When back in the Dark Ages when I was young, right around 1975 or so, there wasn't any such thing as a 'genre writer'. Writers were writers and that's all there was to it. One might write non-fiction or they might write books for adults or they might write children's books. A few very talented folks did 2 or even all 3 of those. Unlike today where everything is broken down and broken down again and maybe a third time until one becomes known as something like a 'paranormal romance writer'. That may be good for the reader but it's terrible for the author who easily becomes pigeonholed into a category they may (or may not) feel is suited to them based solely on what book of theirs became popular first.
The main problem with being labeled a 'genre writer' is it becomes very hard to break out of that cage people/publishers/agents/PR guys have put you in. It becomes very difficult to get anything different out on the market under your own name because in 2014 you're only supposed to write one type of story for ever and ever even if it's not your chosen genre or heaven bid you don't want to choose a genre and you want to be known simply as a writer.
I started out writing books that were on the dark side and I've stuck with that ever since that's where I feel most comfortable. I wrote all out horror stories for the most part maybe with a tinge of romance. From there I fiddled with Contemporary Romance and I even dabble in non-fiction. But because the series I'm best known for, the OF WAR Series of 'paranormal romances' is what people know of me they believe I should do that and only that for the rest of my life. Mostly they'd be happy if I narrowed it even further and just wrote about Ares, Alena, and the Olympians until I die.
While I love that series and my main man Ares, that's not what I want. Like an actor who wants to play many different roles and become many different people because it's what they do and what they like and variety is the only thing that offers them the chance to expand their craft I want to do the same. Look at it this way; playing the same type of part over and over again will get you 'type cast' and writing the same type of book over and over will get 'genre locked'. While the movie goer or reader may really like a certain actor in a certain type of role or a certain writer's style, for the artist it's akin to eating spaghetti every single night for your entire life. No matter what different types of pastas you make or what kind of sauce you dress it up with its still spaghetti. Tasty and delicious as it is once in a while you may yearn for a thick juicy steak.
This is where I am now with my writing career. I'm 'jumping genres' with the "Sister Christian" and "The Doc" series, books 1 & 2 in each series are currently available. They are totally different from the OF WAR Series.
"The Doc" series is a straight contemporary romance/erotica series with a few dashes of mystery and thriller thrown in. It is a little on the dark side but not very much and there isn't a God or an Olympian to be found anywhere. In fact it's really a very simple story about a one-night-stand that blossoms into love between two slightly warped people.
The "Sister Christian Series" is a little on the dark side but it too doesn't have anything 'paranormal'. It doesn't even have any romance or sex! Not until the very last book, but I'm not giving away any secrets there. In fact, it's actually rather…literary…gasp! This lovely series is about a brother and a sister who come across each other very late in life when Doctor Richard Mason receives a letter from a lawyer informing him his father has died and he's been put in charge of his physically and mentally challenged sister, Hannah Rice. What a way to discover you're adopted, huh? Believe me, the last thing Mason wants is a sister he has to take care of, the man has three failed marriages and can barely keep a friendship alive.
People ask me why I'm doing this when the first series was so popular. In their opinions, I should just stick with that narrow genre because it sells for me. They voice concerns that I risk losing some of the readers who took the last journey with me. I risk those readers feeling hurt or even abandoned by me.
They have good points but I'm tired of eating spaghetti.
That doesn't mean I don't like my readers or that I'm throwing them over for a new audience. No way! Heck where would I be without them? I'd be typing away for my own amusement and nothing more. Not that that's a bad thing but we all know that a story is absolutely nothing but dust if no one reads it. No matter how good that story is it all comes to naught if no one enjoys it.
Genre jumping does mean that I want to expand my horizons, my talents, my creativity and in so doing perhaps I'll get very lucky and those who've stuck with me through the OF WAR Series will also have their horizons expanded by reading the Sister Christian or The Doc Series and getting into something new and different.
Besides, there's nothing that dictates I can never have spaghetti again. After all, it is one of my favorite meals and I do have one or two books simmering on the back burner for Ares and Crew.