Hearts must be broken is my novella that will be published in February as part of a Valentine’s Day anthology by Inkspell Publishing. It has had quite a journey from the first draft to the one which will be now published.

It started off back in 2014 as a sci-fi short story. But for a short story, the sci-fi element was too complicated, so I dropped that, and eventually I developed it into a suspense novella. Around that time, an editor friend has had a look at it. He suggested I trim it back down to a short story because novellas are notoriously difficult to sell. His description of it as a story in the thriller mode of Daphne du Maurier stuck with me.

I was familiar with du Maurier, especially with her novel Rebecca (did you know the Germans used it as a code key in WWII?). When I had trouble stating the genre of my novella for promotional purposes, I decided to research this “thriller mode of Daphne du Maurier”.

Images of a creepy London from PS4 video game The Order: 1886

When I typed “Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier, genre” in the search engine, the diversity of the hits only confused me further on the issue of genre. Turns out, Rebecca fits into a gazillion different genres. Amongst them: coming-of-age, psychological thriller, suspense, mystery, romance, family drama, horror, gothic, and more.

While Hearts must be broken can’t possibly be compared to the epic Rebecca, it, too, fits into quite a few genre slots. It’s definitely a romance (if it being published in a Valentine’s Day anthology didn’t give that away), but it’s also dark and intense even though I dropped the sci-fi element. The love story isn’t all fluff and rainbows, it’s a lot grittier, suspenseful, with a mystery the protagonists have to solve if they hope for a happily ever after. The setting may be the twenty-first century London, but at times, it feels a bit gothic with the fog shrouding the streets and footsteps echoing through narrow alleys.  Whooo … 😉


Anyway, I hope you’ll like the mix of genres in the novella. I always prefer for the genres to be a bit mixed up instead of a straight up romance or hardcore thrillers. It adds to the complexity. What’s your preference?

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