Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Persephone Wins

Since this is the fifteenth, the A portion of my bi-monthly contest has closed, a name has been drawn, and Persephone is the winner. Please send me your wish list of five or more LDS novels you would like and I will do my best to send one of them to you. (My shelves have been greatly cleaned up. I just donated a hundred books to a couple of worthy causes.) Please contact me at bhansen22 at msn dot com with your mailing address and your wish list. Congratulations.

The B portion begins. Most teachers of creative writing, marketing experts, and many wonderful writers advise writers to stick to writing in one genre. They point out that becoming a mystery writer, a romance writer, etc., is like establishing a brand. They say readers identify an author with a particular type of book and if he/she writes in different genres there will be a loss of readers or fans because they won't be getting what they expect. This isn't a rule I've followed.

As my readers know I write mystery, suspense, romance, and historicals. Would you prefer I stick to one genre? Before you answer that, I'm going to mention a few other writers who do a little skipping around. Rachel Nunes is pretty well established as a social issues/romance writer, but her latest book is a paranormal. Jeffrey S. Savage started out writing mysteries; now he's as well known for science fiction with just a slight name change, J. Scott Savage. Annette Lyon started out writing romance, carved out her own niche as an historical writer specializing in temple related novels, now she has published a grammar book and a cookbook. Josi Kilpack's first books were hard-hitting social issues books, now she has switched to culinary mysteries. So here's the discussion question. Do readers really prefer a writer stick with writing in one genre? Are you disappointed when a favorite author jumps to a completely different type of book?

Those who comment on this question will get their names entered twice in the B contest which ends June 30.

10 comments:

Elizabeth Morgan said...

I think that if an author carves a niche out with one style of writing and then they should stay with that style. Though if they jump around with all there different writings then it is okay because someone is not tuned to that specific genre.
I think that writing what you enjoy is the most important when writing a book. If the writer switches genre's I try to give that new book a chance. Though I still enjoy what they have written more of. Go with your dream.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

A writer has to write what they feel like writing. If an author writes in a certain genre, but starts getting ideas for other types of stories, should they put those ideas aside for the sake of the genre they've always written in? ierI think Jeff did it well when he changed his name slightly for the two different genres he writes.

Primarymary said...

I think an author needs to write whatever story presents itself to them. It has never bothered me when a favorite author tries something diffrent. I think if an author never changes genres , their stories start sounding alike. I hate the feeling of "Didn't I already read this?" I have stopped reading author who were once favorites for that very reason.

violettes said...

I DO like authors that can "diversify" in their work. When I've read authors that restrict themselves to a very specific genre their writing often becomes formulaic. I choose my favorite authors as much for their writing style as for what they write. A good writing style can be applied and enjoyed in a variety of areas. Not every author can pull it off but it's always nice when one I like can. I can read their work knowing that it may not be the usual for either them as a writer or me as a reader but we are starting on a common ground. Good research makes it possible. Why limit yourself?!

Marcia Mickelson said...

I have enjoyed reading authors' different genres. As long as you know going into it that it's in a different genre which you generally do, then I'm all for it.

Sometimes authors get a little bored of writing in the same genre. I know I do. I think it's better to have them write something that's fresh and interesting to them than to fall into a rut of writing the same thing. It gets old for the author and reader.

Britt said...

I don't mind as long as they can do it. :) It's problematic when an author is established and gets things published just because of their name and not because the book is good, you know?

I think most pull it off fairly well, though. I just think it would be hard to change mindsets from one genre to another!

Rebecca Talley said...

I think the author has to feel passion for whatever it is they are writing. If the passion isn't there, the story will suffer.

twinzmama said...

I enjoy when my favorite authors write something new, I don't care what genre it is. Most of the time the new story is just as good as their old, helps things from getting too boring!

Kelsi Rose said...

I think the author's voice is more what counts than genre. I love Lois Lowry and she has written everything from distopian to saterical. I have liked all that I have read from her because of the voice she has.

What annoys me about authors switching genres is when they leave a pervious series hanging (Jeff Savage specifically). I also don't like when an author won't branch out and try something new. I love the Harry Potter books, but J.K. Rowling won't try her hand at a different story. Everything she has done has been related to one character. I seriously think she should move on.

Lisa said...

I usually select an author the first time based on genre, my favorite being mystery and suspence. However, I will stick with an author who is good at telling stories regardless of what she or he chooses to write. I'll continue to read an author if the story they tell is believeable, if I get sucked into the plot-line if I care about the outcome of the characters. Many great and well known authors will write amazing stories, but if the main character or some other plot line makes me feel less for the characters involved, I've been known to stop mid-chapter, mid-sentence, mid-book and never look back. In that way I'm a little unforgiving, but I have to care about the characters and I have to be true to myself. So keep up the good work and just write!!!