Genre Talk

Genre Talk: Never Say Never – Pippa Jay on Genre Blending & Zombies

Hi Everyone! I’m on vacation in the mountains this week and my author pal Pippa Jay has kindly offered to entertain you while I’m away! Pippa Jay has visited us before to chat about sci fi and sci fi romance and she’s back today for Genre Talk – the blurring of genre lines and…zombies. Take it away, Pippa! …

Pippa Jay on Genre Mash-ups and Zombies…

If you’d asked me in 2009 what I wrote, I’d have told you SciFi. A year later, I had to adjust that to SciFi Romance. Now my author tagline is “SciFi and the supernatural with a romantic soul”, but even that doesn’t quite cover it.

In the last year, I’ve hopped from one genre or sub-genre of speculative fiction to another. I’ve had a go at mixing them up too. By the end of this year, I’ll have released a cyberpunk short, a SciFi romance with a succubi assassin, a paranormal romance short with a warlock, a YA paranormal with zombies, and a decopunk superhero romance. Right now I’m working on a futuristic urban fantasy and a YA post apocalyptic short.

Sound confusing? Maybe. It just seems to be the way my muse works. I don’t write to trends or the market, and very rarely to specific submission calls – unless it really sparks off something. I suppose since it’s all speculative fiction it’s not that big a leap from one to the other, and there are plenty of cross over books when it comes to mixing up genres. But it’s important to me to write the story that’s in my head and in whatever genre it wants to be.

However, I’d already decided there were certain genres I was never going to write, even though I’d already strayed from what I thought of as my home genre. I couldn’t see myself ever writing erotica or contemporary or historical romances, and I don’t have the smarts to write thrillers or murder mysteries.

But last year I learned the hard way to never say never. Over the summer I came up with an idea for a zombie story. Now, I hate zombies. I hate horror films. I don’t like scary things or gory things, and I’d only just written my first ever paranormal. But the idea wouldn’t go away, and while it was nagging at me I couldn’t think about anything else either, dammit. NaNoWriMo was coming up, so I decided the best thing to do would be write it for NaNo, get the thing out of my head, stick it in a virtual drawer where I’d never need to see it again, and move on. No way was this freaky story ever going to see the light of day.

One week in, and a publisher I’d been following announced they were doing a NaNoWriMo critique event. Submit five pages and a brief synopsis, and they’d critique it. If they liked it, you’d get a fast track pass through their submission process if you chose to send them the finished article.

What the heck, I thought. I’ll send mine in, they’ll laugh, and I can bury it.

Nope. The publisher LOVED it, and issued a request for the full. Stunned doesn’t cover my reaction. My freaky zombie story that I hadn’t intended to write or publish had an offer.

So I finished it, didn’t shove it in a drawer, and rather than leaving it to sit like most WIPs, I dived straight back into revising it.

And now that freaky, almost-never-saw-the-light-of-day story will be released next month. (And I’m going to admit that now I love it as much as the rest of my stories, though it scares me just a little bit!).

Never say never…
Restless in Peaceville by Pippa Jay book cover
Restless In Peaceville

Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising…from the grave…

Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems…

But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?

And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.

A YA supernatural novella, coming from Lycaon Press, 20th August 2014.
Excerpt | GoodReads | Pippa’s no-spam newsletter

Pippa Jay Bio
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), two self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply and The Bones of the Sea), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

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