Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

  • Subscribe

  • Newsletter

    Sign up for my Newsletter

    Sign up for my Newsletter Get a FREE Book Sampler

  • Hair Brained

    Hair Brained, a Bad Hair Day Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen

    A Bad Hair Day Mystery

  • Hairball Hijinks

    Hairball Hijinks
  • Facials Can Be Fatal

    Facials Can Be Fatal

    A Bad Hair Day Mystery

  • Writing the Cozy Mystery

    Writing the Cozy Mystery

    Writing Guide

  • Permed to Death

    Permed to Death

    Bad Hair Day Mystery #1

  • Body Wave

    Body Wave audio
  • Murder by Manicure

    Murder by Manicure Audiobook


  • Archives

  • Categories


Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on January 10, 2010

What is a mash-up? I hadn’t heard the term until I read about it in RT BookReviews magazine in the February issue. No, it’s not a type of mashed potatoes. We’re referring to literature here.

A mash-up in publishing is essentially a cross-genre blend. In other words, it’s a combination of genres, such as classic romance and horror in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter blends the vampire craze with history. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and Shakespeare Undead are other examples of classic lit twisted with fantasy or supernatural elements.         zombie

So why is the mash-up so hot in the literary marketplace today? Perhaps because literary mash-ups are taking the spotlight, mixing classics with the paranormal phenomena so popular right now . Even agent Lucienne Diver states in an online interview that she’d love to see a mash-up of history and the paranormal.

This mini-trend isn’t new to the romance genre which has mixed romance with mystery and sci fi and fantasy through the years. Just because books are termed paranormal or mash-ups or steampunk doesn’t mean this concept is virgin.

Speaking of steampunk, has that trend already lost its steam? The latest Sherlock Holmes film brings to mind the historical atmosphere blended with the gears and wheels of old-fashioned technology. How many more Wild Wild West type stories will we see before this trend dives? For more on this subject, visit mystery author Vicki Lane’s recent blog:                 steampunk

And what is paranormal, since we’re on the subject? It’s anything to do with extraordinary abilities: i.e. magic, supernatural, or psychic powers. So why is a paranormal mystery, i.e. a mystery story with a ghost or witch, for example, not called a mash-up? Or is it? What about sci fi romance? Or a historical with mythological beings? It all seems to be a matter of terminology.

Keep in mind these are my loose definitions of the terms. As a writer, it’s more important to blend something old with something new to create what Hollywood calls the High Concept.



  1. traci said

    Great nancy! I had no clue what a mash up was, lol – thanks for keeping us in the know!

  2. Interesting information Nancy. One wonders if it’s worth the time and effort to try and write steampunk. Who knows? I have never heard of a mash up, either I am old and uninformed or just out of the loop.
    Thanks for the blog! I like to learn something when I read them.

  3. I forgot to mention that Warehouse 13 on TV is a good example of steampunk. It uses old looking but suped up technology in a modern setting.

  4. […] NancyJCohen –  Publishing Trends: Mash-Ups […]

  5. Vicki Lane said

    Thanks for the mention, Nancy! I am totally intrigued by steampunk but am resisting doing anything about it. 😉

  6. Katie MacAlister has a new paranormal romance book out called “Steamed.” It looks cute.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: