When I wrote Becoming Mia I thought of it as a coming of age story. It was, of course, semi-autobiographical, but it was fiction. I thought of it as literary fiction. After I showed the manuscript to several people who know the literary business, I was informed it was historical fiction. The story, after all, took place more than 50 years ago.
My book was literary historical fiction.
Shortly after I released the book I received a phone call from my husband’s cousin. The first words out of her mouth were “Did you marry Chip?”
No explanation that the book was fiction, that Chip did not exist, so I could not marry him, seemed to satisfy my cousin-in-law. I have had this same conversation many times since and it has convinced me that many of my readers think of Mia as a romance novel.
It is true that, among other topics, love and sex are covered. But how can you write a story of a college student without discussing love and sex? You can’t. So my heroine Mia falls in and out of love and she confronts the problems of sex. Does that make it a romance?
I guess, for purposes of selling the book, it does. I want to sell the book. Rumor has it that nothing sells a book like love and sex.
So, as of today, Becoming Mia is a romance.
How do I let romance readers know this is just the book for them? By changing the cover, or course.
And that is what we have done. The new cover, at the top of this page, has roses. Red roses. There is nothing as romantic as red roses.
And for those of my readers who are into literary historical fiction, let me assure them that nothing other than the cover has changed. Becoming Mia is still a coming of age story set in the crazy, turbulent 1960s. It is a literary historical fiction romance.