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She’s Got Genre ADD

She told me to focus. I didn't.

(If you get notified of my posts by email, you are thinking, I’ve seen this post. You are right. Had a website disaster on Monday. Yeah, on Monday, but I’m back up and running!)

promo imageMany years ago (longer than I care to calculate), I had an agent who told me I “needed to focus.” What she meant was that I needed to focus on one genre. At the time, I had only written romantic suspense comedy and romantic suspense thriller. I may have also had a gothic under my belt, but I’m not sure. At my age, it all starts to blur together. That said…

Clearly, I didn’t listen to her. Haha

My genres now include:

  • Science fiction romance
  • Science fiction mystery
  • Time travel romance
  • Cozy mystery
  • Romantic suspense
  • Romantic suspense thriller
  • Gothic romance

Yeah, I pretty much went with less focus than more. Lol

My problem is that I like following the story where it leads me. In the business, they call it plotting by the seat of your pants or being a pantster. Plotters have it all figured out before they start and let the creativity happen within that framework they’ve already built. 

My brain follows all kinds of crazy paths, then I pretty it up and give it to my editor prior to publication. That’s pretty much how I roll and if I try to change it and plot more, my brain yawns and moves on.

It took me a while to figure out not to mess with my process. It’s a very good thing I self-publish because a publisher wouldn’t put up with my genre ADD. Obviously, my former agent couldn’t either. Lol 

The funny-to-me at least is that I do start with a “don’t do this” list and my brain doesn’t listen to that either. For instance, my first book wasn’t supposed to be comedy suspense. I was actually trying to write a straight romance novel. And though I do have a collection of romance stories where no one dies or gets blown up, I’ve never been able to write that romance novel. 

My first book had a lot of “don’ts” attached to it. It was too long (I did eventually edit it down), it was too funny (left that alone), it is written in first person (didn’t change that either, though I did try…), and the original title didn’t shout, “romance!”

Yes, I called it Pig in a Park. I will confess I resisted changing it until people started calling it the “pig in a poke” book. Lol So now it is The Spy Who Kissed Me. I wrote it in 1993. Ouch. 

It’s been a long journey since that first book. I hope you’ll forgive me if I do a little bit of time travel down memory lane over the next few weeks. Sometimes you gotta stop and look at how far you’ve come to appreciate where you are (still in 2020 unfortunately! Haha).

So how is your journey going? Do you dare look back?

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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