Becoming a Multi-Genre Author
After giving it a lot of thought and reading pros and cons lists of other writers, I have decided to take the plunge and become a multi-genre writer.
No longer am I going to restrict myself from writing stories I want to tell, or spend time thinking about the possibility of building a pen name.
This can be a very scary plunge to take, as many believe that an author should pick a genre and stick to it. If I followed that advice, the only thing I’d be allowed to write under my name is fantasy. Some genres easily overlap without a problem, so at most I could be a fantasy and science fiction author.
But then what happens to the zombie stories I want to tell?
About six months ago, I came up with a zombie apocalypse story that is part western, part steampunk, part science fiction all balled into one. (More to come on this one someday, I do honestly plan on writing it.)
But I’ve already written a children’s illustrated book and a young reader novel about a little girl and her magical friends. Do I start a pen name just for the one book? Which stories get the pen name? Which one should I just forget about?
Overall, it just didn’t seem right for me to be having this conflict. Would building a new pen name for each new idea really be a good use of my time?
Now I have a romance novel in the works with geek references, magical spells, and lots of pancakes. How does that line up with my zombie story, as far as “author branding” goes?
Perhaps it doesn’t. But both stories are still me.
I toyed with the idea for over a year that I should just make separate pen names for every genre I wanted to write in. Many authors swear by pen names. But even if I decided to be open about my pen names, it still felt like I was hiding behind a name for the sole purpose of branding.
After much thought, I realized that even though all of these stories I have written or planned on writing are technically different genres, they are still me. A lot of my heart and soul (as cliche as that may sound) pours into those words. Why not group them all together? I don’t want to be any other pseudo name.
I want to be me.
I want my stories to be attached to my name…not something I made up because it sounded good for branding sake.
This isn’t a dis to those that make pen names. This is just me stating that it isn’t going to work for me. For another author, a pen name could be beneficial towards their sales. It just isn’t going to work for me.
With this decision, there will be challenges.
How will a young reader be able to know that when they pick up a book of mine, they won’t accidentally pick up a horror book? It will take clear differentiation in book covers and blurbs of course. Will it be enough? Time will tell.
All of this ultimately is going to be taking it one step at a time…one title at a time…one cover…one blurb. Because I love to read multiple genres, I’m going to just assume there are people out there that do the same.
Young readers grow up eventually and expand their reading horizons. I want my titles to be there for them when they do grow up.
So what genres do I ultimately plan to write in?
Science fiction. Fantasy. Young Adult. Post-apocalypse. Sweet Romance (must still have magic or science in there). Young Reader. Picture books. Light horror (good zombie fun).
There’s a lot of overlap with these genres, so ultimately my heart is still in a similar place when it comes to my writing.
At the end of the day, I will always stick close to science fiction and fantasy. But if an idea strikes me in a random genre, I’m not going to hold back from writing it.
I welcome you to follow me on this journey.
Join me on Twitter or send me a message. I’d love to chat with you!