Connecting Authors to Readers

Pioneering Previously Unpublishable Genres

The Rise of New Genres

I remember sitting in a workshop at writer’s conference about five years ago when one of the attendees asked the visiting editor from New York why publishers didn’t print books featuring college-aged characters (18-25). The editor replied that there wasn’t a market for them, and likely never would be.

If I have learned one thing about the publishing industry, it is this: everything changes. What is wallowing in the deep, dark, off-the-radar abyss today could be hot-trotting all over the best-selling lists tomorrow. And despite our desire to appease and allure book editors in NY with what they say they want, these peeps don’t know everything. And it’s likely that a writer who has done her homework and has written a book that been begging to be written might know a bit more. Which is why I loved meeting author Angela Corbett (Eternal Starling) at a book fair last winter. Angela, along with many others, writes in the New Adult genre—that one that was deemed unmarketable and unpublishable five years ago.

And that’s not all.

What tickles my toes even more is discovering another new genre that one of my own books, The Ghost in Me, fits into: Spirit Travel. The Spirit Travel genre was coined by author Mimi Barbour (We’re One), which can loosely be described as two spirits existing in one body. While this genre is encompassed under the Paranormal umbrella, it is nice to have a sub-genre that beautifully and succinctly alludes to specific plot elements. Indeed, Mimi and I are not alone in the Spirit Travel genre and can give a wave toward other writers, Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound) and Stacey Kade (Body & Soul).

Never say never.

About the Author:
Shaunda Kennedy Wenger is an author of 8 books for children and a cookbook (with one more on the way!). The summer of 2012 marks her 10th year navigating the publishing industry. Her experiences have led her through contracts with NY and foreign publishers, agents, small publishers, local and national magazines, and now, her latest adventure: self-publishing. Her first book, The Book Lover's Cookbook, Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages That Feature Them (Ballantine Books) was featured as a National Public Radio holiday gift pick in 2003. She has five titles published for the educational market, which include Caterpillar Can't Wait, Watch a Butterfly Grow, and In Black Bear Country. In 2010, she released The Ghost in Me. This paranormal, middle-grade novel for tween and teens has received much note-worthy praise. Her second book, Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again, won the 2011 KART Kids Book List Award for young readers and the 2012 Purple Dragonfly HM Award. Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire is her newest paranormal book for tweens. To learn more about Shaunda, visit


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