Several months ago, I read a blog post about do's and don'ts for conference panels. I would cite the author and post if I could remember where I found it, so I'm terribly sorry. It may have been Janet Reid's, but I can't be sure. One of the no-no's was asking a question that was truly a thinly veiled pitch.
Example: "How do you think a story about robots that pick your nose would sell? I can show you what I'm talking about, as I have the manuscript in my hand."
Earlier today, I participated in my first UF Chat on Twitter. It was a blast and the discussion was great, and the other participants seemed very knowledgeable. Several of them are published, and I had a question I wanted to ask regarding the genre of my novel, The Rider of Nealra. I was afraid to ask, just in case I might look like Robot Pitch Girl above. Just before I actually asked, though, my toddler woke up and I had to leave. Several participants were game to help, however, so I'm posting the question here.
What genre does my novel call home? I used to think it was close to urban fantasy, and now I'm not so sure. I may even need to change the title of my blog.
The Rider of Nealra Description
Called home to operate the family ranch and denied her only dream of becoming a musician, the hapless Ellie soon finds that the strange lights in the Badlands and the mutilated animals are harbingers of horrors to come. On her own except for the mouth-breather Sven, she is helpless to hold back the tide of fear that washes over Wibaux, Montana. When Ellie and Stinky the mustang pursue creatures that shouldn't exist, they tumble through a rift to another world, where magic is an infection fueled by the souls of the dead. Ellie must choose between seeking a way home or saving an entire people from annihilation.
It's not urban fantasy, as it takes place in a part of Montana that is so isolated that "rural" isn't even a good descriptor. The setting in the other world is like an amalgamation of equatorial Africa and Brazil. It doesn't fit well with any other fantasy novels of which I am aware, so comparing it is difficult for me, but I'm hoping someone else has read another novel to which mine could be compared.
Do you have any ideas or opinions as to what genre my novel should call home? I'm really leaning toward contemporary fantasy myself.