As a writer, I am forced to pidgeon-hole my work. My words must fit within certain parameters to even be considered by lit mags (ebook publishers are, thank goodness, much more open-minded in terms of genre).
The problem with gothic fiction is:
- It’s not necessarily horror.
- It’s not necessarily paranormal.
- It may or may not have romance, mystery, or suspense thrown in.
- It may or may not also be fantasy, or sci-fi.
Gothic fiction is, a pile of contrasts. And while gothic stories are popular (for instance, this is the fifth time “Darkness Cornered” and the third time “A Slip of Wormwood” have topped the Fictionwise rankings), magazine editors get really picky about stories fitting into their perceptions of “what works.”
(I especially hate it when I go to a magazine’s submission page and there’s at least two printed pages worth of “Do not bother sendings stories with ______ in them” lists. Have an open mind, guys. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean others couldn’t do it better [and I’m not referring to myself, either].)
It makes it really difficult to find homes for stories that are a bit too short for the ebook market.
Of course, I’m not going to change what I write, just to fit in with what’s selling. I like my ghosts, my vampires, werewolves, my necromancers and gargoyles and zombies too much.
But it is a frustration. I don’t want to pidgeon-hole my work. It is what it is, and I’m not going to change that.
Maybe I should start my own magazine…..