Of course, it isn’t something a writer should ruminate on too much while he is writing, but it is, as I’ve mentioned before, something that a writer must think about once he has finished, or is coming close to finishing, his work.
Whenever I begin thinking about audience, I feel compelled to place my book: Where does the bookstore shelve Dodging and Burning? In the Mystery section, because it is a mystery? Or in the Gay/Lesbian section, because it does have several gay characters at the center of the novel? Or in the Literature section, because it is about society’s attitudes toward gays and war, and gays in war, which is timely, and—most important to me—about the odd, often unsettling co-existence of fantasy and reality in our lives, which is something that we all experience.
As a writer and as a reader, I’m pleased that my novel doesn’t fit neatly in any category. That’s exciting, because its often the fiction which resists easy classification that most intrigues and surprises me. But I wonder if it’s going to cause marketing problems when (and if) it finds an agent and a publisher?
I would love any feedback on this, either from a writer’s or reader’s perspective. How do you feel about audience for your own work? Or what sort of reader do you consider yourself? Please let me know.