Saturday, October 18, 2014

Which Genre?

Just over a year ago I had my very first book published - Russian Redemption. It is a very dark and disturbing story set to the back drop of WW2 Russia. Some say it borders on 'horror', some see the suspense/thriller story and some..... well some just couldn't finish it.

Then along came Fated Encounters; a story best described as a romance/tragedy. 

I've recently finished INVICTUS: Part 1 - Introducing Richard. 
This is a bit of a mixed bag really, probably best suited to the generic Adult Fiction genre.

Now, from nowhere, I find myself writing what started as a childrens book, rapidly becoming a YA with the huge potential of stepping into Fantasy. I started this one last weekend, spent an entire afternoon on the story board designed for a short story, and sat and wrote the first couple of thousand words. Yesterday was a writing day, and the story board has gone out of the window, it is so awesome when a story takes on a life of its own.

A while back I went on about the 'tap', the 'somewhere' that seems to provide the inspiration for my stories. Personal circumstances forced me to unplug myself from this supply and it's taken a wee while to plug back into it - But I can honestly say, it appears that I am now fully irrigating or irrigated?!. Almost 9000 words written, this is not going to be a short story, definitely not. I wanted to do a kiddies type book because I wanted to really test myself, to push the boundaries, but I never for one minute thought that a 'fantasy' story would be the way to go; it seems someone somewhere has other ideas.

My point is that I now have three books written, two published and one its way. There are also two or three others that are sitting on the back burner. Including the most recent 'childs fantasy', that's four books in four different genres. The more adult ones are published under Andrew J. Wilson, the other's under A J Wilson. However, I'm thinking that the childrens one is going to need a different name, I do not want children (or parents of children) buying an unsuitable story based on the Authors name. Food for thought.

I have read on many forums and sites that an Author should find their niche genre and stick to it, and I suppose I can see a degree of logic in that. But isn't that also a case of putting all of ones eggs in the same basket?  

And secondly, I don't actually seem to have a lot of control over what stories I write - I sit down at the computer and the story (whatever it might be) just falls out of my fingers. Go back to the very first posts where I mention the cinema inside my head, it is what it is. Yes, if you look at some of the most successful authors around they have a strong presence in one genre, but isn't that a bit like only selling one type of car - A Ford retailer. There are a number of people globally that will only buy a Ford, tap into that market and it could well be happy days. However, many more millions of people drive cars, not just Fords, so why ignore them?

Ultimately, if an Author has found a niche that ticks all of their own personal boxes then I am happy for them. We go back to the definition of 'successful' I suppose. I get my pleasure from actually writing the stories. I also get a great deal of satisfaction from hearing from people that have enjoyed reading my stories. Earning money? Nah, doesn't enter into my thought processes. Whilst I write as an Indie Author I am free to write whatever stories come into my head, there are no boundaries. It is a marvelous freedom! I believe I owe it to myself and any readers to produce the best quality work as far as grammar, spelling, structure and so on (Thanks Judi!) And I owe it to myself to continually improve on the technical aspects of story telling, anything to better the experience. But I owe nothing to the labels of genre: The rules do not apply to me because I don't fit into the model. I'm sure it would be very different if I restricted myself to the 'normal' and chased 'success' through books deals, or film rights and all that ingrained institutional thinking but it doesn't. The fact that over 5000 people have visited this blogsite, 2000 have visited my website, I have two books published on the global stage with plenty more to follow and I am loving every minute of writing - by my definition I'm already successful. One of my work colleagues stopped me in the office last week and said "You're the one that writes the really good books aren't you" - It was such a lovely and unexpected compliment, and that's successful enough for me :-)

Writing isn't work - it's everything else that goes with it!

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