The best novelists don't get too caught up in genre unless they're writing to a very clear specific spec - and that may well hold true for Harlequin staff writers, but most of us just get on with the writing. Maybe when it's all done, some canny soul in the marketing department (or the author under duress) will decide that it fits into one or more genre categories. Maybe the cover will hint at a certain type of escapism which will appeal to a certain type of reader. If these things open new markets to the work, then everyone wins.
Magdalena Ball is the author of the newly released genre free novel Black Cow (actually some people have called it "Recession-lit", "contemporary fiction", and "literary fiction". If any of those appeal to you - go with them!). Grab a a free mini flip book here: http://www.bewritebooks.com/mb/BlackCow/BlackCow.html
Check out Gerald's review of Black Cow right here at the blog. Or dive straight over to Amazon now for some instant gratification.