by Jude Mason
When I first began writing seriously I was asked, what genre are your stories in? My first reaction was, huh? I wrote sex stories. I wrote about people in all walks of life finding different ways to hop into bed/backseat of car, pond, hammock or streetcar to do the nasty. What was this genre thing?
I still feel somewhat like this. I know there's sci-fi, horror, gblt, romance, BDSM, historical and a dozen others, but what did that have to do with me? You mean I'm supposed to put a title on these things and decide on a genre? One genre?
Are you all insane?!
To this day, I rarely stick to one genre. What's the fun in that? Mixing it up, that's what makes it fun. It also just seems to happen. LOL Yes, after years of practice, and working for specific fetish e-zine for three years, I have learned to keep a story in one-ish genre. Sigh. But, honestly, other genres did creep in. I mean you start out writing romance, right? Then, you have the space aliens invade the civilized galazy and ~BAM~ you have science fiction in there. Or, the space captain is gay and you've got gblt along with it. It's just so easy to slip into something else, no matter how you plan things.
I grew up on science fiction and it still has a place in my heart. Bradbury, Heinlein, Burroughs and many more, all recognizable by their last names alone. I loved them and still do. Some of the things I've written I'm sure have a taste of them in it. I hope so, they were amazing artists. But even they strayed into mutli-genre works. Tarzan did meet and fall in love with Jane after all.
Do I think readers want us to stick to one genre? Well, the big NY houses would have us believe so. And they do sell. Although of late, I've heard rumblings that they're not doing as well as they'd like to and seem to be blaming us internet authors and our e-publishing houses. Methinks readers want to spread their wings as well. From the posts I've seen here and elsewhere, it's become pretty evident that readers like to explore as much as we the authors do.
Who'd a thunk it?
True, there are some who read strictly historical romance, and I have no issue with them. What you read in your off time is entirely up to you, and there are writers who love to fill your needs. But, I really do think people are ready for mixed genre books. They crave the escapizm we can give them. E-publishers are always after, something a little different, and the authors are struggling to fill those needs.
Yes, labeling these books isn't always easy. But, what's wrong with having a label that says, 'M/M, Sci-fi, romance' ? That'd be those two space captains I spoke of a second ago. *G* The readers will havea label to help them decide if it's the book their looking for. The publishing house is given an amazing book and the author has been give free rein to explore his or her creativity. I think it's a win win situation here.
But, it's still a hard sell. Too difficult to pigeon hole. Too frustrating for the seller.
Variety truly is the spice of life and I'm afraid if left to my own devices the genres can get pretty scattered. I'll always love BDSM, it's a lovely genre to write in. Femdom is in there too, and I do love a strong man bowing to a strong woman. *G* I'm really fond of m/m and the last few books I've written, both alone and with my co-writer, Jamie Hill, have been in that genre. I could go on with the genres I love to write, but that really could take pages. Paranormal, shapeshifters, historicals, f/f...and so many more. Mix em up, add a dab of another genre and it's got me going. Hopefully, it's got the readers going too.
Anyone have a single genre they like? Is that really a single genre or did one of those naughty sub-genres sneak in? Think about it.