Sorry this is late, everyone. I was attacked by feral cats. See, here’s my proof.
She looks vicious, right?
Anyway, today I’m thinking about… Genre Jumping.
It’s like being a smoke jumper, only without the fires (hopefully), any physical jumping, or equipment, or airplanes, or heroism or any kind.
Other than that, I’m pretty sure it’s exactly the same thing.
In any case, as it turns out, I’m a genre jumper. I honestly didn’t start my writing career thinking I would do this. The first book I wrote was a western (the one under the bed that I need to clean up and submit), but the one after that was a paranormal. I thought I’d be writing vampires for the rest of my life.
Only, well, I didn’t.
The Marker is a western-set historical (I’m loath to term it a western, since the “western” part of the western trope really didn’t make much of an appearance. My one Native American is fabulously rich, and there weren’t any cowboys or law enforcement of any kind). After that, I wrote a western steampunk (which is, ironically, way more of a western than The Marker), and then I wrote a western novella, Wandering Heart, which is coming out sometime next month.
So I guess it sounds like I write westerns, right? Even the vampires were set out west, so at least that’s consistent.
Except now I’m writing something that straddles the line between YA and adult urban fantasy, and it’s set in… Connecticut. I can’t even make a fake western out of that. And, honestly, we’ll see if it takes. At least I’ve plotted out the whole thing, so I know where it’s going (yeah, the pantser had to become a plotter. Not my normal MO, but had to be done).
In any case, I get the importance of picking a genre and sticking with it—after all, no mention of horror is complete without mentioning the names of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Or science fiction and Isaac Asimov or Ann McCaffrey. Fantasy and Tolkein and George R.R. Martin.
If I could be associated with a genre like they are, I might stick with it, too.
Wait, who am I kidding? No, I wouldn’t. The muse strikes where and when and how she strikes. I can’t force myself to write something I’m not feeling. But it would be nice to be associated with a genre like they are, that’s for sure! I’m pretty sure my publisher would like it, too.
Now, I didn’t point out some of the greats in Romance, like Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown, because they are, in fact, genre jumpers. I’ve read historicals and contemporaries and something that blurred the lines between a suspense and a contemporary, and it wasn’t even entirely a romance from Nora Roberts. It was good, but I did spend quite a lot of time trying to pin down the genre. And then I realized I’d just categorize it as “THE GREAT NORA ROBERTS” and leave it at that.
She can get away with that. But then, she can get away with a lot of stuff a newbie writer like myself can’t.
What about you? Is the genre you write in different from the ones you read? Or are you a jumper?