Hey baby, what’s your genre?

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As a pick up line, for me anyhow, that one would suck. I’m not one of those people who sticks to one specific genre. A fellow aspiring writer recently blogged about how she was pretty much strictly a paranormal writer. That is awesome for her. She knows what she enjoys writing and what she’s good at, BUT that isn’t the way it has to be for everyone.

Personally, I stick to a category, Young Adult, because I enjoy writing about the coming of age. The teens growing through experiences and finding themselves and learning more about life.  While all my books have young adult main characters, they are definitely not all the same genre.

We recently discussed where you are when ideas strike. Well, mine all come at  inopportune times, but they often also come from far left field. Not that my ideas border on crazy, I mean in the sense that the ideas often are nothing like something I’ve written about before. To me, the genre doesn’t matter. It matters more if I’m excited about the idea. If I feel that push to hurry up and get it out.

I’ve had people say “if you get your stuff published, will you use a pen name for your works in different genres?”  More likely than not, I’m shaking my head.  I feel that by keeping in the same category, my fans will still be interested in reading my work whether it’s contemporary, paranormal or fantasy. I know there are people out there who will disagree and there may be statistical proof to back up their reasoning, but I think it depends on how far a departure you take from your norm.  If Stephen King put out a romance novel, I think most of his fans would probably laugh it off and not bother to pick it up. Personally, I’d be interested to see what his take on it would be. I already know he’s a great writer, so why wouldn’t I want to see how he handles a different genre?  Then again, to be fair, my reading tastes, much like my musical tastes, are broad.

There are several authors who have made the switch from writing adult to writing young adult and the other way around, James Patterson and Melissa Marr (I am loving Graveminder!) to name a few. They didn’t bother with a name change and both seem to be doing quite well.  I think what it comes down to is loyal fans and good writing.  I don’t plan on stifling my creativeness in order to stay “trapped” in one genre.  If I find it gets to a point where people aren’t biting because it seems to far removed from my other workss, then maybe I’ll consider a pen name, but for the time being, I’d rather write what I’m inspired to write and entice my (small) fan base to read a genre they wouldn’t have previously picked up. Maybe I’ll get them to explore books by other authors in that genre as well. That would be a double WIN in my opinion.

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4 responses »

  1. I would totally read a Stephen King romance! Just out of sheer morbid curiosity.

    That said, I think you make a good point about being “trapped” in a single genre. I also think its too easy (especially if you're successful as a writer… tons of examples on the market today) to get sucked into really formulaic stories.

  2. That's a very good point! I think if all you write about is faeries, how different can you make each story when some points have to remain the same? iron “allergies”, tricksters, not being seen, glamours, etc. At some point it's going to seem like the same story over and over.

  3. I read a Stephen King romance too. (And I bet the ppl scoffing would too because they'd be too curious not to)

    Thanks for the link to my post but I will admit, if the urge to write that story I blogged about hits I would do it. Right now, the motivation and inclination just isn't there and the non-paranormal aspect of the story is a great scapegoat. =P

  4. Good deal. You should totally write what inspires you. Who knows, maybe you have a flair for murder mysteries you don't know about yet! 😀

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