Monday, January 11, 2010

Who Am I?

"What kind of books do you write?" a friend asked me at dinner the other night. It's a good question, and one I didn't know how to answer.

"I'm still figuring that out," is really as close as I can get.

My short stories have all been sort of literary (except for the few that I've written and published under a pseudonym).

And my novels, well, I've written a mystery (but I can't really fit it perfectly into a sub-genre like "cozy"), a mainstream/literary novel (the type of book one might find with a book club discussion guide in the back), a middle grade novel with slight elements of fantasy, and an erotic romance.

So far the style that feels most natural to me is a sort of mainstream fiction voice.

But I read in a lot of genres so I thought I'd give several different styles a try before settling down, as it were. (And who knows? I might never settle on just one style.)

For the last month I've written no fiction at all - though of course I've thought about writing quite a bit and frequently draft little pieces in my mind as I go about my day.

For the last month I've been seriously concentrating on reading.

Over the past few weeks I've read: Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson (fantasy), Laurell K. Hamilton (totally different kind of fantasy), Robin Hobb (yet another style of fantasy), Sara Paretsky (hard-boiled mystery), and Patricia Cornwell (thriller), just for fun. I'm currently reading Jill McCorkle (literary short stories) and Kathryn Stockett (historical fiction) for book club meetings next week. And I have the latest Diana Gabaldon (historical fiction? romance? fantasy?) all queued up and ready to go after that. I also have a stack as tall as my bedside table and a shelf on a bookcase at the foot of my bed that are the rest of my "to be read" pile. And that's just books I own or currently have checked out from the library!

Even more than I'm a writer, I'm a reader.


Anonymous said...

I was gonna put this in your more recent post, but maybe this is a better place.

Have you got the chops to write a non-mawkish MG or YA from the POV of a kid with Down's? If you put that together, I'd be happy to give you my agent's name. (Not that a recommendation from me counts for much.)

Sarahlynn said...

I've never considered that idea. I'm considering it now. In fact, I have an "open" morning (both girls in school) for the first time in a month and I'm going to consider it for the next few hours. Thank you.

elissa said...

sarahlynn, I'm with you in that I've never written two books of the same genre! I've written a sort of women's fiction/mainstream novel, a YA boy adventure novel, an "upper YA" (in other words, doesn't really fit anywhere) contemporary realistic novel, and my latest is a YA fantasy. It's weird, but now that the 3rd one has found me an agent, I'll probably have to settle into some kind of similar groove, at least if it sells. Which...doesn't really fit with the book I have plotting, which is more adult and literaryish. :)