Figuring out the book industry

PhotoFunia Old Book theatre

I’m still not sure if I want an agent, but knowing the industry better will help even if I go the independent route. Figuring out the best genre fit has been difficult because every agency, publisher, and bookseller uses different  categories. I have several fits:

Urban Fantasy – My story revolves around the real world

Comic Fantasy – I’m sure many will enjoy the humor

Low Fantasy – Few fantasy elements

Literary Fiction – My novel is smarter than it may seem

Commercial Fiction – I prefer the High Concept category

High Concept – If I create a great hook; I fit


Comedy and Poetry Have A Timing

Baubo, the female jester from mythology, is also a poetry goddess known as Iambe.  For comedic or poetic effect, you need a shift in tone. Both often use a repeated phrase to develop the timing and both will shift the rhythm for particular purpose.

I consider the title character, of my novel, a disciple of Baubo. I want to make an appendix, in her voice. It will be tough.

Redesigning the Plate


Anyone familiar with Neil Gaiman’s novel, American Gods, should be able to puzzle out why I put Walt Disney and The Seven Dwarfs, in this class. Gaiman mixed trivia with Mythology, as do I.

The castration and musical theme of the Kouretes parallels gay cabaret, in a way. The Birdcage was filmed in South Florida. so the movie merges my local theme with the Castrati theme.

Florida links to Flora, the goddess of spring and we have a city named after Zephyr, so they work well in my puzzle.

I often call the cult, in my novel, a fertility cult; sometimes I see it as a sex cult, but you can also call it an ancestral cult. The marriage of Isis and Serapis works well as a link to the much older gods.

I tried to express in my last post, Making My Own Plate, that this is somewhat of a writing exercise. What did I learn? I suspect one or two allusions to The Birdcage will be made. I may use ancestral cult more often.

Making My Own Plate


Simplifying your literary work to a blurb or a simple visual image is difficult and related. The visual may help with marketing, but making the visual image may help in creating a better blurb.I see it as a way to reëxamine the focal points.

I keep using the Parabiago plate because it makes a good starting point. The two lovers, on the original plate may represent Demeter and Iasion; if  this plate depicts the birth of Zeus. Flora (Chloris) and Zephyr are another possibility and my preferred choice.

Rhea’s (Magna Mater) chariot takes up too much room on the plate, for my purpose, but I may use another shape—a mask shape. Other sections will change, but the Karpoi (the Fruits) and their offerings are a great depiction. The right side and the top of the plate have less to offer and I will probably use other symbols.

Wearing the whale mask

Jitterbug Perfume-mask

“There are people in this world who can wear whale masks and people who cannot, and the wise know to which group they belong.”

— Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

It is a weird quote unless you know about the tradition. Wikipedia describes the potlatch as a gift-giving feast practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and the United States. I allude to it in my first chapter.

Robbins plays more with his plot, but my novel has similarity to his style. I make more use of allusions, symbols, and mythology.

19th century Kwakwaka’wakw. Baleen Whale Mask