Writing in multiple genres—To be or not to be, that is the question.
For me, I’m hoping the answer is: To be.
I hope it’s fitting that the title of this post contains a famous phrase penned by Shakespeare. After all, he wrote in multiple genres, which is something I would like to do. As a relatively new writer, I admit I’m a little nervous about branching out especially when there is so much hype about author branding and establishing yourself with your readership. I know, I know—the “hype” is justified. When your readers pick up a book they want to know what to expect. I get it, and I’ve already been pressed into that mold. My first two books: Mark of Royalty and The Knight of Redmond, are both renaissance romances with strong moral undercurrents. I actually love that genre and will continue writing in it. In fact I have a book coming out later this year in that same genre, and another one playing around in my head—waiting its turn to be put on paper while I finish up my CONTEMPORARY novel, A Heart of Coal. Yep, I said it. I’m writing a contemporary romantic suspense. This is where I go “Yikes” and question my sanity.
To be honest—I’m a little timid stepping into new waters. At the same time, I think it’s a great time to do it. Isn’t this the golden age for authors? We have so many publishing options, marketing outlets, and tools available in which we can gain huge readerships in multiple genres. With today’s technology, readers are only a mouse click away in searching out the books they want to read in the genres they’re craving. There are plenty of customer reviews, endorsements, and even links to the author’s website so readers know what to expect when buying a book.
A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with Carla Kelly—which was awesome, by the way! She has over 30 novels tucked under her belt and has won at least a dozen awards for her writing. During our discussions about the writing world she kept advising me to “write my book”. Not the book I think my publisher wants, or what I think other people want, but the book that is inside me—my book. For me that means I’ll be writing in different genres.
So, yes, I have a contemporary novel I’m finishing up. I’ve also written a children’s science activity book and have other children’s books I’d like to write, along with keeping up my renaissance romances. But this one—the contemporary novel: A Heart of Coal—is a big step for me. I feel like It’s a jumping off point and I’m really praying my readers will be open to it. Here’s the blurb:
Raised by an abusive father, 23 year old Haley Carter breaks into the forbidden man's world of coal mining as she tries to prove she can hold her own amongst men, but when someone tries to kill her—can fellow coal miner, Jake Hunt, help her uncover the truth and perhaps rekindle her faith in men?