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Panel of Experts: Genre

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Question: If you had to label your work, what genre tag would you put on the bulk of it?

panel of experts genre

Horror and dark fiction/art seem to be the two big winners here, in terms of how we would label our work, if we had to label our work. Many of us balk at having to label, however, and many of us feel like what we do is specific and not just generally horror when that genre label has such wide-ranging definition. Some popular additional categorizations include science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, bizarre, thriller, literary, and speculative fiction.

Hopefully, disturbing.

Del Howison, writer

Horror’s fine. I know some writers think that’s a dirty word. I don’t.

Sanford Allen, writer

I like dark fiction because it isn’t as constricting a label as horror but others would argue that there’s no such genre

Adam Pepper, writer

I suppose dark fiction would cover it all, if there is such a thing. Personally, I love Clive Barker’s quote about this from his FantasyCon speech back in 2006: ‘Fuck genre. We are a continent of the imagination.’

Paul Kane, writer

Definitely horror.

Owl Goingback, writer

I suppose it would be horror – it’s certainly dark, but as I said earlier, I write everything from supernatural to psychological horror, and the pilot I’m working on at the moment is dark fantasy. Dark fiction probably sums it up best.

Marie O’Regan, writer

I couldn’t put a label tag on the bulk of my work. There’s no one group that’s important to me. I tend to think of myself as a fantasy writer and a crime reader, but very little of what I’ve written can actually be placed into the fantasy realm, as opposed to science fiction, horror, or erotica. So I have no idea.

Thomas S. Roche, writer

Supernatural thrillers.

Alexandra Sokoloff, writer

Ficta Mystica, or mystical realism. Which is not exactly a genre tag so, given my propensity for the dark stuff, obviously I’m a Horror writer. Or Terror. Or Suspense. Or Mystery. Or…

Gene Stewart, writer

The writer and visual artist in me would whine that labels suck and fail to really communicate what my work has to say. The marketer in me would label various projects as gothic or alt or science fiction or horror or erotica or literary, depending on content and likely audience. Heck, the marketer in me might even hit the paranormal romance branch, on the way down the segmentation tree.

Amelia G, writer

I’d probably call it, “speculative,” because it spans the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. But, of course, “speculative” tends to be more of a writer’s term than a reader/buyer/bookseller’s term. If pressed, I’d call it “science fiction/fantasy,” to conform to current labels, not meaning to ignore horror, but accurately to reflect the percentages of each.

Karen A. Romanko, writer

Jack Ketchum once said to me, “I never want to write the same thing twice.” Damn straight. I feel the same way. Most of my short stories are horror, but my books cross boundaries and are nothing alike.

Marcy Italiano, writer

Historical Horror, Dark Fiction, Weird Fiction, Heroic Fantasy

Angeline Hawkes, writer

I’m not sure one genre tag would cover all of it. Most of my writing skews dark, but I enjoy SF as much as horror — and combinations of the two a bit more, sometimes.

Ann Schwader, writer

Horror/Supernatural Thrillers

Anthony Izzo, writer

Suspense, probably.

Bev Vincent, writer

Occult, adult

Bob Johnson, writer

Horror and fantasy.

Carl Alves, writer

Halloween, dark art, horror

Chad Savage, dark artist

I would no more try to “label” my work than I would try to name just ONE favorite movie of all time. Impossible to do.

Connie Corcoran Wilson, writer

Horror/Thriller. I’ve been known to call my Wolf novels “North Woods Noirs.”

W. D. Gagliani, writer

Sensual Gothic.

Corrine De Winter, writer

Adventure, Military, Horror.

Derek Gunn, writer

Bizarro erotica with a hint of cheese.

Ed Mironiuk, dark artist

The bulk of my work would be considered supernatural horror. I’ve written only one psychological horror story, and never anything in any other genre that I finished.

Elizabeth Blue, writer

Dark Art, Horror Art, Monster Art, Monster Portraiture, Movie Monsters

Eric Swartz, dark artist

Bizarre. Equal parts horror, sci fi, with a twist of whimsy.

G. O. Clark, writer

Historical and romantic formerly, although now I have changed direction and I am writing horror/thriller which has been well-received so far.

Helen McCabe, writer

Hardcore Horror.

James Roy Daly, writer


Jameson Currier, writer

Dark fantasy.

Jean Graham, writer

Dark fantasy.

Jeanne C. Stein, writer

Erotica (even if it’s not strictly true). It’s the one thing that all my writing has in common.

Jemiah Jefferson, writer

dark fiction

J. G. Faherty, writer

Most of my art is “horror” these days, but I have crossed into many other genres. I also like to illustrate mystery. My poetry is dark poetry/horror.

Jill Bauman, dark artist

Noir and allegorical horror

John Shirley, writer

Southern Gothic Horror.

J. R. Parks, writer

Horror Comedy, or Horror Parody. Somewhere in there.

Kevin David Anderson, writer

Fetish fashion glamour

Larry Bradby, writer

History Gone Weird.

Lon Prater, writer

Most of what I’ve had published so far is travel essays and personal essays, but I hope that will change. My secret identity is a novelist, which I hope will be revealed soon.

Loren Rhoads, writer

Dark literary fiction.

Lisa Mannetti, writer

Horror. I ain’t afraid of the H-word.

Lisa Morton, writer

I’d say the bulk of my work falls under dark fantasy. I don’t shy away from gore when the story calls for it, and most of my stories have a supernatural or fantastical element.

Louise Bohmer, writer

Paranormal romance.

Margaret L. Carter, writer

”Speculative: Handle with Care”

Marge Simon, writer

My horror and SF pretty 50/50

Mark Onspaugh, writer

Speculative Human Studies

Matt Kennedy, writer

Quiet horror, literary horror, rather strange science fiction.

M. F. Korn, writer

I’ve had fiction published in nearly every genre, but I’ve been most successful with crime fiction and women’s fiction.

Michael Bracken, writer

Speculative – maybe that’s a bit of a copout, but it’s the umbrella term that seems to fit most.

Michael J. Hultquist, writer

Supernatural fiction

Mick Sims, writer

My own: “Dark Paranormal Suspense Thriller Fiction”

M. R. Sellars, writer


Nicholas Kaufmann, writer

Horror with an old fashioned twist

P. S. Gifford, writer

FICTION! No wait… POETRY. No wait… Oh, right, you wanted a genre. READABLE FICTION!

Rain Graves, writer

Suspense with cross-genre elements.

Richard Dean Starr, writer

Dark fiction.

Rick Reed, writer

Science fiction and horror currently make up the bulk of my writing, with some other things sprinkled on top.

Ryan M. Williams, writer

My publishers call it horror.

Sarah Langan, writer


Sèphera Girón, writer

Exploitation. Surreal. Bizarre. Horror. I think you wanted one…

Shade Rupe, writer

Horror, of course…and Lovecraftian as the subgenre.

Stephen Mark Rainey, writer


Steve Calvert, writer

Dark fiction (horror, mystery/suspense, thriller, sci fi and fantasy–and a mix of all these).

Steve Burt, writer


Steve E. Wedel, writer

Satire. Hollywood Witches satirizes Hollywood and the New Age. Vampire Nation satirizes Communism. Pentagon Possessed: A Neocon Horror Story satirizes neoconservative war hysteria. Manhattan Sharks satirizes corporate culture and job hunting.

Manhattan Shark’s cover parodies Ayn Rand’s book covers. Same art deco style, but subverted. The screenplay version was a finalist in the 2009 Moondance Film Festival’s script competition.

In terms of nonfiction, I’m primarily a film critic and journalist.

Thomas M. Sipos, writer

I have no idea. The ones I usually get are the typical catch all ones like lowbrow and goth etc. I see why that gets put on me but I really see what I do as more than that. I’m leaning more towards a fine art style these days but in a more lowbrow sensibility. I paint what I like.

Vaughn Belak, dark artist

Definitely horror.

Shaun Jeffrey, writer

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