I’m definitely beginning to imagine. So many times we emerging writers don’t really understand what trials the avant-garde women writers had to endure.
I survived the fantasy "crash" by persisting and by moving unconsciously to a genre, mystery, that was going up as sf/f was starting to go down. I wrote the first Irene Adler novel when I noticed yet another new Holmes-related novel coming out and was puzzled why only men wrote such books when I and other women had relished the stories as young readers too. I had no idea when I wrote it that it would be shelved as "mystery."
So switching genres really was both a career move and a personal decision. What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Really, I love them all, and the differing requirements of each, but I'm a genre-blender and I like to "add" elements that the genres skimp on, which can make my work hard to sell. When I wrote historical romance, I wrote realistic action and sea battle sequences. I wanted realistic men/women relationships in sf/f. I do like a larger-than-life element in all my books, but I also want them to address deep human and societal issues. The romance editor who stifled the Midnight Louie quartet did so on the pretext that it was "too sophisticated, mainstream and upmarket." And those aren't desirable qualities???
Wow, you’re making me think there are a lot of insane, unsophisticated, behind-the-times and selfish editors out there. Okay, tell us about your newest book, Dancing with Werewolves? The editor is Paula Guran, whom we know is very sane and open to creative unusual books. Your book is urban fantasy. What’s your definition of urban fantasy?
Urban fantasy is set in a recognizable contemporary setting, rather than the totally made up worlds I used in my high fantasy Sword and Circlet novels. My two Taliswoman novels from the early '90s were crossing over into urban fantasy, starting in contemporary St. Paul and moving to a linked fantasy world.
Dancing with Werewolves is flat-out fantasy and even slightly futuristic with a science fiction tang. (It's set in 2013 after the millennium outed the supernatural beings of myth and legend as real. No apocalypse, just a semi-apocalypse. :) The "unhumans" are still emerging and revealing themselves and human society is trying to deal with them.
Louie's Las Vegas, in which I mixed actual hotels and attractions with fictional ones I could manipulate any way I wanted to, seemed ripe to take a much darker turn. In Delilah's Las Vegas,
Delilah is your main character in Dancing with Werewolves?