Venturing Into Different Genres


In one of the comments on Wednesday's post, our guest blogger Tiffany Reisz said that she uses her real name to write and plans to cross genres and use her name for whatever she publishes.


Now many times when people write in different genres they write with different pen names. For instance, Nora Roberts writes romance under the Nora name and futuristic romantic suspense as JD Robb. There are a number of reasons to do this. Perhaps you don't want people judging your new genre by your old one. Or maybe you don't think the two fan bases should cross. For example, you write young adult and want to venture into erotic paranormals. Although I will say that a number of authors who write sexy (not erotic) adult romance also write YA--Gena Showalter, Richelle Mead, PC Cast, etc. and it seems to be fine.

I also think that some people do the different name thing because there is a mindset out there that once you're successful in a genre, you shouldn't switch your brand and confuse your readers. I understand that reasoning, but I also think it's limiting to a writer. Is every story in my head an erotic romance? No. They probably are all romantic in some way, but I haven't ruled out writing something paranormal or full out suspense or going back and writing another YA at some point. I like a lot of genres. Not every story I come up with is going to fit in the same box.

But is that a dangerous thing to do as an author? Build a fanbase who likes you for one type of book then switch and do something completely different? I don't know. As a reader, I tend to follow an author. In erotic romance (just like in YA) the subgenre lines are blurred a bit. So it's not uncommon to see an author put out a contemporary erotic romance, then a futuristic one, then a paranormal. But in the other more specific genres, it's not exactly that freewheeling. For instance, would you buy a Stephen King romance? Or a Nicholas Sparks space opera?

As a writer, I hope to continue writing the contemporary erotic series I sold the first two of. I definitely have a number of books in mind for that one. I also hope to sell Wanderlust (still under consideration at Harlequin) and write some sexy, non-erotic rockstar romances. But outside of that, I haven't ruled out venturing into other areas. I plan to use my current name for all of it--unless I write YA, then I'll probably use a different pen. (Don't want teens wandering into my definitely over-18-only erotic romances.) Mostly, I just hope to have this problem to face, lol, 'cause that means I've sold more books. : )

But how about you? Do you plan to stick to one genre as a writer? Do you plan to use one name if you do genre-hop or use different pens? And as a reader, do you follow authors or genres? Would it throw you off if your favorite author started writing something very different?