ski resort, so dark and haunted. Go for it! It'll be a great story. I've never done a mashup story but I understand what they are, like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, the book and the movie.

jean hart stewart said...

Wow, this sounds intriguing. Go for it girl. I'd love to read it!!!!

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