Following the Muse
When I first started writing, I read books on writing craft by the dozen. After I decided to be an indie publisher I did the same with books on publishing and book marketing. One of the first pieces of advice I came across, which actually came from the traditional publishing industry, was to pick a sub-genre and stick with it. Each book should be the same enough that your readers know what to expect, but different enough to keep them interested.
I'll be the first to admit, I've flunked there. I've always written in the romance genre, but I've spent the last few years happily skipping between sub-genres with apparent disregard for the preferences of my readers (that would be you lovely people). My first book was a paranormal romance. Then I switched to a bisexual menage, wandered off to a couple of steamy heterosexual romances, before coming back for another menage. Now I'm writing a steamy homosexual romance. Wait, what? Where the hell did that come from?
So, I thought I'd take some time today to talk about why I have a tendency to hop between sub-genres like a rabbit on a high.
1. I'm ruled by my Muse and she goes where she damn well pleases
I can make conscious decisions regarding what book I'm going to work on next, but if my Muse (yes, I do refer to my subconscious as my Muse because it seems more mysterious) doesn't agree I'm not going to get very far. That's exactly what happned after I finished writing Everything We Need. I decided to work on a new paranormal book, only to find my head filled with Jeremy and Harrison's first kiss, how they met and what obstacles would get in the way of their HEA (happily ever after). Now the paranormal romance is languishing while Jeremy and Harrison's story is going full steam ahead.
2. I am my own ideal reader and I read all these sub-genres
I love reading lots of different sub-genres, including all the ones I write. MF, MMF, MM, paranormal, I read them all and more. So, when I write I'm targeting readers who like variety in their romance, just like me!
3. Nobody can tell me not to
One of the blessings of being an indie publisher is that I can write whatever I want and no one can tell me not to do it. I can play with length, genre, style and content. I love being so in control of my own work.
I'd love to hear from readers on this issue. Do you enjoy having the opportunity to read in different sub-genres when you buy one of my books? Are there particular sub-genres you buy from me but not others? Are there any sub-genres you'd love me to write more of? If you'd like to share with me, all you need to do is add a comment in the box below.