Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Genre Switching and why it happens...

Writers write, that’s what we do. Some of us write one specific type of story and we do it consistently and we do it well, forever. Some of us write several different types of stories and whether we do them well or not depends on who you ask.

I happen to LOVE reading historical novels. Medieval, Regency, Revolutionary War, Civil War, whatever the time period I enjoy reading them. I don’t think I could WRITE one, but I sure do enjoy a good historical romance novel. Some of my favorite historical authors are switching genres. This makes me a little nervous, but what really makes me nervous is that one of my favorite contemporary authors is also switching genres.

This particular author has been writing for quite some time. She writes absolutely amazing contemporary novels set in Any-town, USA. Her heroes are always Alpha males, her heroines are truly amazing and interesting women. The conflicts she comes up with astound me in both their complexity and simplicity. Now, she’s going to write a “dark” paranormal.

This truly worries me. I happen to love this particular author’s brand of edginess and her love scenes are truly amazing – the sexual tension between her characters is always strong and you just know that they’re going to be great together for a very long time after the book ends. Now, however, I’m concerned.

I’m concerned because this author hasn’t ever really shown a “dark” side. Sure, she’s thrown in a few characters from time to time who are psychic or seem to have a special “gift,” but nothing really “out there” in the paranormal realm.

I happen to love paranormal romances as well (go figure, since that’s what I write). I’m just not sure I’m going to like the paranormal romance novel as done by this particular author.

When asked WHY one would switch genres, I’ve heard the following from multi-talented, multi-published authors: “I just don’t think I can handle another ballroom scene.” “I wanted to try something completely different from anything I’ve ever done before.” “I found myself writing the same character over and over again and nothing he said fit the particular time period I had him in.” and my all-time favorite (from one of my all-time favorite historical authors who is now writing contemporary novels) “Honestly, I got tired of writing sex scenes, I mean there's only so many ways you can fit Tab A into Slot B.” (Side note: sure you can have a romance without a sex scene, but what fun is that? {g})

Anyway, I’m going to keep an open mind about genre switching and hope that when my time comes, I’ll do it with as much grace (and hopefully success) as some of my favorite authors are doing it now.

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