Guest Post: H.N. Lynn Talks About Underrated Genres


Hey Bookworms! 

Today, we have with us Author Hannah Lynn as a guest on the blog! Her book, The Afterlife Of Augustus Waters releases soon! 

Before beginning, let me introduce her to you! 

About the author:


Hannah Lynn was born in 1984 and grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction. Her first novel, Amendments, was published in 2015, her latest novel, The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, is out July 2018. Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.

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Now, I'll let Hannah take over!

       ~~~


When Anky and I were in discussion about the possible themes for my guest blog, this was the first idea that was brought up, and to be honest, it jarred with me. Underrated Genres. Underrated by who, I thought? By me? By the mass population of readers? Perhaps they were the same thing. I had no idea. That said, I love a challenge so was on board with the idea. However, I decided that I needed to research things a little further before I started writing. The teacher part of me loves a bit of data, so that was what I went looking for.
First, I went to the money. According to www.bookstr.com Romance and Erotica are where the money is, in fact, the gap between these and the other genres is huge. According to the data, the top five money earners was as follows:
1) Romance/Erotica - $1.44 billion
2) Crime/Mystery - $728.2 million
3) Religious/Inspirational - $720 million
4) Science Fiction/Fantasy - $590.2 million
5) Horror - $79.6 million
So were there any surprises to me here? Well you only need to look at the Amazon charts to know that Romance is always up there and every year there is another smash hit crime/mystery series, so I suppose those weren’t a surprise, but Religious and Inspirational, yes, that was bit surprising but less so than the absence of Historical Fiction.
Now, I am not a Historical Fiction reader by nature. In fact, it would probably be the last book I would pick off a shelf, so why did I expect to see it there? Well, as a self-published writer whose first book was Speculative Fiction and second book is Contemporary Fiction with an otherworldly edge, it seems like every agency and every blog out there are happy to read Historical Fiction but less happy to accept Fantasy and Sci-fi. I needed more data.


A quick stumble through www.writingcooperative.com led me to an infographic by www.ebookfriendly.com designed by UK-based creative search agency Mediaworks for Furniture UK. (Sorry if my quoting seems a bit manic here, I just don't like people not getting credit for things they do).
Now for me, one thing even better than data is a graph. (I once said this on a Kindle forum and Hugh Howey messaged me back with a graph meme. It is one of my career highlights so far). Once again Historical Fiction was at the bottom of the rung occupying 3% of sales, the same as YA. Only magical realism came in lower with 2%. Now magical realism I enjoy. Kafka on the Shore was one of the first Murakami books I read I have been hooked ever since, but I was still surprised to find Historical Fiction so low. If what I have seen is true — and they come from pretty good sources — Historical Fiction is, if not the most underrated, the least read genre of book.
Now, I said before that Historical Fiction is the last thing I would take off a shelf, and I stand by that. Throw me Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood or perhaps something humorous, like Adrian J Walker, please. Next, I'll head to mainstream contemporary fiction and then, possibly, YA. However, last year I found myself in that exact position of having nothing else to read.
A last-minute change in plans saw me taking my daughter to stay with a friend for a weekend and I forgot to take a book. Not having a book at any time is painful, but when you know you’re going to be in bed early — lots of young children — and you actually have some time, you need a good book. On her shelf, she had only one adult book. (I know what you’re thinking. In actual fact, she is an English teacher and staunch believer in libraries and ebooks). That book on her shelf was a Historical Fiction.
It was that or nothing so obviously I had to give it a go. I will admit, my expectations were low, yet within the first six pages, I was hooked.
It was one of the nights where you know you need to go to sleep, but you just can’t stop. You just have to read that next chapter, then the next and the next. The following morning, from the moment I woke up, it was all I could think about. What were they going to do? How was it going to pan out? Would she really side with her father rather than her husband? And that was only the start of the book, it got even worse towards the end. I was so desperate to know the ending I could have only been reading 70% of words on each page. (This is an awful habit of mine, which drives my husband crazy). When I finished the book I was crying. Balling. Happiness, sadness, grief, the lot. I was in a state of shock. It had been the most emotional rollercoaster that I had experienced with a book in years, and it was something I would never have chosen to read in a million years.
So now, I suspect you're wondering I am reading Historical Fiction on a regular basis? Strangely, no. Despite this amazing book I still find it hard to pick one off the shelf. I hadn’t even thought about it — not the book, but reading another Historical Fiction— until writing this post and that is desperately sad. Why? Because the book I read was part of a series, part of something I know I would love. Had it been sci-fi I would have been there in a shot. With a YA series, I would have no doubt bought the box set. So, in the interest of expanding my reading, and getting out of my box, I just ordered a copy of the second one online and I can’t wait to get it.

This book from an underrated genre that left me in tears was, in case you're interested to know, Here be Dragons, by Sharon Kay Penman. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

~~~

That was so enlightening! Thanks Hannah, for this awesome post!

Curious about Hannah's latest book?

Here's a little bit about it:


Walter Augustus is dead. His current state of existence has become a monotony of sweet tea and lonely strolls, and after decades stuck in the Interim — a posthumous waiting room  for those still remembered on Earth — he is ready to move on. Only when he is forgotten by every living person will he be able to pass over and join his family in the next stage of the afterlife. At last the end is tantalizingly close, but bad luck and a few rash decisions may see him trapped in the Interim for all eternity.

Letty Ferguson is not dead. Letty Ferguson is a middle-aged shoe saleswoman who leads a pleasant and wholly unextraordinary life, barring the secret fortune she seems unable to tell her husband about. However, when she takes possession of an unassuming poetry anthology, life takes on a rather more extraordinary dimension.


Buy The Afterlife Of Augustus Walters:


Amazon US ($0.99 only!)

Amazon UK (£0.99 only!)

Oh, and there's a...

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That's it for today! Don't forget to grab the book while it's on sale!


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