Thursday 11 August 2016

Finding Myself as a Writer.

I have twenty-three published novels now.
Twenty-three... I think... if I counted them right.
I also have several unpublished novels, and numerous novellas and short stories on top of that.
You'd think I'd know who I was as a writer by now, but I'm still asking myself that question.
When I first started writing, I'd believed I would be a horror author. It was what I'd grown up reading, and so I wanted to emulate what I loved. My first couple of novels were horror/dark fantasy (The Dark Road and Underlife), but then I decided I wanted to write a vampire romance (I'd always loved Anne Rice) and so I wrote Alone. From Alone spawned a five book series which ended up being The Serenity Series.
But in the sidelines, I was also writing erotica, and over the past twelve months in particular, I've found myself publishing more sexy contemporary romance than paranormal. It's not that I don't love my paranormal, because I do, but honestly,  the contemporary sells, and at the end of the day I have a family to feed.
But even as I'm writing the contemporary, I'm finding I don't want to stop at romance. I have ideas for a couple of suspense novels, and also some paranormal thrillers I'd love to write.
The problem is that as young writers we're told that to be successful we need to discover what our readers want and give them more of it.
But what if we're not happy as a writer to write the same genre over and over again?
As a reader, I read multiple different genres - horror, thrillers, suspense, romance, women's fiction. Short of westerns, I think I read pretty much anything, so why wouldn't I want to be the same when I'm writing? I have tons of stories and characters floating around in my head, demanding to be written, but at the same time I have the whispers of doubt taunting me.
Your readers won't want to read a suspense novel from you.
Your readers will move onto someone else.
They'll be disappointed.
No one will buy your book.
I feel like I've got my publishing schedule finely tuned now, and honestly, I'm scared of doing anything to upset the apple cart. I'm not a massive seller, but I'm doing better than I ever dreamed of, and I'm terrified it's all just going to slip away from me one day.
So do I take the time to write books I'm not sure anyone will read? Or should I stay focused on the romance, either paranormal or contemporary?

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