This week at the SFF Seven, we’re asking: “Do you read in the genre you write?”
What’s funny is that my answer is absolutely yes – but that I didn’t always write in the genre I read. Does that make sense?
I have always read Fantasy and Science Fiction, since I was a little kid, and I’ve been reading Romance since I was old enough to walk to the used bookstore to buy my own books, as my mom wouldn’t let me read “that trash.” (Because she thought Romance was low-brow and anti-feminist, not because of the sex.) But when I started out as a writer, I wrote Creative Nonfiction.
Some of this was timing and coincidence. When I decided I wanted to be a writer instead of a scientist, one of the first classes I took was “Essays on Self and Place,” from a visiting writer at the university. I fell easily into writing essays and had success with them. My first book was an essay collection. And, sure, I read some essays. I read a lot of essay collections and memoir. But I was always reading them as research and reciprocity.
All that time, what I read for pure enjoyment? Anything with a paranormal/SFF element and plenty of Romance.
It was only after my first book came out that a friend – a bookseller who knew my tastes and sold me hardcover releases of JD Robb, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephenie Meyer, and Jaqueline Carey – asked me why I wasn’t writing in the genres I so clearly loved to read.
Funny that. It simply hadn’t occurred to me. But then I started to, I wrote this Fantasy Romance* (not a genre then, but what did I know??) that was SO MUCH FREAKING FUN TO WRITE. I couldn’t believe how much more fun I had writing my crazy tale about a scientist who falls into Faerie, becomes a sorceress, and ends up in a bargain with a fae lord to bear his child. I even got a really nice rejection on the book from Stephenie Meyer’s agent! (Though it took a long time for me to sell it, which is another tale.)
The rest is history. ~ Waves at catalogue of Epic Fantasy Romances ~ I haven’t looked back. Writing what I love to read has absolutely been a great decision.
*The book that became ROGUE’S PAWN