I'm so happy to be hosting Johanna Rae on my blog. She's a good friend of mine and an amazing writer. So please give her warm welcome.
Genre here, genre there.
I find genre distinction within the realm of fiction quite intriguing. When I was young I really enjoyed mystery and adventure stories. I dabbled in a little YA romance in my early teens, but my true love of reading began when I discovered Stephen King. He was the first author I truly followed, and I would stay up for hours (much to my parents’ disgust) as I raced through the pages of science fiction and horror. I broadened my spectrum in my mid to late teens to include other horror and thriller authors such as Dean Koontz, Christopher Pike, Richard Laymon, Michael Crichton, John Grisham and Wilbur Smith.
What I loved about books was being immersed in another world, or another life. I began to realize that books which held a little something extra appealed to me. Anything that stretched the bounds of possibility intrigued me. However at heart, I still enjoyed a bit of romance and a bit of adventure.
When I was in my mid-twenties, a friend loaned me a book by David Eddings. I found myself catapulted into the world of fantasy, and I’ve never looked back since. I followed a few similar authors and then stumbled onto Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Suddenly a whole new genre opened up for me. I hadn’t realized how inexperienced I was in terms of literature and fiction. I would never have picked up such a book if it had not come with a strong recommendation from someone I knew well.
I’ve always been a writer at heart and I’ve found that I what I write is often reflective of what I enjoy reading. When I was a teen I wrote soap opera style romances because at that time I was reading the Sweet Valley High series and the Sweet Dreams books. As I began to delve into the world of Stephen King, I noticed that my writing became darker too.
I suppose it goes without saying that because I’ve ended up a huge fan of fantasy and the paranormal, this is where my heart lies. I have a few WIP that are in the fantasy genre, involving witches and magic use. I plan to finish and polish those at some point. They’ve been assigned to what I like to call the ‘one day’ pile. For now I am struggling to see beyond the world of shifters. My novel The Mercenary is about two different sorts of shape shifter, those who are tied to the moon and those who are not. It’s the first in a series with the second book, The Fury, well underway and due to publish sometime next year.
I’ve read quite a few vampire books now, (Laurell K Hamilton, Mary Janice Davidson, Richelle Mead, JR Ward etc.) which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I also quite like angel and demon stories and those about witchcraft. If I was to be totally honest though, I would have to say that the paranormal genre I enjoy most involves shape shifters.
Going back to my earlier mention of genre, this is where I find it fascinating. When I was in the process of publishing The Mercenary, I had to determine which genre it would fall under. Yes it is paranormal and yes there is romance, but it also holds a lot of action and suspense. So it became quite difficult to decide exactly which term to label it and yet still give the reader an accurate indication of what lurked within the pages.
So to further complicate things, I don’t just love the shifter sector of the paranormal genre. I’m greedy and I like to roll several genres together. I love it when there is
enough going on that you aren’t quite sure what will happen next, when you become so engrossed in the excitement that you lose a couple of hours.
As I’ve said before, I love to see a little romance somewhere in the mix. It doesn’t have to be the main focus of the plot; in fact sometimes it can be refreshing when it is not. It’s a delicate balance to please more than one reader and a risk to overlap a few genres at once. Did I succeed with The Mercenary? I’ll let you decide.
Treasures of the Soul
Evernight vol I
Evernight Vol II
Other Authors in the Sisterhood of the Traveling blog
Torie N James