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Posts Tagged ‘genre’

decision

Warning! Long, serious post ahead.

I just realized it has been 11 days since I’ve posted here! I almost never go that long without posting. There are a number of factors involved in my lapse, but the two biggest ones are 1) I’ve been sick, and 2) My day job is killing me right now. Since the company I work for caters to gardeners, especially rose growers, this is the peak season for large orders from rose societies and garden centers. And they all want their products at the same time!

So here I am. And I’m pondering. On what, you might ask? Well…I guess it’s genre and pen names. I’ve done posts about this before, I think, but I’ve got some serious decisions to make. I use a pen name because of my church affiliation. I’m a Christian, but I see nothing wrong with writing about paranormal creatures and such because it’s fiction. I don’t believe in vampires and werewolves, but they’re fun to read and write about. But some people don’t believe Christians should dabble in things like that, so I stay incognito to keep from offending anyone. I won’t fault them for their beliefs. I have a few issues, though. 1) My mom is so proud of me that she wants to tell everyone I’m an author. 2) I have some real life friends on my author FB profile, and sometimes they say things that could link my writing life to my real life. 3) I would like to be open about being an author.

So…genre. Aside from the fact that I feel like I have to lead a double like, I’m finding the paranormal genre is FLOODED with self-published authors. I’m thankful that publishing is so easy for everyone these days, and I believe everyone deserves a chance to do so, but it also brings in a LOT of competition. It’s so hard to even be found lately. I’ve been lucky enough to attract the attention of a couple of frequent reviewers lately, so that has helped me a bit. I’m so grateful for them, and I’ve tried to express this to them. But I still have to keep myself out there and try to be found.

This is what I’m contemplating. I’ve been thinking about sweet romances and cozy mysteries lately. I could easily write a sweet romance. The mystery would involve a lot of plotting ahead of time to make sure I get the “whodunit” right. And there’s still that Christian romance I started a long time ago and never finished. I think I could take the strong religious undertones out of that and market it as a sweet romance. I think, although there are a lot of books in these genres, too, there are more readers for them. I could be wrong, but just from comments I’m getting from readers I’ve met online who say “I don’t read paranormal”, it leads me to believe there’s a wider range of readers for the sweeter romances whether they be contemporary or historical (which I wouldn’t attempt).

Another decision I would have to make…new pen name or real name. I honestly feel like I shouldn’t write in these other genres under my current pen name. I want my mom to be able to shout to the world that her daughter is an author. She doesn’t like it when I tell her not to do that right now. I want the ladies at church to be able to read my books. I want to be FREE.

Now here’s the biggest decision of all. Should I completely do away with my current pen name and stop writing paranormal altogether so I can focus my time and energy on the new stuff? Should I try to do both? I think the worst part of leaving Lauralynn behind would be not interacting with all my wonderful online friends. I think I would probably tell my closest friends who I really am. It’s not so much that I don’t want my Lauralynn friends to know who I am. It’s that I don’t want my real life friends to know who Lauralynn is. Does that make sense? This is very hard for me, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Even if you think I won’t like your thoughts, I would rather have the honesty.

That’s all.

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Sometimes I feel like if I hear the word “genre” one more time, my head will explode. I know it’s a legitimate word about a legitimate thing, but it’s so frustrating sometimes to try to figure out where my book fits. I’ve worked on my latest book for many months. During that time, I’ve tried my best to figure out what genre to put it in. Because, you know, you HAVE to. It has to go somewhere. So, is it… Horror? Paranormal? Paranormal romance? Thriller? Murder mystery? Supernatural thriller? Ack! I really hope my beta readers will be able to help me with this, because this is the first time I’ve never had a clue.

So now we segue into pen names and new directions…which also involves genre. I can’t get away from this word! Anyway, almost two years ago, I started what I was going to call a Christian Romance. And I was going to write this book under my real name instead of my pen name. I wanted something I could actually let my church friends read. I abandoned that idea after only writing about 15% of it because I was afraid it would take time away from my Lauralynn Elliott books. Today, I was thinking about a couple of things. First, I wonder if I should abandon the idea of writing Christian Romance and write “Sweet Romance”. I think there might be a bigger readership if that’s how I market it. I could get the Christian romance readers because they know there won’t be graphic sex in it, but also maybe get readers that don’t necessarily want to read books with the word Christian in them. I would have to rework a little bit in this book so it won’t sound so “judgy” in places. The second issue is the fact that it could push back publication of my other books. I’ve never been able to write two books at the same time. But I know others that do it, so it CAN be done. If I set aside certain times or certain days for each of the books, maybe I could pull it off. And it might be helpful if I’m stuck on one to be able to work on the other.

So what do you all think? How do you feel about genres? Have you ever had problems figuring out where your books fit? Do you write in different genres? Do you use more than one pen name?

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the genre I write it, which is paranormal romance. I’ve written 2 novellas, one about a vampire and one about a ghost. I’ve written two novels, one about an elf and a wizard, and one about a ghost. I’m currently working on another novella about a vampire. And I do really like paranormal romance. But it’s not my first love. Since I discovered Stephen King in high school, I’ve been a fan of horror. That’s my favorite genre. Mysteries and paranormal romance compete for my second favorite.

So why didn’t I start out writing horror? Mostly because I had this love story about a ghost in my head. And it went from there. But I’ve been questioning myself a lot lately about whether or not I want to continue to write solely in this genre. I don’t want to abandon it altogether. But I want to spread my wings a little.

Another consideration. If I do pursue horror as a writing subject, should I write under a separate pen name? My gut feeling is yes. I don’t want to confuse readers when they’re used to me writing under a certain genre. And I’ve developed relationships with other authors in the paranormal romance genre. And another thing I’ve thought about. No matter how much we want to deny it, this is still a man’s world. It’s getting better, but we aren’t there yet. So would it be better to write under a pen name with just initials so no one would know my gender? Female horror writers aren’t very common and probably not very well accepted. Just some thoughts. What do you think?

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