Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is It a Novel or a Memoir? This Is the Question

The book has been written, the second book started, but the query is killing me. I started the first book as a memoir then changed my mind and called it a novel. 2,000 people have read it and they think it's a memoir. These 2,000 people don't know me, but they say it makes them cry and reads too true to be a novel. That says something sad about the novel as a form.

Many of the readers were men, and even the men said, "This is my family you're writing about." That seems to be the most common comment. Readers can relate to my characters. So now what? Can I market a memoir as a novel or should I look for an agent who specializes in memoir? I can't really write my query until this question is settled. Can I call it Autobiographical Fiction?

I was married to a writer who called his writing Autobiographical Realism. It got him a PhD and a life of slavery as a university professor. That was not the life I wanted. I just wanted to write. Now that I've been writing for 20 years I want to publish. Any suggestions?