Peter’s getting close to publication on another book… I’m calling it a western.
This one isn’t a western by strictest definition, because it’s set in the civil war naval battles, instead of out west. Which is going to interesting to market, because the most likely readers will be the western genre readers, even though it’s not technically a western.
This is one of those conundrums. You can *write* anything, but how to find readers? That’s where covers and genre make the author wince and complain “but that’s not right!”
Yes, I know. However, the market for “civil war” is utterly dominated by non-fiction books, and the reader expectations for the civil war fiction are very centered on the massive land battles. If I try to market this for “people who want fiction about civil war sea battles”, that’s going to be an extremely tiny market and almost impossible to find.
If I try to market this for “people who want civil war fiction”, it’s going to be very oddball and lost against the land battles.
If I try to market it under alt-history, then it’s going to massively disappoint the readers who expect the modern-mentality protagonist and the rapid pacing and the tropes of alt-history, like massive divergence from history due to “if only this had happened”.
So in tone, in style, in pacing… it’s a western. We market as a western, because it’ll hit all the things western readers like in the classic western subgenre, from faithful historical detail to a more formal wording. The cover image (old oil painting style), and the font will match those expectations – even as it’ll probably show an appropriate ship on fire, to signal that this is, indeed, at sea with battles.
As for the title – Peter is trawling civil-war era poetry as we speak, to come up with an appropriate title. Which is why I’m getting jokes over coffee about heaving bosoms and my pulchritude…
Never dull around here!