CROSSING GENRES: Yea or Nay?
If you’ve been in this writing game for very long, you’re probably heard, “pick a lane and stay in it”. While others advise us to remain open to every opportunity. So, what’s a hard-working writer to do? Do you resist or walk through those doors?
Several of my favorite authors who have crossed genres successfully are listed here.
*Texas author Jodi Thomas earned a sizable fan base with very successful historical western romances and then moved into equally successful contemporary romances. She remains the Queen of Texas romance.
*James Patterson is best known for his mystery-thrillers and he also pens a young adult series (Take his writing master class because it’s fantastic at masterclass.com).
*Joanna Penn writes horror/thrillers and how-to nonfiction, plus she has a new travel blog which is very interesting at Books and Travel.
*Neil Gaiman writes dark fantasy, comic books, graphic novels, audio theater plays, children’s books, short fiction, and even poetry.
There are many other authors I could name, but you get the point. Some have successfully crossed into other areas of the craft.
IDEAS ARE EVERYWHERE
In my mind, I wanted to be a freelance writer with articles in a wide variety of publications, anthologies, and popular magazines. But I got an idea for a children’s book (TROUBLE IN TEXAS Series) which went nowhere with an agent, so I became an Indie Author. And then I was inspired by several rescue horses (FLASH and TAZ) which prompted several books in a RESCUE ANIMAL Series. At a Western Writers of America conference, an opportunity to write a book about chuck wagons gob-smacked me in the face and the result is a cookbook set for publication May 2021. A cookbook author? No way, not me.
SHOULD YOU WALK THRU THAT DOOR?
Which brings me to the most recent label that dropped into my lap—romance author. From the very beginning of my writer’s journey I remember saying more than once, “I don’t want to write romance books.” A HUGE fan and reader of romance absolutely, but I had no desire to learn that genre. But then an idea happened, and you know how writers are. It’s impossible to ignore the people in our heads. A girl inherits a Texas ranch from grandparents she never knew, and her story refuses to leave my brain.
It was at a Western Writers of America conference that I met Denise McAllister, a book editor ( https://www.mcallisterediting.com) who I hired to edit my self-pub projects. The ranch story kept brewing and over the next few years while working with Denise, I discovered she used to show horses. I needed a horse savvy co-author who could deepen the relationship my character had with her horses (the climax of book #1 was a fire which killed the MC’s horse.) Denise came on board but said no way to the horse burning up, and a new series was born. The genre in my mind is women’s fiction. I wanted to write about a young woman’s deep emotional journey.
It was also at a Western Writers of America conference that we met Lauren Bridges with Wolfpack Publishing, who had just been named Managing Editor of a new Christian imprint. Long story short another year went by, Denise and I kept writing and working on our co-authoring process and Lauren kept reminding us that she was interested in reading our work.
This past week we signed a contract with Lauren and CKN Christian Publishing for 3 books in the new WILD COW RANCH series in the genre of ‘Christian western romance’. Book 1 MAVERICK HEART is set to release January 2021 and Book 2 WILD COW WINTER soon after. We are editing Book 3 now.
Romance author? Alrighty then, let’s do this!
ARE YOU RESISTING?
What are you resisting along your writer’s journey? YOU might be the only one holding YOU back.
Do you think writers can be successful in multiple genres? Share, like and let us know your thoughts. Thanks for following Wordsmith Six.
Onward, and be fearless. We will make it thru 2020.