Jump that Genre
This week Jay Noel is here visiting at the tiki hut. For any of you who don't know Jay, he's the author of Dragonfly Warrior, a steampunk novel - which just happens to be on sale this week! More on this at the end of his post.
Following Jay's post is another cool surprise :)
So let's get started.
Ahhhhh...feels great to be here Under the Tiki Hut. My island blood is very at home. So TIRED of winter, so thanks so much for having me. I think we can all agree with Jay on this. I know I'm SO ready to break up with Old Man Winter I could scream!
The other day, I was in the middle of a very interesting debate among my fellow writers. Our discussion revolved around the practice of writers going into different genres. We're not talking a YA author "moving up" to NA or anything so subtle. What if a science fiction writer decided to try her hand at writing contemporary fiction? Or how about a fantasy writer delving into romance?
I had a mentor tell me that dipping your feet into different genres was career suicide. He told me that I would piss off my loyal audience. This is an industry that seems OCD about putting all its writers and their books into nice and neat little categories. I've heard from many successful writers who were pressured by their agents and publishers to stick with what's working. Write what sells. This is a business after all.
But my argument was that the world of publishing was evolving so rapidly, and that there was plenty of room for writers to experiment and go into a different direction with their work. Genres are being blurred more these days than ever before. I've read several books that didn't fall so clearly into one defined genre. With the blurring and combining of all these genres, I think the flexibility exists for writers to stretch themselves and try different things.
For authors that gain a massive following, there are ways around not angering your loyal readers. The best example of this I can think of is J.K. Rowling. She will forever be linked with Harry Potter. It's like George Lucas and Star Wars. The two are inseparable. So J.K. Rowling wrote a detective novel, The Cuckoo's Calling. The book was well received by critics, but it was so far removed from Harry Potter. She even used the pen name, Robert Galbraith, to keep her Harry Potter fans happy and not have readers/critics prejudge her new work because it had nothing to do with wizardry or magic.
My final answer to this question is simple: if an author has the ability to write in multiple genres, she should do it. On the other side, don't write in multiple genres poorly. I guess I'm in the "master one genre first" category. Gain some recognition and street cred first. Then you can try another genre. I think indie authors and those with smaller houses are able to do this a little easier. Most of us don't have to worry about having millions of diehard fans wanting us to stay in one specific genre. There would be very little outrage if I went from writing steampunk/science fiction to historical fiction.
I'll tell you what, though....having such a huge and passionate readership wouldn't really be a bad problem to have.
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Jay Noel is the Amazon Bestselling Author of the Asian-inspired steampunk novel, Dragonfly Warrior, which happens to only be 99 cents until . You can pick up the ebook at:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1kYA1G5
The second book in The Mechanica Wars series, Shadow Warrior, is scheduled for publication in June of 2014.
He's been blogging since 2005, and enjoys forging friendships with his fellow bloggers.
Jay often tells people that he was born on an uncharted island in the Pacific and was raised by elves and faries, but the truth is that he was born in the Bronx and lives in St. Louis with his family. When he's not banging away on his laptop late at night, he can be found either reading a book or playing tennis...but never both at the same time.
He's also a recovering cookie-holic, but is currently in detox for his addiction.
Author website: http://jaynoelbooks.com
If you would like to sign up to participate in the June cover reveal for my new novel, you can find all the details here. And scroll down for the signup sheet.