I'm pretty sure that I don't have any regular readers who are agents, but I'd love it if I did, because I have a question.
What genre is my book?
This isn't a question I ever thought I'd ask. The world of my book is a pre-industrial empire with a bit of magic thrown in: half-human, half-animal shape-shifters, the ability to speak with thoughts, etc. So I've always considered it a fantasy.
But it's also a mystery. The main character has to solve a murder in order to gain her freedom. And that goal is what moves the plot forward.
The question came up in my mind because I entered a "what's your hook?" contest on an agent website a while back. The agents were very helpful and gave everyone feedback, even the ones they didn't request. My feedback was that the concept was interesting, but there seemed to be a lot going on in my summary. Was it a fantasy or a mystery?
Now I wonder if my query is too cluttered. Should I call it a fantasy, but focusing primarily on the murder-investigation part of the plot? Or should I continue to include the fantasy elements in the query itself? Or should I pitch it as mystery?
What do you think?