This issue comes up for me more often than I’d like to admit – the choice of what’s next in terms of projects. Greystone closes out its first major arc next year and after that I have to decide where my brain would like to go – what world is out there for me to explore. Those discussions always bring me back to genre hopping.
Genre Hopping – the great conundrum for writers
It is and I don’t know why. Maybe it comes from a love of multiple genres growing up. I have to assume most feel the same way and don’t want to read the same thing over and over again – with various nuances, of course, depending on the author. Then again, maybe people do only read one type of story.
Yes there can be an infinite number of permutations of a dystopian novel or a romance novel but the structure, the rules of the genre tend to remain.
Looking ahead to my next project (or next series, depending…) I have no choice but to think about THOSE readers, and how any change might leave them behind. Greystone isn’t over, not by a long shot, but will they join me on the next journey if it doesn’t contain the same rhythm, the same elements or direction as introduced by this initial series?
Genre hopping isn’t common, not for the bestsellers. They write what put them on the list, what their readers demand with little deviation. Shouldn’t I follow the same road?
And the old fear kicks in with that thought.
If Urban Fantasy Thriller is what brought you to the table, will you stay for a Sci-Fi Military Thriller? Is it worth alienating an audience in the hope of growing a new one in the process?
I have to say YES.
What it boils down to for me…
I’m not going to be the next Brad Meltzer or Dan Brown. When you buy one of their books you know exactly what you’re getting. There will be a forgotten, historical element involved. You’ll meet a clandestine organization hiding in the shadows and secretly controlling the world. You’ll have a protagonist who has a love interest but is committed to solving the mystery/saving the day above all else.
You’re in safe hands.
When I read I want variety and I want to offer that to my readers. My voice remains my voice (to some extent) and my tastes filter in the background no matter what genre I find myself playing in for the time being. Is that enough?
I hope so.
After Greystone I want to stretch my Portents-laden brain a bit. I’m going to take you to the far edge of the universe to see war and strife put through a horror no one can walk away from. But it ends with a smile…
And then? I know what I WANT to share. An awesome experiment in storytelling, using a serialized “seasonal” structure. There’s psuedo-science, there’s government conspiracy, and as always jokes and sarcasm littered through the dialogue. Six books. One season. The beginning of a giant adventure.
Don’t fear genre hopping. Enjoy the hell out of it.
Greystone ends next year (for the time being). I’m sad to leave it behind for a bit. However, I am so incredibly supercharged to explore new worlds with you.
I hope you will feel the same.
Thanks for reading.