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Thrillerfest mindset rambling and ranting from a lunatic on the edge…..

With Thrillerfest having just taken place this past weekend it got me thinking.

We didn’t go because to be honest it was a bit too expensive for us. However having talked to some people who were there they all seemed to have a good time in New York.

But that’s not what I’m blogging about.

The term THRILLER is showing up on an awful lot of books, a lot of which quite honestly are not thrillers. It seems to be the latest hot word for books. Some of these books are really good and everyone should read them, but they shouldn’t pick them up because they are looking for a great thriller. It seems that by joiing the ITW you are automatically a thriller writer.

When I think “Thriller” I think David Morrell, Lee Child, Gale Lynds, Steve Berry, Barry Eisler etc.
I don’t think a book that is obviously a police procedural should be called a thriller. Amatuer slueths are genreally not thrillers. PI books are not thrillers. While they may have thriller aspects they should not be marketed as thrillers. I think it’s actually misleading.

For me a big part of a thriller is the pacing. Jan Burke wrote a great thriller called NINE. on the cover: A Novel Of Suspense. it was that too. But it sure had the thriller pacing down pat. Labeling a book a thriller raises certain expectations in my mind and when I read it I expect certain things.

And why label a book at all? Why label so many books as cozy? So many books with that lable are actually not so much cozy as they are “Traditional”. Granted, if you have a cat (especailly a talking one), or recipes are gardening tips, chances are it’s a cozy. But Denise Swanson isn’t really cozy, her books are really more traditional.

Another over used phrase is Noir. I won’t even get into the whole waht is noir debate. Old school fans have strict guidelines and charts and graphs, newer fans have a little more open minded view. But here again, a lot of this is being labeled in order to help market books, when truthfully a little bit more broad term might be better.

Its a little like wine or beer isn’t it?
A dark pilsner with a hint of Musky European flavor that lingers.
What the F*%K?

Here’s another. Sports Utility Vehicle
Anyone out htere actually using one of these bad boys for sporting events?

What am I getting at? I guess I think we need to back off the over labeling of books. Why not let the reader decide what it is? I understand the marketing departments dilema. They feel the need to label it so us moron book buyers know what it is. But readers read, they can look at the jacket copy. Or how about ” A novel of suspense”? That covers a lot of ground.

Is there an answer for this ?