Friday, February 17, 2017

What flavor or genre do you prefer?

We're going to try on different flavors today. Do you always get chocolate or do you get strawberry or vanilla sometimes? Sometimes you're in the mood for one and not the other. The point is to branch out and try new things, in what you eat, in movies, music, and the books you read - or write, as the case may be.

What genre do you read? Women's fiction, mystery, romance, historical, thrillers, suspense, science fiction and the occasional non-fiction (biographies or self-help). There's a lot more genre's out there, like crime, horror, fantasy, western, graphic novel, Christian fiction, paranormal - etc. and I've read a few of those, too.

What genre do you write? Women's fiction, mystery, romance, historical, thriller's and suspense. I dabble with children's stories but haven't published any.

Why does it matter? I've always been told to write in the genre I read because that is where my interest obviously lies. I haven't tried writing in all of the genre's I read, but have tried my hand at most of them. My two published novels are in women's fiction. My latest manuscript is a young adult/new adult romantic suspense.  When I look for a new book to read the genre helps narrow the list, so I ask, "What do I want to read right now?"

Why not write in more than one genre? Why not, indeed. Since my reading interests are varied so are the stories I write. But there is nothing that says we can't pick one genre and stick with it. As we grow in our craft it might behoove us to concentrate on one genre for some time before branching out. 

Why not read in more than one genre? I think most people gravitate to some genres more than others and read multiple types or combinations; like paranormal romance, sci-fi fantasy, historical romantic mystery, etc. I'm not a huge fan of horror (my imagination is too vivid) but I have read a few of Stephen King's novels and enjoyed them.

If I write in multiple genres should I use pseudonyms? Some authors do, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb; Stephen King/Richard Bachman. Other authors capitalize on their names in whatever genre they write; James Patterson for example, his name is all over the place. I have a writer buddy that writes children's, romance and erotica and in each one she uses a different nome de plume. Writers, you decide what is best for you. Personally, I don't have any experience here - YET! Readers, don't be afraid to try an author whose name you don't recognize.

Are you willing to read books in genre's you don't usually read? I hope so. For me, the answer is a resounding YES. In our book club, the younger members tend to lean towards dark fiction, but not all. Another one is a steadfast romance reader and another usually picks non-fiction. It's difficult to find a book that everyone will enjoy, so we pick two and have the option to choose. Most of the members who are branching out from their normal genre are enjoying the adventure. The ones that don't will probably find another group that reads the genre they prefer. Our local independent bookstore has a book club for just about every type of book. The point is to try new things because you never know when you might find a new favorite!


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Great advice, Bonnie. Like you, I'm both a reader and a writer. I like to read in a variety of genres. With writing, I do the same, although I do lean toward romantic mystery. If you stick to one genre, there's more of a chance of building your audience. Readers who like one particular genre know what to expect from certain authors whether it be romance, mystery, horror, fantasy, etc. and they feel comfortable with it. I like to surprise readers and shake things up a little.

Bonnie Tharp said...

You are so right, Jacqui, about growing your audience in one genre. Thank you for the comment and have a great weekend.


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