Friday, August 28, 2009

Madcap Noir

Guest blogging today I have the husband (Roy) and wife (Alice) writing team of Allyson Roy. They have written two books now in a series that centers around sex therapist/amateur sleuth Saylor Oz. The first book in the series is called APHRODISIAC, followed by BABYDOLL which was released this summer. Roy has worked in stand-up comedy and Alice as a professional dancer. Today they are going to talk about their unique genre blend that they call:

Madcap Noir

In music it’s called a fusion genre -- the blending of two or more genres and not fitting squarely into any. Having spent years crossing over several areas of the arts, we like the idea of inclusion, of not being bound to rigid ideas of what a particular kind of book has to be. Of course this creates the risk factor of not meeting the expectations of certain readers -- and the challenge of branding our series without a traditional label.

So in trying to come up with a way to define our Saylor Oz crime adventures, we chose to name our style Madcap Noir.

Madcap because of the over-the-top comedy that dominates our storylines. For us it also conjures up images of reckless mishaps. And it seems to suit our protagonist, whose name, Oz, was chosen for its connection to the bizarre.

Yes we push the envelope. We like to. Our goal is to offer a fun ride, even if it means giving a little ground in the hard realism department. An exciting movie we really liked was Taken, starring Liam Neeson. Throughout, the hero always seemed to have just the right tools on hand at just the right time, no limit of funds, and within minutes he managed to single-handedly exterminate a building full of ruthless, Uzi-toting Albanian thugs without getting a scratch. And we loved it. Not that our female sleuth accomplishes anything that dynamic. In fact, she’s a warmhearted, game bumbler.

DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), where our protagonist lives, has a beautiful noir atmosphere that makes it an ideal setting for a crime novel. Subway trains rumbling overhead along the underbelly of the bridge. The lights reflecting off the East River at night. The canyon-like feel of narrow, Belgian brick cobbled streets surrounded by giant, industrial-era warehouses. Yet this vintage waterfront setting is also a hybrid, where upscale art galleries and boutiques co-exist with one of the toughest boxing gyms in the world and housing projects only blocks away.

And what would a classic noir movie like Gilda be without the sexy elements? We mix a healthy dose of heat, hip characters and fun female perspective into the soup along with the darker ingredients of gritty, urban crime.

Fusion, hybrid, cross-genre, literary mutt . . . call it what you will. We like to call it Madcap Noir.

Thanks, Jen, for having us as guests today.

Alice & Roy / Allyson Roy

And thank you Alice and Roy for joining us today and taking the reigns here. There you have it folks, the birth of a hybrid genre - Madcap Noir.

You can read more about Alice and Roy - Allyson Roy at their website. You can also learn more about their virtual book tour at TLC Book Tours where they will be touring through September 10th. AND, Alice and Roy may just show up again here at Jen's Book Thoughts in the near future; you never can tell! ;)

Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!


Carla Buckley August 28, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Congratulations on BABYDOLL (I love the term Madcop Noir!)

Has Saylor been compared to any other series (she reminds me a little of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum)?

Kelli Stanley August 28, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

Great post at Jen's wonderful blog, guys!

Gilda's my favorite film noir ... can't wait to read BABYDOLL! Bring on the Madcap Noir! :)



Allyson Roy August 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

Hi Carla! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, Saylor gets compared to Stephanie Plum all the time. She's similar in attitude, but she's different in that she's a NYC Jewish professional psychologist with friends in the arts, her personality is somewhat sweeter, and her friendship with her sidekick, Benita Morales, is a major factor in each book.

Allyson Roy August 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM  

Hi Kelli! Our fellow noir lover. Thanks for your enthusiasm around BABYDOLL. We've already got CITY OF DRAGONS on our TBR list!

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