Cynthia Woolf on Writing in Two Genres (Giveaways!)

IMG_6279_Cindy_Promo_400_x_600Congratulations to Lorrie Unites-Struiff, who won an e-copy of one of Cynthia’s books, and Josette Schaber, who won a $5 Starbucks gift card. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m so pleased to have Cynthia Woolf as our guest. She writes her fast-paced, romantic and suspenseful fiction in both futuristic and historical settings. She’s giving away one gift to two commenters. The first will win an e-copy of one of her books of their choice. The second a $5 Starbucks gift card. I’ll announce the winners here on Monday. Enjoy!

Writing in two genres and other ramblings

capital_bride_finalMy books are historical western romance and scifi romance. Two very differend genres. Or are they?

When you think of western, what do you think of? Cowboys. Settler crossing the prairie in covered wagons. Saloons. Showdowns in the street. Cattle drives. You get the idea. These are the images we have from our modern media. TV, films and even books. Essentially brave people settling an untamed land

When you think of scifi what do you think of? Space pilots. Space ships. Ray guns and phasers. Our media images are Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica and in my case, Firefly. I love that show. Anyway what you have, essentially is brave people settling untamed space and planets.

Not so very different are they?

tameI started writing westerns first. My first book, TAME A WILD HEART, was written because I fell in love with the story of how my parents met on a ranch in Southern Colorado. Mom was from Texas and up there as a nursemaid (nanny) to a young boy with asthma. Dad was a cowboy who worked on the ranch.

I found the idea of ranch life fascinating and decided to write a story about it. That’s all I had to begin with. Just an idea. Now I’m not a plotter. I’ve tried and tried to plot my books. I’ve tried using GMC, the hero’s journey, the W plot. You name it I’ve tried it. The problem is when I get the book plotted, I don’t want to write it anymore. To me it’s already been written. Now it’s just fill in the blanks. As a pantser (a non plotter) the book unfolds before me much as it does you when you read it. It’s a surprise.

My current western, CAPITAL BRIDE, is about mail order brides. Without them, without women in general the west would never have been settled. Men needed the feminine hand and home making skills as well as the companionship.

centauri_dawn_cover1My second book, CENTAURI DAWN, came about because of a dream I had when I was fifteen. My mother and I were going through a rough patch. My dad died when I was five and Mom was both mother and father to me. It was tough on her, but as a selfish kid I didn’t think about that. But I digress. We were having a difficult time as most teenagers have with their parents. During the time, I had a dream. I was a princess from Alpha Centauri. I’d been sent to Earth as a baby in order to save my life. Bad men wanted to kill me. But now it was time to go home and they’d come for me.

That was the premise of my second book. This one had a space captain not a cowboy flying to the rescue of the princess not a ranch owner.

I guess what I’m trying to show is that these two genres are not so very different. A different place and different time but still the same story. Battlestar Gallactica is just a retelling of the old TV show Wagon Train. Star Trek is the old show Gunsmoke, where the sheriff (Matt Dillon or Captain Kirk) attempts to keep the peace in their town or universe.

What it comes down to is write what you love whether western or scifi or romantic suspense or romantic comedy. They all have some elements that are the same if they are romance and all of mine are. They must have a happy ending. The guy in the white hat (good guy) always wins. The hero always gets the girl. Always.

Cynthia Woolf
Twitter – @CynthiaWoolf

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32 Responses to Cynthia Woolf on Writing in Two Genres (Giveaways!)

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Cynthia, I love the stories behind your books. I’m definitely checking them out! Thanks for being our guest today.

    We have something sad in common. My father died when I was five, too. 🙁

  2. Jo Grafford says:

    LOVE the dream about being a princess from Alpha Centauri! Was it in full Kodak color? I find it fascinating that no matter what we right – be it SciFi, Paranormal, Contemporary or Historical Romance – a little bit of ourselves is always embedded somewhere.

  3. I totally agree about scifi and westerns being related. Some of my favorite scifi books and movies could easily be set in the old west. It was really true of the movie Outland. The Marshall always wins against the bad guys!
    Aidee Ladnier`s last blog was …Fortune of the Week!

  4. Lynda Bailey says:

    Great post, Cynthia!

    Firefly? Yea, it’s a favorite at my house too. ‘Course that’s both cowboys and aliens, ain’t it? 😆

    Best of luck with your sales, my friend!

    • Thanks Lynda. I remember we didn’t know about Firefly until it was off the air. My brother, God rest is soul, gave us the DVD’s. LOVE it and it’s extra special to me now that he’s gone that he loved it so much too.

  5. I used to write western historicals, but then transitioned to paranormal and fantasy romance. I think all three feature the same kind of strong hero. I love this quote by Jane Tomkins in WEST OF EVERYTHING (a nonfiction book on the mythology of our American West) when she’s talking about the heroes in westerns: “Whatever he does, he gives it everything he’s got because he’s always in a situation where everything he’s got is the necessary minimum.” It works for space cowboys, too! 😀

  6. I think you nailed it, Cynthia! A good romance is a good romance, regardless of which ”type” of romance it is. We’re all looking for a good story to read! 🙂

  7. Edie, thanks so much for having me today. I know it’s going to be a blast.

  8. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Cynthia!

    Welcome to MM! And you got me at Firefly! LOL. It’s not the setting, it’s all about the people for me. I do love it when a writer can take me to other places to the point that I want to return for a second visit!

    I didn’t think anyone remembered Outland. Then again, who could forget Sean Connery!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …An awesome way to start the day!

  9. You got me at Firefly too. I love scifi and old west romances. The past and the future.

    A good romance is my cup of tea no matter where it takes place.

    Great post.

  10. KC Klein says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    Loved the blog. I have a question for you. I also write in two genres–contemporary and sci-fi romance. Do you find one sells better than the other? Have you seen a lot of cross over with your audience? And as a career advice for someone just starting out, do you recommend writing in two different genres or concentrating on only one? I guess that was more then one question. Oops. 🙄

    • Hi KC. Thanks for the questions. I can tell you that I sell more than ten times as many westerns as my scifi. Scifi romance seems to be a very small group at least for me. I just haven’t figured out how to reach them yet. As to writing in two different genres, when you start out it may be harder to do more than one genre, simply because you are still so new to the craft. That being said, if you love writing in both genres, go for it.

      • KC Klein says:

        I thought that was the case. And beginning to see that with my own sales. Scifi is a hard market to break into. 🙁
        Oh well, I don’t mind hot cowboys at all.

  11. Amy R says:

    It’s nice to meet you here, Cynthia! I first started reading contemporary romance and thought that was the only way to go. Then tried romantic suspense and then paranormal romance and then historical romance, and the list goes on. I have found that it isn’t always about the genre but the story. I will read just about anything with romance in it no matter what is happening or where it is happening. It is the pull of the characters and the story itself that make me fall in love with it. Some books / genres I never thought I would read and they turned out to be my favorites. I will need to go check yours out! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  12. Amy Atwell says:

    Welcome, Cindy! Your post made me really start to think about “labels” in general. I often hear readers say they only want to read a specific genre, but I think you’ve nailed it–the same plot and cast of characters can be set in a number of different genres and still work well. So glad you’ve found not one, but two niches that fit your style!

    I love the notion of the Mail Order Brides. Hope that series is doing well for you.
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Story Icons: The Protector

  13. Josette Schaber says:

    Did you know that Star Wars is a combination of Asian martial arts and the concept of cowboys?

    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Liz Kreger says:

    Hi Cindy. Welcome to MM.

    Yep … how can there not be a tie-in between cowboys and space? Just take a look at Hans Solo. That man was most definitely a cowboy.

  15. mary hagen says:

    Dear Cindy,
    I totally agree. Writing historicals not just westerns but all historicals and scifi are similar, just different time periods.

  16. Angela says:

    How sweet using your mom and dad’s influence as a premise.
    Angela`s last blog was …"Thank You" from this Author

    • Thanks for stopping by Angela. I think Mom was happy that I wrote a western for my first book. She was surprised that her and Dad’s story influenced me the was it did.

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