Lately I’ve been thinking about how to navigate writing in different genres. Everything I’ve read on the subject seems to indicate that, in terms of branding, authors should stick to one genre so that readers come to know what to expect (and so that you can focus on, and hopefully master, that genre). This seems true. When I think of Gillian Flynn I think of psychological thrillers. When I think of Stephen King I think of horror. When I think of Ernessa T. Carter, I think of light and entertaining chick lit. Then I think of myself. A newbie author who writes humorous fiction and speculative fiction (every time I tell people I write speculative fiction they go, “What’s that??? And scrunch up their noses). It’s an umbrella term for paranormal, horror, and the like. I like the term because it’s not so boxed in.
Now, don’t ask me why my two genres are light years apart. I guess all that R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike I read as a kid was working on one part of my brain while sitcoms like The Golden Girls and The Cosby Show were working on the other parts. The novel I finished earlier this year was speculative fiction and the one I’m working on now is humorous fiction. Working in different genres actually gives me a change of pace that I enjoy, but now I have a dilemma; do I go forward, as “Quanie Miller” and write both genres? I’ve been building all of my social media profiles as Quanie. The thought of publishing under another name and building those profiles from scratch? Migraine. But (sigh), I think that’s what I’m going to have to do.
I read one article by an author who pretty much said that he publishes in multiple genres under one name because readers will decide, based on the book cover and blurb, if the novel is their cup of tea. He also mentioned that it was one of the perks of being an indie author (having that flexibility).
As writers and readers, what are your thoughts? Those of you who write in multiple genres; do you do it under different names or do you write everything under one name? And as readers; do you care if your favorite authors switch it up or have you come to expect a certain kind of novel from them based on what they’ve written previously? And if they write something outside of what you expect (and you don’t like it), how likely are you to read subsequent novels from them?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!