Saturday, May 09, 2015

Crossing Romance Genres

Here's a question for readers. How do you feel when an author suddenly shifts to a different genre? I recently moved away from romantic suspense novels to sweet, contemporary romance novels and inspirational short stories. Now I've written my first historical romance, a novella titled THE RANCHER'S SPECIAL DELIVERY. Why?

 

Writers love to write. Otherwise, we'd have a different profession. To improve as writers, we need to stretch our creative muscles and go out of our comfort zone to try new genres. If I'm not growing as a writer, I should retire. Writing a historical (No, it's not an historical! I don't live in England.) provided new challenges, especially in research. I had to study train routes, dress styles, climate, and language from a century + ago. Avoiding anachronisms in dialog was the biggest challenge for me. I couldn't have my characters chatting in modern language using expressions that didn't exist at the time.

 

But I wonder if you as a reader get a bait-and-switch feeling when authors try new genres. If you purchase THE RANCHER'S SPECIAL DELIVERY, will you feel hoodwinked because your last Cheryl Norman book was a contemporary?

 

As a reader, I don't mind. I recall reading SKIPPING CHRISTMAS, a total departure for John Grisham from his legal suspense novels. Frankly, his holiday story delighted me. Yes, it was a different genre, but the cover art and tag line clued me in that this was a different John Grisham story. Not that I'm comparing myself to the talented Mr. Grisham! His foray into a new genre proved successful, judging from book sales and later a movie version (CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS).

 

Some authors use pseudonyms for different genres, like Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle or the late Evan Hunter/Ed McBain. I used a pseudonym when I wrote erotic romance fiction. But my Cheryl Norman brand, whether it's a suspense or an inspirational, is the same. I write about characters learning lessons. THE RANCHER'S SPECIAL DELIVERY continues this theme in 1899 Colorado. It's a mail-order bride story, and I loved writing it.

 

 

THE RANCHER'S SPECIAL DELIVERY is a June release from Highland Press, both as a novella download or as part of the anthology HEARTS OF THE WEST, which will be available in both electronic and print versions. Let me know what you think.



3 comments:

Skyewriter said...

Thought provoking, but I agree. The tag line and cover art can clue the reader in to the genre. And, since I love reading more than one genre why wouldn't I be delighted to disccover than an author I enjoyed wrote a book in one of the other kinds of stories I love? As for the pseudonym, for the same reason, I vote no. Unless I researched the author and found out they had another line under another name, I might miss a great bunch of books.

Polly McCrillis said...

If I'm a fan of the author, I'll read anything she/he writes. David Baldacci, for instance. Like Grisham, he wrote primarily in the suspense genre. But he branched out to YA fantasy and introduced children to Freddy and the French Fries. Because I love his writing I had to give both sub-genres a go and was glad I did. What a story teller!

And I agree, Cheryl, that it's good for a writer to try out different genres. There are too many possibilities for us to get penned (no pun intended!) into just one. Congratulations on writing for your first historical. I LOVE mail-order bride stories!

Cheryl Norman said...

Thanks for your feedback, Skye and Polly.