Horror this. Sci Fi that. Fantasy whatever.
This isn't the post I intended to do. I intended to go all "I think Loathsome, Dark, and Deep is about as good as it gets and my query is coming along nicely thank you very much blah blah blah."
No. I'm going to talk about identity instead.
I'm a member of the HWA because being a member of a professional organization is the right thing to do. I've always felt that way. I joined the NEA when I started teaching. Do I agree with everything the NEA does? Hell no. Do I agree with the HWA's policies? Doubt it.
But I know I'm not a horror writer.
Oh yeah, I write horror. Really dark sh*t sometimes. (Nothing pleasant at all about "The Distillery" forthcoming in Necrotic Tissue.) But mostly I just bend the rules of reality. Cyborg children. Clockwork birds with souls. Dead people who are neither zombies nor vampires. Books that don't require magic words for the magic to work. Implants that make men want to eat each other. (Okay, that one was pretty horrific.) And don't forget the goldfish.
Sometimes, I look at other writer's websites, and say to myself "ooooh, look how he/she has tailored everything (graphics, words, etc.) perfectly for horror/sci fi/fantasy/what-have-you". Then I feel a little sad. "What's my schtick?" I ask.
But I know what I write. It's usually dark if not horrific. It's weird. At the best of times, it touches something universally human. At the other best of times, it's entertaining enough. I'm still working to become a better writer (read: I haven't quit yet). I want those best of times to hold hands and skip tra-la through every word, sentence, story, and book with my name on it. That's a big job.
So does lack of a clear cut genre identity really hurt? Commercially, maybe. I dunno.
By the way, Loathsome, Dark, and Deep is done. Done. Done. It's a wonderful historic-adventure-science-fantasy-horror novel. I hope you can read it some day.