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Manor Lakes Specialist College: 1. Fairy Tales or Horror Stories? Historical Romance or Steampunk?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 , Posted by Sandy Fussell at 4:58 PM

First – the introductions! Hi Manor Lakes. Maybe you’ve seen some of my books on your library shelves. I haven’t been an author for long. In fact I only started writing a few years ago when I was working on a joint writing project with my son and he told me to “Go write your own book.” In other words, butt out and leave my story alone! I thought that was a fair enough comment and good advice. So I started writing.

But I have always been a reader. And that’s a writing tip right there – every writer I know is an avid reader. My favourite genre to read is fantasy and when I first started writing, I thought I would write a fantasy book. I did but it was terrible. So authors don’t always end up writing the kind of stories they read.

What is your favourite genre and why? Do you have a favourite book in that genre? Some of my favourite fantasy books are Lord of the Rings, The Old Kingdom Chronicles trilogy by Garth Nix, The Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn, The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver and The Rangers Apprentice series. Are they on anyone else’s favourites list?

Sometimes I wonder how many genres, or kinds, of books there are. So I decided now was good time to do some Internet research and I found 59!!!! Something for everyone.

Let’s see if we can manage to find a book for every one of these genres and subgenres – I should warn you some of them are pretty tricky. Leave a comment suggesting a title and the genre/subgenre. Some books might belong to more than one genre. I wonder how many genres a single book could belong to? I’ll be very impressed and happy to add more genres to the list if anyone can find some. If you are unsure about any genre and can’t find a description on the internet – just ask me. Maybe we’ll agree to cross it off the list!
Adventure/Action, Comic/Graphic, Fantasy (alternate world, animal, Celtic, comic, contemporary, dark, folktale, heroic, high, historical, medieval, myth, prehistoric, romantic, steampunk, superhero, sword and sorcery and urban), Gothic (a story of romance and horror ), Historical Fiction, Horror (body-related (disease, mutation etc), ghost stories, natural disaster, psychological thriller, and supernatural) Humour /Comedy, Crime/Mystery (detective, medical, police procedural, spy, supernatural, and whodunit) , Poetry/verse novel, Political, Romance (contemporary, historical, paranormal, fantasy, and time travel ), Science-Fiction - 'what if' stories that are based on science (alternate history, apocalyptic, biopunk, cyberpunk, gothic, steampunk, time travel, space colonization and urban), Suspense/Thriller (crime, medical, disaster, spy, conspiracy, supernatural, psychological), War, Western.

You can print out the list here. Go for it!

PS If you want to ask a totally unrelated – question – feel free. You can even post a book review. If it is a few sentences put it in a comment and if its longer email it to me and I’ll post it to the blog. I’m always looking for suggestions as to what I should read next. Don’t forget to say what genre it is.

And while we are thinking about books in general, ask Tye to put this one up on the screen for you: Not only is it a great book trailer but in Australia the book is published by the same people who publish me!

Currently have 25 comments:

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello Im Stacey Lower and i'm in 7Rohan
    I think the idea is GREAT! and the blog is good and i'm thinking about reading Samurai kids it sounds very interesting. My favourite book is Eclipse out of the Twilight saga and I think it fits into the spine chilling horror genre- do you think we could add it to the list?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi i'm Lohgan Nash and i'm in 7 Rohan at Manor Lakes College and I think the task is a great idea because I've never heard of all these genres and I think theres a lot more I can find and it will be a good challenge. My favourite book is the Spooks Apprentice book and it's genre is Horror - supernatural.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, my name is Tanaya Mathieson, i am in 7 Rohan in Manor Lakes College. I think it is a great idea to help kids like us to become creative writers! I never new there were 59 genres! but i found another one.......
    Its from my favourite book series, Darren Shan saga the vampire's assistant. I've also read another book called vultures gate by kirsty Murray, that has a genre that wasn't on your list, POST-APOCOLYPIC. I LOVE BOOKS and i am hoping to become a writer as well. I am glad i was chosen for this! :)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi. My name is Tegan, and I am in 7 Rohan ManorLakes College. Tye introduced us to your blog, and I reckon its awesome. My favourite book would either be Gone, hunger (the second book) or the girl who could fly. I found out that Gone is a post-apocolypic.

  1. Hi Stacey, I'm going to make a big confession here but I haven't read Twilight. I do however have a copy on my desk in my 'To Read' pile. I also have Eclipse. I don't know whether we could create a genre called SPINE CHILLING HORROR (although it's a great name for a genre!!!) because I think all well-written horror is supposed to be spine-tingling! Do you think perhaps the missing genre is PARANORMAL and under that we should have some sub-genres like HORROR and ROMANCE? I'm told Twilight would fit into both those sub-genres. What do you think?

  1. Oh wow I am getting lots of good new book recommendations. I do book reviews for another blog and three of us reviewers wanted the Spook's Aprentice books. I wasn't the lucky person who got to review them. From what I've heard - definitely HORROR (Supernatural). What number are you up to?

  1. And that last comment and question was for Lohgan!

  1. Hi Tanaya,I certainly agree that Darren Shan writes spine-tingling horror and I'll also admit I am too wimpy to read it. I had a quick Google to see the plot for The Vampire's Assistant and after reading about the wolfman ripping off the arms of one character and eating another - I've decided I can't read that one! I would be too afraid to go out in my backyard at night(it's very dark with no streetlights nearby). Like I said to Stacey I'm not sure we could create a new sub-genre for SPINE CHILLING horror as I think all good horror is supposed to be that. So maybe we need a different category - what about HORROR (supernatural) or HORROR (paranormal). I definitely agree about Vulture's Gate. In fact Apocalyptic and Post Apocalyptic are standard Science Fiction sub-genres so I shouldn't have put one in without the other. Do you think it would be SCIENCE FICTION (post apocalyptic)? I'm pleased to hear you want to be a writer. Perhaps you would like to post a piece of your writing or email it to me and I could make some comments.

  1. Hi Tegan, I definitely need to up my horror and post apolcalyptic reading. I haven't read any Michael Grant. I was offered the books to review but instead I chose the Phoenix Files series by Chris Morphew and I thought they might have been a bit similar. Have you read those? Do you think Gone and Hunger would fit SCIENCE FICTION (post apocalyptic) if we created that? Tanaya found a title for that category too - VULTURE'S GATE.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tegan again! I really recommend the Gone series, Lies, the third book is coming out in September, and I am very excited. No, I haven't read the Phoenix Files, but I think I will definitely read them, if you think they are really good. At first I wasn't too sure about genres at first, because I usually just classify books as really good, alright, or not very good. I didn't really understand what post apocalyptic meant until Tye explained it to me.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow you haven't read the Twilight series you have I recommend Eclipse thats the best book out of the two I have read Im almost finished breaking dawn. Getting back to the point paranormal that is a good genre but Twilight, you can't really put it in one genre it is more like romance with some action some horror and some fantasy. Paranormal thats a great new genre and it fits into Twilight. Stacey

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sandy,

    We are curious to know, having had a lengthy discussion about the meanings of the words supernatural and paranormal in the case of a book like Twilight, where there are supernatural beings with paranormal abilities, do we use both sub genres or does one over ride the other?

    For Example does Supernatural in this case supersede paranormal???

    We wondered what you think?

    Thanks Tye :)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sandy, i am surprised to hear that you're a bit scared to read The Vampire's Assistant. I really enjoyed it, but i guess its because i have prior knowledge of vampires by reading the Twilight saga.
    I definitely think that the sub-genre should be supernatural because the book is very inhuman. With the Vulture's Gate genre, i think there is a bit of Science involved, so Science-Fiction~post apocolyptic is the perfect genre for it. I will find my best piece of writing and post it to you. I am going pretty well with finding books that go with all the genres and sub-genres that you found.
    From Tanaya

  1. TEGAN, I really like your rating system! - really good, all right or not very good! As a reader I would add two more at each end - at the bottom I would add 'awful' I have read some truly awful books. And at the other end I would add 're-read'. Some books are so good I know that one day - even if it is years away - I will re-read them.

    You have also inspired me to think we should have a recommendations page on this site where we can keep track of all the books we recommend to each other. I know I already have a few to keep track of - the GONE series you recommended and the SPOOK'S APPRENTICE series LOHGAN suggested. I will add a page to the blog for it this weekend and when it is done perhaps you will write a short paragraph about the GONE series and why other people should read it.

    I'll get back to you on that...

  1. STACEY you are dead right (no zombie pun intended!) when you point out TWILIGHT could fit into a number of genres. I think that would be true - and correct - for many books. I am defintely going to read TWILIGHT. In fact I have been reading vampire stories for a long time. Even before there was a paranormal genre. When I was in high school one of my favourite books was THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES and it is still a bestselling series even though it was first published in 1976!!! The first book was called INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE and was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise. But everyne said it was worse than awful so I didn't go - I didn't want to see a favourite book as a terrible movie.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Really it was published in 1976?? that was a long time ago and its still going. That would of been a bad time for you when you would of wonted to see your favourite book as a movie. Stacey

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tegan again. You know what, that is a very good idea. Putting awful and re-read on the rating system I mean. I have definitely re-read plenty of books before, and one book I have read 5 or 6 times! It's called DRAGON HOME and it is one of my most favourite books ever! I won it in a project competition in grade 4 , and I couldn't get enough of it! It is definitely classed as a re-read, and I REALLY recommend it to you!
    I think it is an awesome idea to have a recommendation page, because I'm always going around recommending books to everyone. While I'm on the subject, I recommend you to read the following: THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY (a definite re-read!) MARLEY AND ME, PROMISE OF THE WOLVES (re-read!) A DOG'S PURPOSE, CLEO, and WESLEY (RE-READ!)

  1. STACEY You have given me an idea. I will do a blog post later about books being made into movies and which ones worked for me and which ones didn't. Another of my favourite books was a major Christmas movie release (last year I think) - THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX and all the reviews said it was awful. So I didn't go to that one either.

  1. TEGAN, This weekend I am going to load a new page to the blog site so we can keep track of all the recommendations. I love it when people share their favourite books - that how I find new favourites. So next week... watch this space. Well actually the space along the top where it says HOME etc becuase there will be a new heading there!

  1. TANAYA, it is SO SO EXCELLENT that you are going to send me a piece of your writing to look at. Don't worry about which bit is 'your best' - just pick something you really enjoyed writing. Often that turns out to be best anyway. One of the key bits of advice I was given when I started writing was to 'write what you love'. It wasn't until I started writing about the things I was really interested in like samurai, Japan, myth and ancient history, that I produced my best writing.

  1. PS TANAYA, I am so easily scared that I cover my eyes when the suspense music comes on in a movie! I say it's becuase I have a good imagination but it might just be that I am a wimp!

  1. Aha TYE, you are asking a hard question. I think that categorising books can be very subjective and often it is opinion. I also think TEGAN touched on an important point in that while genre classification helps us make reading decisions (and find things in bookstores!) ultimately as readers the most important categorisations are how much we liked the book.

    My personal opinion is that SUPERNATURAl being those things which contradict the natural world or order by definition includes all PARANORMAL. And vice versa.

    My own books end up in all sorts of genres. I think I am writing historical fiction but I have seen Samurai Kids and Jaguar Warrior classified as FANTASY and MAGICAL REALISM.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sandy

    The Tale of Desperaux- I've never heard of it before actually i've heard of it is it about a mouse? Anyway yes don't you hate it when you read the book and then go to watch the movie and it's just not the same the movie that really disappointed me was the first Twilight because I didn't have a clue what was happening in the movie so I had to watch it again to figure out what actually was happening because it was just to fast but now I know the actual story line now


  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Sandy,

    I am up to the 4th book in the series The Spook's Battle.

    Lohgan ;D

  1. You and I definitely have similar reading tastes LOHGAN. The Wardstone Chronicles is already on my to read list! A friend of mine was sent one to review - not the first book - I think it might have been the third. She read it because it was her job to review it but she thought it was so good, she bought the whole series and then recommended it to me. Luckily I can borrow them all off her!