A thriller is a story about a large poisonous spider you’ve been trying to kill for weeks (nobody believes there actually is one) that suddenly drops onto your face in the middle of a dark night; you lose control of bodily functions and scream uncontrollably because you’re alone and you can’t defend yourself since you are a quadriplegic from Afghanistan war wounds. Your new Medal of Honor still hangs around your neck where President Obama placed it earlier today in a tearful ceremony before TV cameras and a sobbing audience. Tension is made higher because you are now in a sound-proofed dressing room and a noisy Mick Jagger concert is in full swing in the next room beyond the one-way mirrored wall of the White House theater. With your remaining one good eye, you notice there are young spiders clinging all over the back of the large one that is now devouring your face. That is a thriller.
A mystery is a story about discovering how it got into the room by using clever techniques as employed by detectives or forensic pathologists, or as in the case of the spider attack, exterminators. A grinding, painstaking process that progresses like molasses in December until finally the obvious is observed. A badge of honor for the passionately detail-oriented late-night reader. NEVER read the last two pages of one of these before reading the entire book from front to back!
There are many authors who write novels that are cross-genre. For example, combine the two examples above and voila – cross genre! Even Mother Goose rhymes like Little Miss Muffett. It was a short biography until the spider came along and changed it to a thriller. That is cross-genre! If it had bitten her that would have become a Horror genre. If it had tried to take liberties with her, it would have become an erotica genre, depending on how the writer explained the details of the attack. -By BJ Gillum – Author of a series of humorous books
Cautionary Note: These are the opinions of this writer only and should not be taken as arachnophobic views nor are they authentic or representative of the official view of the Authors Guild of TN.