Yesterday, as well as sharing the here and now with my husband, I did a bit of work on the book. My book. I haven’t really posted all that much recently about my work. I feel a sense of dread when I write about it. Especially when it seems, that every other person on the blog is a wannabe author out to get self published. Do we notice other writers more when we take those first tentative steps out of procrastination and into the writing light? I must do, either that or the rest of the world really IS writing their first novel too.

It doesn’t help I guess that the genre I am writing in gets a bit of a bad rap. You see it’s a fantasy novel and even worse it has no vampires, werewolves or paranormal beings. It’s also designed for adult readers, so that’s the YA audience out then. The protagonists, because there are multiple, are from the late twenties up. One of my favourites is in her fifties.

I am writing the book that I would want to read. I miss the old-fashioned fantasy with interesting characters. I miss feel good. I miss drama minus the dwarves and elves. There will be magic, however, based on some of the science around the Higgs Bosun particle… Whilst I love Dragons – there are not any in this book.

R.I.P. David Eddings
R.I.P. David Eddings (Photo credit: Xanetia)

If you think David Eddings or Patrick Rothfuss, you are in the right sort of area for my first novel. There will be a bit of George R. R. Martin too, his dialogue is exceptional and thats the standard I’m aiming for – I’ll try not to kill anyone off that you really like, but unfortunately characters have a life and death of their own.

This is not a series of books. It isn’t part one of ten. It will be a standalone, about a world that has been in my head for over twenty years. There will be six short stories that go with the book. One for the history of the “Disciples” who are a band of six. They represent: the mother, priest, joker, assassin, healer and thief.

I will after completing this; move on to a contemporary fiction novel, could be described I suppose, if you had to, as hen-lit but there are no relationship dramas. My character hasn’t got divorced, she’s not going to find love in a bookshop. It’s about how the mother and daughter relationship is difficult even when you are all grown up and have a family yourself and how some wounds from childhood stay with us even when we really should have discarded them years ago. The central theme is about finding peace and redemption.

For my third novel, I haven’t got that far ahead… The third book I write will probably be in a completely different genre altogether, I may even try my hand at romance. I think there is room for a Romance with real people. For a truly inspiring female lead that you root for and more importantly a truly heroic male who complements not controls the protagonist.

We have a small reading problem
We have a small reading problem (Photo credit: ktgeek)

I’m not a genre writer you see, I want to write about the things that I am interested in. I read everything from thrillers to fantasy, so why wouldn’t I write about them too? I think if anything really good has come out of the Self-Pub revolution it is that we get to experiment with our stories; no longer are we confined to only writing the same stories over and over because that’s all the publisher wants.

So are you a genre reader or writer and do you think that authors should stick to one thing?

Comments as always welcome.


  1. I cant wait to read your books. I too am a little bored of how the vampires / magic / werewolves market is very over-populated – not surprising as publishers (like TV, film or music producers) latch on to the success of others and try to earn their share of that market). i see there are already 50 shades-a-likes appearing on shelves. OK, erotica needs to be more accepted, but why republish essentially the same books?
    Same with chick-lit. i enjoy disposable beach fiction from time to time in between the Tolstoy and Shakespeare (in the same way that i will happily watch High School Musical in between Inception and The Ides of March) but it is terribley samey. Not every character has to be a thirty something professional who bumps into Mr Right just as her life takes a turn for the worse.
    I love your expression Hen-Lit – believable characters, believable events, told by an intelligent writer – stuff that real people can relate to.
    I dont write genre, i write contemporary fiction where the characters are what (i hope) makes the word interesting. I dont have preconceived ideas of what my stories should entail, and i wouldnt want my readers to either. If somebody else wanted to pigeon-hole my books (if/when they ever get published) they can, but i won’t be. i just want to tell stories.
    Sorry to have wittered on, but one final point – “characters have a life and death of their own.” that is so true – most of my writerly stress is caused by characters who just won’t do what i want them to.

    • Wow RG, I’d be counting that comment towards my daily word count if it was me. LOL. Loved this comment. Thanks for saying you can’t wait to read my books, I can’t wait to finish them! I’m completely with you on the stories bit. That’s all I want to do. I want to write what I would like to read – It may not ever make me a commercial success but at least I’ll have given it a shot. As for characters misbehaving, tell me about it and I am a plotter not a pantser. I feel like screaming at them sometimes, “I’ve given you lot a script now bloody stick to it”. But I also think, that is part of the fun and takes you to places that you would never have gone….

      • my expectation of commercial success varies between “i am bloody good at this, finish and get it out there” to “there are millions of writets what chance do i have?” But i still plod on. In any “art” form, painting, music, writing, film, etc etc all anyone can do it satisfy their own artistic intergrity, and for all the beta reading and comments, write what we are happy with. if that sells, then great. if not, so be it.
        characters can be frustrating, but as annoying as it is, if they refuse to do something it’s their way of telling us the plot’s wrong. so in the long term it’s a good thing. I keep telling myself…

  2. That is a very good question inside equally good post. I think that writing a book one would want to read is a great platform. Because it will be real, and readers can only relate to what is real. Despite all the hype in self-publishing or publishing in general, I remain firmly convinced that writing with heart will find its own way. In answer to your question; strictly speaking I am not gender reader or writer, however I do have preferences and I think they show in a way I write either poetry or prose. Overall well-written and compelling prose is what I always go for.


    • I want to write well. That’s the reason everything I put out for public (paid) consumption will have been edited and proofed by someone who is not a member of my immediate family. I think everyone “good” in my humble opinion has a distinctive voice that comes through in the way they write, no matter what the genre. One of the things that attracted me to your blog was this voice. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I read very little fiction these days as I’m more into biographies and autobiographies. I’ve just read (a little late) Mitch Albom’s ‘Have a little faith’, as I’m a fan of his books. That said, I like his fiction too!

    I used to be a great fan of fantasy novels, more along the lines of Ray Bradbury (who recently died, sadly). I did go the vampire route, though, in the 1980s (nearly typed ‘1880s!’) not only reading far too many of them but writing some of my own as well. None were published. The only publisher who was interested in one of the manuscripts went out of business, so I was quite relieved he didn’t take it!

    I know what you mean about talking about stuff you’re doing, though… I have stopped doing that now as I find it’s the kiss of death for anything creative. I hope you’ll still write your novels. Let me know when you publish them. 🙂

    • I’ve heard a lot about Ray Bradbury and I must admit that his novels are definitely on my to do list because I have never read them. I also diid a lot of the Vampire stuff in the eighties or nineties. Loved Anne Rices work. I work on the first novel every day even if it is only a bit of editing and a mere 500 words. I console myslef with the fact that it is another 500 words. My husband is with you on the “Autobiographies”, it is the only thing he reads. Wow, still an achievement that you got a bonafide publisher interested in one of your manuscripts, I hope I get that lucky. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I think the old saying of, ‘a writer should write about what they know,’ still rings true. I was writing about things that I didn’t know, but still (according to a couple friends who stole my pages) pulled it off well enough to get back a, ‘where’s the rest of this?’

    When a writer tries to write about something that they don’t know, it’s shown in their work. By writing about what is known, the writer is able to compare their thoughts against the thoughts of others and bring plenty of newly imagined thoughts into play. Adding that little twist here and there, to make the writing fresh, is also something that many writers should enjoy doing, though many still aren’t sure what twist to add or how to do it.

    Since I began writing at a young age focused on erotica for a few years before even bothering to attempt the more complex writing of fantasy fiction, I’d have to say the world would be a boring place if writers simply stuck to one genre. After all, there are several authors who have written a biography or two many years after spending time on fantasy, or crime, or drama. All of it brings me right back to: Write what you know. In the case of subjects that you don’t know much about, it’s time to get on the path of research.

    • I am a big supporter of research. That’s how you write about something you know, you work it out, you study it. Nothing breaks a readers concentration faster than badly researched work. Reality comes crashing back in and then … You’ve lost them. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I like to read & write in multiple genres and I’ve never agreed with type casting a book based on publishing’s preferences. Some books are more than just ‘mystery’ etc. I find variety makes life more interesting with regards to books and writing as well. More power to ya!

  6. Great question. I’m a fan of China Mieville who is writing a book in every genre. I think it’s a great example of a writers breadth when they can move from side to side. Genre’s are probably placed on us by publishers who want to develop a fan base but if I love an author I will always give them a go regardless of what they are writing.

    • Hi Kate, I hadn’t heard of China Mieville, so now all the books will go in to my must read list. Glad to know that there are other readers who won’t typecast an author. :o)

  7. Pingback: Reading and writing a new project « Write on the World

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