Guest post: The Rise of New Genres by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of genres, is brought to you by children’s and non-fiction author Shaunda Kennedy Wenger.

The Rise of New Genres

I remember sitting in a workshop at writer’s conference about five years ago when one of the attendees asked the visiting editor from New York why publishers didn’t print books featuring college-aged characters (18-25). The editor replied that there wasn’t a market for them, and likely never would be.

If I have learned one thing about the publishing industry, it is this: everything changes. What is wallowing in the deep, dark, off-the-radar abyss today could be hot-trotting all over the best-selling lists tomorrow. And despite our desire to appease and allure book editors in NY with what they say they want, these peeps don’t know everything. And it’s likely that a writer who has done her homework and has written a book that been begging to be written might know a bit more. Which is why I loved meeting author Angela Corbett (Eternal Starling) at a book fair last winter. Angela, along with many others, writes in the New Adult genre—that one that was deemed unmarketable and unpublishable five years ago.

And that’s not all.

What tickles my toes even more is discovering another new genre that one of my own books, The Ghost in Me, fits into: Spirit Travel. The Spirit Travel genre was coined by author Mimi Barbour (We’re One). This genre can loosely be described as novels wherein two spirits exist in one body. While this genre is encompassed under the Paranormal umbrella, it is nice to have a sub-genre that beautifully and succinctly alludes to specific plot elements. Indeed, Mimi and I are not alone in the Spirit Travel genre and can give a wave toward other writers, Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound) and Stacey Kade (Body & Soul), who are included as well.

Never say never.

Absolutely. Thank you, Shaundra!

Shaunda Kennedy Wenger is an author of 8 books for children and a cookbook (with one more on the way!). The summer of 2012 marks her 10th year navigating the publishing industry. Her first book, The Book Lover’s Cookbook, Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages That Feature Them (Ballantine Books) was featured as a National Public Radio holiday gift pick in 2003. She has five titles published for the educational market, which include Caterpillar Can’t Wait, Watch a Butterfly Grow, and In Black Bear Country. In 2010, she released The Ghost in Me. This paranormal middle-grade novel for tween and teens has received much note-worthy praise. Her second book, Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again, won the 2011 KART Kids Book List Award for young readers and the 2012 Purple Dragonfly HM Award. Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire is her newest paranormal book for tweens. To learn more about Shaunda and her books, visit

Synopsis of The Ghost in Me:

Myri Monaco has problems she doesn’t know how to deal with: a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, a mother who’s dating her science teacher, and a “punishment” for a science project that lands her in auditions for the school play (the last place she wants to be). But most girls don’t have a ghost living at home who is willing to “trade places” whenever she’s needed. Will ghostly possession be an easy solution when problems collide? Or will Myri lose everything to a ghost wanting to fulfill her own desires?

And what others have said…

“This is the kind of book I loved to read when I was a kid–lots of humor, lots of suspense, fun characters… just the right blend for kids that want a fun, exciting read.” –Rick Walton, author of over 80 books for children

“Wenger provides plenty of humor along with suspense.” –author Carole Thayne Warburton

“I definitely recommend it.” L.D. Brown

FOR READERS WHO LOVE Meg Cabot, Roald Dahl, and Judy Blume


If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with non-fiction & travel author Tony Cappasso – the five hundred and thirty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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