I love writing romantic suspense, romantic mysteries, romantic fantasies, and paranormal romance.
I’ve even written straight mysteries. Sort of. Even my mysteries still end up with a bit of romance in them.
So, what kind of writer am I? Am I a romance writer who wanders into the mystery, suspense, and fantasy genres? Or am I a mystery writer with a romantic streak?
But all my novels have some element of mystery. If the reader knew what would happen from the very start, they’d never bother to read the book, right? So am I a mystery writer who likes exploring other worlds and favors happy endings?
And every book has elements of fantasy. Even my contemporary mystery and suspense novels are fiction. They may be based on a world I know, but the stories they tell never actually happened. Doesn’t that make them all fantasy?
Does it matter? Only if you want to sell your books.
It matters to editors and agents, to reps and to booksellers. It’s all about ‘slotting’ your novels in the right place, which means making sure they’re put on the right shelves in the bookstore.
I wish I could settle down and right in just one genre, or even just one shaded variety of genre. Crossing genre boundaries so often and in so many directions isn’t a great career move.
I'm fortunate that it doesn't matter nearly so much to small presses and epublishers.
I’m just not sure what it would do the creative impulse behind my writing to try to put it in that kind of straitjacket.