Saturday, August 9, 2014

Diversifying the "Inspirational" Category

I'm on a bit of a mission here. I wonder if you can help me out?

The idea for my book, The Gathering of the Three was brewing in me for several years before I ever started to write it down. It was born out of 16 years of deep inquiry into many spiritual traditions, especially yoga and Gnosticism.

Now that I'm at the point of seeking representation and publication, it's interesting to try to place myself in the market. My guiding thoughts have been - there is room for a book like this as evidenced by the success of novels like The Alchemist, The Celestine Prophesy, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and What Dreams May Come.

In writing queries to agents, however, I still struggle to figure out which category to place myself in - fantasy, paranormal, new adult, women's lit...nothing seems to fit. I thought of Diana Gabaldon's work, which to this day confounds book store owners for its genre-bending content - historical with time travel? Yes! And multiple weeks on best seller lists will attest that good writing and good storytelling prevail over preconceived categories.

An interesting category I recently stumbled upon is "Inspirational." Turns out that inspirational refers to strictly Christian authors. As a person who puts herself firmly in the "spiritual but not religious" category, "inspirational" is not a good fit.

That's disappointing. My hope is that my book is, in fact, inspirational. It's a story with complex characters dealing with a battle between good and evil, who work with spirit guides and find clues in their past lives. The characters must go through their own healing in order to become great healers themselves, and along the way I hope readers glean something for their own healing journey.

In some ways, it probably would be limiting to pigeon hole myself into a smaller category like "inspirational," because it is a pretty specialized market. My question to you is, do you like to read fiction that inspires you on a spiritual level? Not in a preachy way (I certainly hope my book is not), but inspiration in the way of remembering yourself as a spirit living in a body.

If so, you can help by showing agents/publishers that inspiration has an audience.

Please follow my page, google + and like my posts, comment - that's how we can cast our vote.

We have to let publishers know that in a world of cynicism and popular culture that celebrates violence and twisted, dark themes, there is a call for something else.

If you haven't read the "inspirational" books I mentioned above, please check them out! Tell me other books that should be on our radar. Thanks for reading!

On another note - if you have read the titles I've highlighted, notice that all the main characters are men. I think that's wonderful, but my book includes a mix of strong women and men on a spiritual quest.

1 comment:

  1. Just added a very brief description of The Gathering of the Three to the "Book" page, but posting here as well:

    When Hannah, a young medical student, meets a spirit guide named Ariel, she discovers she has the power to heal with touch, but when she uses her ability, dark spirits try to destroy her. If she is to follow her destiny and stop the dark spirits, she must join forces with two unlikely allies who also have extraordinary gifts.