Brian Bandell is novelist with Silver Leaf Books, which released Mute in July. He’s also a senior reporter at the South Florida Business Journal and the winner of more than 20 journalism awards.

Going one-on-one with a New York agent in an empty classroom, the air conditioner blasting overhead felt more frigid than usual. But, I couldn’t blame my goose bumps on that. The agent had read the first few chapters of my novel and he enjoyed it. Still, I could tell by the hesitation in his voice that there was a “but” coming. He read the synopsis too, and he saw that my novel, Mute, which starts out feeling like a crime thriller and delves more and more into science fiction as it progresses, doesn’t neatly stick to one genre.

The traditional way of thinking pigeonholes books into rigid categories. That was a necessity, really, because bookstores had to choose where to shelve them. Selling books online, whether in print or digital, is changing that. Books can be listed in multiple categories and be enjoyed by readers across genres. One way to open the appeal of science fiction is to hook thriller readers into a story that seems grounded in the expected reality and then transform it into something fantastical. Read the rest of this entry