Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moving Genre

How many writers, I was wondering, swap genre? Do romantic novelists long to write gruesome crime novels? Do the writers of mayhem long to write a love story? If they do, would we know?

I know quite a lot of writers who have different names for different genre. I used to have a different name for romance and historical. (Ellen Noone was my alto-ego for my first romance novels). Many of the writers that I know move between sagas, romantic novels and historical romance, but I don't know anyone who goes from really dramatic blood and guts to romance and vice-versa.

If writers don't move between the two, why not? Is it that the mind that can conceive of the gruesome cannot conceive of the gentle. Having just had a suspense novel accepted, it made me pose this question. I have now moved three times - historical - romance and now suspense. But are my novels that different? Sure there will be some murder and mayhem in my suspense, but there is also a love interest. I know I could not see myself writing a book that did not have "some" romance. Is that because I am essentially a romance writer?

It would be wonderful if other writers who do switch genre got in touch and let us now. Surely, it is not a question of "never the twain shall meet" That would pretty sad, don't you think?


Kathleen said...

James Patterson has switched genre lately -- gone from the thriller to softer novels -- and done well.

Kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

Technology challenged this morning. But wanted to ask why you changed genres. Did it feel like a big risk?

margaret blake said...

Hi Kathy, My first ever publisher Robert Hale, stopped publishing the kind of historicals I previously wrote, as well as romance novels. I wanted to be published in the UK and realised if I wanted RH to accept anything, it would have to be a different genre. I could not write Westerns, which they publish, but thought I would try suspense. It took me a long time to write my new novel, but it was challenging and, most importantly, was accepted by RH

Love, Margaret.

Sarita Leone said...

I am so looking forward to reading your suspense novel. Love the versality involved in successful genre switching. :)

Debbie Wallace said...

I can't imagine writing anything but romance:)

Anonymous said...

I write in several genre and haven't had a problem with it. I will say, however, that whatever the type I write, somewhere within the work there is a romance, but you may have noticed even the most hardboiled detective falls in love in most stories and there almost always is some love interest in whatever classification of story. I love happy endings so I like to write romance.

margaret blake said...

Hi Jeannine, I just saw your comment. I SO agree, there has to be romance.Michael Connelley's Harry Bosch has his Eleanor (whom I don't like) but he loves her. The tough Temp Brennan in the Kathy Reich novels, has that lovely Detective, Andrew, only she doesn't realise what a "dish" he really is.

I believe it is love that makes the world go around, so you can sure there is a love interest in my suspense, and might I say AND HOW!

Kind regards, Margaret.