Tag Archives: Inspirational Fiction

Masterpiece Marketplace adds Ten More Genres to its Lineup!

As reader 49lilykatz commented in Irish on a recent Irish Firebrands blog post, “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. ‘Under the shelter of each other, people survive.’ Writers look out for one another.”

Looking out for one another is what my startup free promotional blog site Masterpiece Marketplace is all about. It came into being in January 2016 with coverage for two genres (Literary Fiction and Fusion Fiction). Not long after that, it acquired another blog domain and a Facebook page. Now, after looking further at the needs of readers and writers, I’ve identified ten more genres that can use the universal brand recognition that Masterpiece Marketplace can provide.

If you’re the author of an undiscovered masterpiece in any of the twelve eligible genres, please join the Masterpiece Marketplace cooperative and list your works.


Masterpiece Marketplace

Masterpiece Marketplace is recruiting Indie authors to form a cooperative promotional team for books in these independently published genres:

Literary Fiction
Fusion Fiction
Historical Fiction
Short Fiction
Inspirational Fiction
Sheet Music
Theatrical Scripts

If you are the author of an undiscovered masterpiece in any of the above genres, please join the cooperative and list your work!

Read this slideshow to find out more:

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A Weed in A Wheat Field?

Writing is the most powerful of the Arts, which is why the Founders listed freedom of speech and freedom of the press among the inalienable Rights that Congress is prohibited from legislating against, in Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States of America.

550px-Censored_rubber_stamp.svgI’ve encountered a number of blog posts recently that encourage novelists to grapple fearlessly with difficult topics and controversial issues, and above all, to write to please themselves. Sadly, some others of the citizenry do not voluntarily assume the same restraint under which Congress must operate, and those individuals take it upon themselves to urge censorship upon novelists whose Muse leads them to include in their stories situations or behavior of which those readers disapprove. Sometimes the self-appointed censors succeed.

The personality and motives of fictional characters are illustrated by the action and dialogue, but in a psychological novel we also get more of the deep stuff, where personality and motivation originate. Such intimations can elicit a strong visceral reaction in a reader, but the remedy for that is not censorship. The reader is free to close the cover and simply say of that book, “It’s not for me.”

As a clinician, the psychology of reading and writing fascinate me. Registered Nurses have to be able to handle all manner of unpleasant things, and when I was in practice, I didn’t have any trouble with the grim realities of healthcare. But I’ve never been able to stomach reading Stephen King – although, oddly enough, the text analyzer at I Write Like says that the first four chapters of Irish Firebrands are written in King’s style (equally shared with that of James Joyce, whom I never had the patience to read).

I Write Like Stephen King_Page_1I Write Like James Joyce_Page_1

Like other forms of Art, whether or not a piece of Writing makes acceptable reading, is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve blogged elsewhere about the excess of execrable language in modern fiction (see Let’s Get Out of the Gutter and Watch Your Language!). But I was surprised about how much otherwise controversial material ended up in Irish Firebrands (see Not Your Mother’s Mills & Boon and If Only Life Would Imitate Art!).

Although toilet-talk text enjoys popular acceptance, fiction that deals with theology doesn’t seem to qualify – unless the writing is hostile towards the faith that’s under examination. If fiction is sympathetic towards religious beliefs and practices, its author may be accused of proselytizing. At the very least, such writing is dismissed to a niche.

John_F._Kennedy,_White_House_photo_portrait,_looking_upRomneyPeople’s religious beliefs can be seen as a manifestation of how they cope: how they make sense of the world and psychologically integrate the events that affect them. But when someone believes something different, it can feel intimidating to another person. Examples of this include the terror some people felt about the election of a Roman Catholic or a Latter-day Saint to the Presidency of the United States, although the Constitution does not deem it necessary to prescribe a religious test for presidential candidates. Like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, freedom from an established religion and freedom to practice religion are also inalienable Rights enumerated in the First Amendment.

robeI enjoy reading what can be described as religious, inspirational, or visionary fiction in a variety of makes and models. One of my favorites is The Robe[1], a biblical novel by Lloyd C. Douglas[2] (1877-1951), who was a clergyman whose experience with faith led him to change his religious denomination during his career.

So it was probably natural for the Muse Polyhymnia to step in and direct Irish Firebrands to cross her genre line. I wrote about several characters whose brands of belief (or lack thereof) interest me, and whose struggles to come to terms with the challenges of their internal and external environments, happen to involve the acquisition and/or practice of those beliefs. The characters in Irish Firebrands are flawed, but they’re not evil, no matter if, who, what, where, when, why or how they may choose to worship.

Real people are born innocent, and most of them remain decent, whether or not they become people of faith, to help them stay that way. That may not always be the case in fiction – not even in other novels that I may write. I just follow the Muse on duty, and take what feels like a realistic route to translate Life into Art.

Sometimes what we write is more effective than it is successful. But if what we’ve written is right for the story, we don’t need to haul out the herbicide tank.


Rose and Wheat by Thad Westhusing

[1] Dr. Douglas didn’t want his writing to be dramatized, but Hollywood did it anyway, and of course they hosed it up. So read the book, don’t bother with the movie. All you’ll be missing is Richard Burton with a perm and wearing a skirt.

[2] He was born approximately one mile from where I wrote Irish Firebrands. Must be something in the water.


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Fusion Fiction: R S V P !

You Are Invited

Click to read Invitation

Fusion Fiction: Where Art Meets Life …

Because life on Earth isn’t lived in one genre, so for many of us, writing about life in The Parallel Universe follows suit. We may write individual works that cross several genre lines, or write many works in several separate genres.

New Author Promotion Site from the Irish Firebrands fleet of blogs!

New Author Promotion Site from the Irish Firebrands fleet of blogs!

How would I know if I write Fusion Fiction?

When we publish Fusion Fiction, we find it difficult to narrow down our marketing code category choices to the limit of 1 or 2 that may be offered, and in frustration, we usually settle on the one that’s the best of a bad lot. We then try to supplement this inadequate labeling scheme with what we hope will be easily discoverable keywords in lists, blurbs, tags and social networks. Unfortunately, many potential readers are still prevented from finding what we’ve written, because of the vast volume of identically classified works.


So poor discoverability isn’t my fault, after all?

Nope. Turbulent seas of talent threaten to swamp all of our book barques. What can we do to improve the chances that the readers who are paddling out to the mighty pipeline of published fiction will choose to surf our wave of writing? When the tsunami of tomes recedes, what will help beach-combing bibliophiles find our works within the endless layer of uprooted wrack that lines the literary shore? After the tide turns, how can we improve the chances that our imaginary ecosystems may be discovered by dabblers in textual tide pools?


Isn’t there already a name for the way I write?

Yes: Literary Fiction has been used this way. But the label has been given a bad rap by writing gurus who have bought into the campaign to dumb down the language, and by publishing gatekeepers who want to control content, so that they may more easily dominate the supply of and demand for Written Art. As a result, potential readers are put off by unfounded assertions that such works are hard to understand, and so they miss out on storytelling that can meet many reading needs.

How can giving my work a new genre name help?

“Fusion” is not a new concept in the Arts. Musicians have been doing it for a long time. Painters and Sculptors also have a history of mixing their media. These Artists and their patrons have enjoyed the effect that synthesis has on their Art. It’s time for Authors, as Writing Artists, to announce that one size of genre classification does not fit all Written Art. Once enough Authors have united in this cause, they can act as change agents, to ensure the viability of their vocation in the marketplace of Art.

A category of “Fusion Fiction: 1st Genre/2nd Genre/3rd Genre” or “Fusion Fiction: Multiple Genre Author” can give Writers an easier and more precise way to classify their works (and eliminate a source of stress, especially for the Indie Author-Publisher). It can officially confirm the scope of talent of an Author, to a reader who is familiar with only one genre of that writer’s work. It can also help fans of writing synthesis know that more is in store for them in a book than single-genre labels can convey, while those whose tastes run to reading literary conventions specific to only one genre, will be able to avoid biting off more book than they feel they can comfortably chew. It makes readers happy to easily find books that meet their reading needs, and happy readers make happy writers! 

Okay! 🙂 What do I do when I get there?

  1. Walk through the website.
  2. Read the rules. [1] [2]
  3. Sign up.
  4. Tell your critique buddies about Fusion Fiction.
  5. When you receive your confirmation e-mail, prepare and submit your book promotion materials.
  6. Talk up Fusion Fiction at NaNoWriMo write-ins.
  7. Prepare and submit your guest blog post.
  8. Talk about Fusion Fiction at your writer’s group, on your own blog, and in social networks.
  9. Reblog your post when it goes live, and do the same for your colleagues when their posts are published.
  10. Add the Fusion Fiction genre category and URL to your current marketing materials.

You do not need to give up other ways of promoting your work when you join this site. FUSION FICTION: Promoting Cross-Genre Writing seeks to establish a more accurate marketing category that will enhance the discoverability of multi-genre Authors and multi-genre works, which are currently underserved by a classification scheme that obscures their uniqueness and enduring literary value.

And the Fusion Fiction website is a work-in-progress: Talk with your Fusion Fiction colleagues about how to improve the site, and share your great ideas for getting our new genre category codified. We’re all in this together: Each of us can take a sword or pike out of the thatch, and as Fusion Fiction Freedom Fighters, can take back our turf, on behalf of our language, our literature, and our loyal readers.

[1] As advised by Chris The Story Reading Ape at his Author Promotion blog.
[2] It really isn’t as hard as it looks.


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