Writing is hard!
Now read that in a whining voice and you know exactly how I sound like right now.
But all kidding aside, writing is hard.
There’s the actual writing of the story (which really is normally the fun part), the never-ending edits, the search for reliable beta readers, marketing, promotions, in-person appearances, newsletters, querying (if you have gone that way), formatting, finding cover art, actually publishing the book… phew, I’m tired just writing this.
But the hardest part by far is finding the right audience. I’ve been published for eight years, I have twenty-one books out and I’m still looking for my readers.
I’ve been a reader my whole life and I always read across genres. Even as a child I read (or was read to) Grimms’ Fairytales, picture books, graphic novels, mysteries, and adventures. Later I added the classics, romance, and sci-fi to my pile of choice reads. That love for a diverse collection of literature translated into the stories I now read and write.
I love stories that defy the norm, that toe the line–or just plain cross it–between genres. My ideal story in often in the young adult realm where the mixing of genres seems much more accepted, even welcome. Some of my favorite young adult series mix fantasy with mystery, romance, adventure, humor, and even bits of horror sometimes. When I read adult fiction I sometimes miss that “union” of genres. So when I write my own stories I tend to follow my bliss, I guess.
That means I am forever searching for my audience. The most common complaints about my stories are that they feel young adultish, that there’s not enough romance or too much of it, that there’s not enough mystery or a bit too much. Not enough or too much of *insert whatever you feel like here*.
The romance reader complains about not enough heat. The fantasy reader complains about too much romance. I get accused of using too much vernacular mixed with more formal language. Some readers complain they get confused with the foreign names in the story.
You see my plight. There’s no happy place for any writer who like me writes a blended kind of fiction. Which brings me back to where I started: writing is so hard!
What do you read? Are you open to the mixing and blending of genres?