When I was four, I was determined to be a writer. At the same time, I discovered the variety of stories to be told, and I was confused. I wondered why stories were broken up into different categories. Why was one shelved over there in romance and one over here in science fiction, when they both had elements of romance and they both had elements of science fiction? They were all stories, weren't they? I felt that I was genre-blind - I didn't exclude any genre because of they way it "looked." I had no problem reading them all.
So I have no qualms about writing any genre. I've written three books, all told (and several partial books, but we won't talk about those here, ha ha). One is a fairy tale retelling, one an epic science fiction/history crossover novel and one a contemporary romance.
I won't argue there are certain genres I tend to turn to more often than others when it comes to reading and writing. Depending on my mood, I might need a pick-me-up and turn to a lighthearted Kristan Higgins novel. Or I might feel I need some weighty historical events to ponder, and I'll pick up Naguib Mahfouz. Similarly with writing - I might be in a frivolous mood and write a slapstick comedy story, or world events might be getting me down, and I'll write a serious literary piece.
When I was a kid, there was a time when my goal was to write a book in every genre. That might be harder to do nowadays, with all the subclassifications of YA and MG and Wazoo and whatnot, but I think it might be a fun challenge to try.
What do you think? Do you read only one genre or are open to reading more? What is your favorite genre? And if you like a particular author, would you read their work even if they wrote a book in a genre you tended not to read?
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over two hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. Check out my 2024 writing challenge to write a book a week at Author Versus AI. For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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