I’m a big believer in reading outside your chosen genre, whether you’re a writer or a reader, it’s important to expand your horizons so to speak. And I believe this for many reasons: it broadens your view of creativity, it could provide new terminologies and expose a brand new world you’ve never seen before. There are other reasons I’m sure but those are the ones that stand out to me the most.
I have a love of history so I love historical romance. But I’ve also found a love for sci-fi. Funny isn’t it? Can you get any broader than that? My love of sci-fi stems from the books and movies called Star Wars – George Lucas was so far ahead of the game in his vision of this genre that it simply amazes me.
Another love affair I’ve recently found is thriller action books like James Rollins and Matthew Reilly. Both are edge of your seat, cannot breathe until the very end stories. I love that.
What this variety has given me as a writer is perhaps a blending of these unknowingly at first into my writing. I tended to naturally write lots of action into my historical books. I didn’t notice it at first and then I realized that – I - as a writer – wanted to blend the two genres together and that has become my brand. So through my love of other genres I found my writers voice. For so long I couldn’t tell you what my goals were as a writer, what my brand was or even what I wanted my readers to come away with after reading my work. Now I can answer every single one of those answers with confidence.
My goals as a writer are to blend both action and history together so seamlessly that you cannot tell where one ends and one begins. This is my brand. Everything on the web that I write, almost every blog I’ve written has to do with pacing, history or action. I’ve branded myself without even realizing it. I want my readers to come away from my work feeling a zest for life, feeling as if they’d just traveled on an adventure into the past and experienced a heart pounding zing that makes it unable to put the book down.
Now my first four novels I was merely toying with the idea of action, really unsure of those answers above. There were some action scenes in them but with every book my ability to write them grew and I began writing more and more. But now in recent months I’ve really learned about myself as a writer as well as a woman. So my newest wip is nonstop action, I’m halfway completed with it and I don’t think I’ve breathed a single breath. That’s not to say I don’t have some down moments where the h/h get to know each other but you can bet by the end of the scene something dramatic will happen. And I am so happy with where my career is taking me.
And I have to give props to the source of this newfound discovery: reading in other genres. So now I’ve downloaded a few other genres to see what else I can learn about myself and my writing, like erotica, young adult, and mystery. I’m excited to peak into these new areas and find new discoveries. I’ll always love historical romance though and I can’t imagine writing anything else. But what I can do is bring some elements of other genres into my writing. And I’m looking forward to it.
So as a reader, this is my to-be-read-pile for the moment at least, Temple by Matthew Reilly, The Confession by John Grisham, Warrior by Zoe Archer, Excavation by James Rollins (although he has a new one out I am dying to get called The Doomsday Key which sounds so fascinating) and I am looking for a new steampunk or sci-fi thriller. So any suggestions are welcome. So what are you reading outside of your normal chosen genre? Share it with us here!