I like genres. I like to know in which genre my book is, or in which genre the book I'll read is. It gives me something familiar to work with, some kind of common ground I can refer to. It's reassuring.
Hence why being unable to properly categorize White Echoes freaks me out a bit. This story draws from three different genres while not fully being in either of them. When I'm asked, I answer "steampunk-ish", and indeed when I spoke about this novel, Susan commented it "sounded steampunk". It does! My problem is that I am still uncomfortable defining it as steampunk.
Perhaps it's because I don't know the genre well (yes, I know, writing in a genre you don't know! Tsk!) I intend to get more familiar as I approach revisions, but for the moment, I am gearing up for NaNoWriMo. And until the end of November, I will have a novel that is:
Steampunk because of the airships, the old-style guns, but without anything victorian to go along with it.
Fantasy without the magic, but there's a certain feel to the story that belongs to that genre, in good part because I write a lot of fantasy (*cough* always fantasy *cough*)
Science-fiction because of a few more advanced technologies, and 'science' explaining some of the out-of-the-ordinary elements.
My only hope is that as I write the novel, everything will become clearer. Am I alone with this problem? Have any of you written a crossgenre novel before?