Michelle here: Erica Hayes is a fellow Australian writer, and friend. Her urban fantasy series, Shadowfae, set in Melbourne where fairies, goblins and vampires stalk the night launched her career, and she’s gone from strength to strength since then, with her Seven Signs series and now a new sci-fi romance offering. I’m really pleased to have her back at Magical Musings, so take it away, Erica . . .
The fun and perils of crossover
These days, diversification is the thing in publishing. Authors need to have more content, in more different word lengths, available in more formats, from more retailers, at more price ranges. More. You know, in all that spare time we’ve got. Excuse me while I dash off a novella in my lunch break… oh, wait. I’m a writer. I don’t actually get a lunch break.
Excellent for readers (hooray! More stories from my favourite authors!) but challenging for authors. But we’re all trying. Trust me. We want to produce more. Many authors are even venturing into new-to-them genres. Crossover is good. We won’t lose any fans, but we might gain a few new ones. Right?
I’ve given it a go myself. My Shadowfae and Seven Signs series are luscious, sexy, violent paranormals. But I have one book – Dragonfly – that’s a romantic sci-fi action adventure. Spaceships, rayguns and rebels. A different reading experience!
That’s the beauty—and the terror!—of crossover. What if my readers don’t like it? What if they hate me forever? Oh noes!
Well, what if they don’t like it? No rule says everyone has to love everything I write. And those readers will always have my other books to fall back on. If they want gorgeous fairies and sexy fallen angel warriors? I haz them too. We aim to please.
In my Shadowfae series, for instance, the world is teeming with mad fairies, vampire gangsters, throbbing nightclub sounds and rainbow colours. The books are sensual romances, so things like the sugary scent of fairy skin, the clotted taste of blood, the crazed glint in a villain’s eye? They matter. Without them, the atmosphere is lost. And much of the tension in those books – aside from the romance! – comes from the threatening, erotic, hungry world, where no one is safe and everyone is out to get you.
In my sci-fi book? Not necessary. Description, yes. Spaceships, gadgets, high-tech mayhem. I hope I’ve created a believable, enthralling far-future space opera world. But the tension in Dragonfly comes from action and suspense. I’ve deliberately kept the pacing high. No time for wallowing in sensuality—let’s get on with it! And my angel books, the Seven Signs series, are probably somewhere in between.
Some readers love one, some will love the other. I’m hoping some will love all! And I think that’s why there can be no rules about what defines ‘too much description’ or ‘good pacing’ or ‘not enough action’. If there were, every book would be the same. And who wants that?
How much is ‘enough’ depends on the story you’re trying to tell. The effect you want to create. The aftertaste you want to leave in readers’ mouths. There’s really only one rule: keep the reader interested.
Anyway, it was fun to write something a bit different. Just the same as it’s fun to try reading a new genre every now and then. You never know what you might enjoy!
So do you stick to your tried-and-true genres when looking for new reads? Or do you like to try something different?
Giveaway! Erica will give away a ebook copy of her new sci-fi romance, Dragonfly, to one lucky, randomly-drawn commenter.