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Sunday, March 27, 2016

What's in a Genre?

I hear a lot of people saying that you should pick a genre and stick to it. But my creativity doesn't work like that. My first few published novels were all contemporary romance, but what I'm writing now is YA.

Various genres of YA interest me. I've spent a lot of time writing a 4 book YA fantasy series about Time Traveling Witches, I've also written an Angel book which is classed as Paranormal, and I've just finished the first novel in a Sci-Fi trilogy.

Who's to say that I can't write across genre? I've asked this question to a few Literary Agents on Twitter. I won't name names because I don't want to put pressure on anyone to start getting submissions outside their wish list, but many of the agents have agreed that as long as the writing is good and plot is strong, it doesn't matter about the genre.

So, why do authors stick to genres? This is a very interested topic for me that I'm going to explore a little. If you have success in Romance (for example) the traditional publishing idea is that you keep your audience and they follow all your books. This works well, building a loyal audience and giving them the types of books that they love.

BUT... I argue the exact opposite. Wouldn't it make sense that you'd develop a wider audience if you covered many genres? And what if one of your romance readers decided to try out one of your sci-fi books because they enjoy your writing, and they discover a whole new world of books to explore.

I'm not saying the traditional way of sticking to genre is wrong, it's not wrong at all. I just don't want to stick to it. Maybe that means taking a risk. Maybe that means I'm not a rule follower, but I think it's right FOR ME.

I want to write romance. But I also want to write Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I don't want to define my books by genre, preferring to be known for good story telling and endearing characters.

We'll just have to see if I can cross genres successfully. But only time will tell me that.

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