Thanks for having me visit. It is lovely to chat with you again! You asked me to tell you and your readers about writing across genres, something that has just happened to me when I began writing a couple of years ago.
Although I do write across genres—to date, steampunk, paranormal, suspense, contemporary romance-both sweet and sexy and historical—there is a common element to each of my books. First and foremost:
I am a romance writer.
My stories are about heroes and heroines finding their happy ever after.
To me it doesn't matter if it is in a fantasy steampunk world or if the hero and heroine are a witch and a warlock, or if it is set in contemporary Australia, in the outback or on a tropical island, it is all about the conflict that stands in the way of two people who are destined to be together and how they overcome those conflicts. But do love playing with different worlds, time travel, and fantastic contraptions!
Not all of my readers may like all of my books, but I believe if you write good stories and they like your voice, they may venture out and try a different genre.
I had a letter the other day from a reader (a reader of contemporary romance)who said she loved my books and wanted to read more, but wasn't game to read my paranormal novella because it might scare her. I assured her it wouldn't and I was delighted when she put a review of Blind Lust up on Amazon.
I do not read paranormal... too scared!!! But boy oh boy, this cute book by Annie Seaton changed my mind.. and if it is anything to go by I would certainly be buying more. Great characters. The settings and spells had me enthralled and caught up in a different world for the entire book... Gosh the plot twist at the end surprised me but in a wonderful way!!! Please...Please Annie could you write some more. Please??
The discussion about writing across genres is an interesting one. My very first editor told me to establish myself firmly in one genre and then maybe branch out. Most of the craft articles say you won’t succeed if you write across genres.
I guess for me it all comes down to what defines success.
Do you want to be a NYT bestselling author? Do you want to be able to be a full time writer?
If that is so... I guess you have to follow the rules.
I’m happy because I fulfilled my lifelong dream and I wrote a book. Being published was the icing on the cake. Writing the next book was special. Writing the tenth book, and having a publisher want to buy it was unbelievable. I still pinch myself daily and wonder when I am going to wake up from this dream.
I get bored very easily and have always needed challenges in my life, so I guess writing across genres is a challenge. One of the biggest challenges I have had in my writing was pushing the boundaries when I wrote Dangerous Desire. My editor wrote a comment about what she thought a sex scene needed and I actually spat my coffee over my screen when I read her request.
But it was a challenge, and I did it. So I guess you could say it pushed me into a more ‘steamy’ genre. You’ll have to read the book to check out that scene.
For me it comes down to loving what I am writing about and knowing what I write about by doing deep research. My years as a librarian certainly helped hone my research skills
My two latest releases are a contemporary romance –the third book in the Affair series, Outback Affair which will be released on October 14 and a romantic suspense, Dangerous Desire which was released last Monday. I am delighted to say my first foray into suspense is getting fabulous reviews!
A taster for you from Dangerous Desire...
Then all was still—no birdsong, no wind in the trees. Even the sound of the waves was muffled by the hill. Until the sound of Mick crashing through the undergrowth on the side of the hill reached her. After a few moments, his voice came from below her.
“I’m going to find you, and when I do it won’t be pleasant for you. But I’ll enjoy it.” He laughed and her blood chilled.
He was close by and Gracie fought the whimper rising in her chest. Her chin shook uncontrollably as fear skittered through her. She clenched her jaw and bit her bottom lip hard. The metallic taste of blood filled her mouth, but that was better than letting any sound escape.
She lay there completely still with her eyes squeezed shut—not drawing a breath until the sound of him sliding down the hill receded. Gracie cleared her mind and focused on her breathing. Something crawled across her face but she kept her eyes shut and didn’t make a sound.
What do you think? If an author has written across genres, is that a plus or a negative?