On my stop of the Blog Tour for Relics, Tim Lebbon talks about Crossing genres––horror, fantasy, and thriller elements in Relics.
I don’t usually set out with a firm understanding of what type of novel I’m going to write. The idea comes first, and then I build upon the idea and gradually the novel takes shape. How it takes shape dicates where I’m going to try and sell it, and to whom. But it’s always the idea that is in charge.
That’s as true with Relics as with most novels I’ve written. I liked the seed of the idea, and the way I told the story grew and developed as I went along. It was only some time after I’d finished, and I was in discussions with my publisher Titan about promotional ideas, that a writer friend said: “Anyone who loves your horror novels, or your fantasy novels, or your crime novels, should love Relics.” I hadn’t even consciously thought about how all those elements had become interweaved through the story.
In truth, I try not to get too hung up on pigeonholing my work. I’m commercially-minded enough to understand how it matters––publishers and bookbuyers need to be able to place a project on their lists, booksellers on their shelves and websites, and many readers also like the comfort of a particular genre when they’re browsing new authors or books to read in their library, bookshop, or on their e-readers. Most of us are creatures of habit, and if we like a certain type of book, we’ll generally go for more of that kind when we’re buying or borrowing new books. I’m the same, and I’ll almost always gravitate towards the horror, science fiction, fantasy, and crime areas of a bookshop (and more lately, travel writing and sports).
But as a writer, genres are often not on my mind. I just try to write a good story. It turns out that th the stories what I like to write are almost exclusively fantastical or thrillers. I’ve yet to come up with an idea for a naval romance novel, or chick lit, or a non-fiction book about sculpture or painting flamingo (although I’ll never say never).
Since finishing Relics, I’ve come to realise that however subconsciously, it became a distillation of everything I enjoy writing. The influence of horror novels such as The Everlasting, Berserk, and The Silence can be seen in the darker aspects of this new novel. More fantastical elements––especially the underworld and underground––might not have appeared out of place in Dusk or Echo City. And the thriller aspects from novels such as The Hunt and The Family Man are obvious.
Perhaps that’s why I had such great fun writing this one. It has some pretty grim scenes of horror, and the challenges facing Angela are increasingly dark as the novel progresses. The fantasy elements will be obvious to anyone who’s read the back cover, and my world-building muscles were flexed when I had to conceive a way how the Kin could persist and live in a modern society without being found out. And the crime and thriller thread is the one that really drives the story––Angela’s search for her missing fiance, and her involvement with the criminal underworld.
It will be interesting to see which section bookshops stock this book in!
After reading this it has made me even more excited to start Relics, because it sounds amazing. Thanks to Titan Books for sending me a copy to review, and thanks for letting me be apart of this blog tour.
Don’t forget to checkout the other stops on the blog tour, the dates are below.