Switching Genres In Mid-Stride

Eden.2Eden.1Don’t know ‘bout you, but I’m finding this happening more and more in recent years. An author who is doing quite well in one genre suddenly making the switch to an entirely different one. I understand the whole “genres run in cycles” aspect to this profession and where authors wish to make a living staying on top of the game, but we’re talkin’ successful and, quite often, best selling authors making the switch from … say historicals to contemporary suspense. Or, like our own MagicalMusings Cynthia Eden, writing a series of suspense when her main success in this business has been paranormals. (Both of which she does quite well, I’d like to add 😉 ).

Had this discussion last week with a member of my Wisconsin chapter of RWA. Liz (a different Liz than me, obviously) has written a couple of Young Adult novels and is now branching out to a whole new genre called “New Adults”. It’s my understanding that the fan base for Young Adult tends to run from 13 to 18 years old. New Adult is on that cusp of 16 to 21. Her publishing company wants her to write the New Adult novels under a new pseudonym to keep it separate from her Young Adult audience. QuickKrentz There’s probably little doubt that fans of each genre will discover that Liz is the author to both genres, so I think building a new fan base on two names is sorta silly. Does the name Jayne Ann Krenze/Amanda Quick come to mind? 😆

It’s a difficult decision to make … switching genres. Hopefully a lot of these authors are doing it for the right reason, in that it’s a genre that “calls” to them as opposed to just jumping the lucrative bandwagon. After all, whether it romantic suspense, historical, paranormal, or whatever, sooner or later there’s a good chance that that genre will tank as the next best thing cycles through. Just take a look at contemporary romantic comedy.

I confess that I’m in the midst of doing a genre switch, albeit not a drastic one. I’m going from Romantic Sci Fi to Urban Fantasy. But — I’m doing it because Urban Fantasy is a genre that “calls” to me. I enjoyed writing Romantic Sci Fi, but its Urban Fantasy that really excites me and has my imagination flaring. If just finished my first UF and am in the midst of revisions. Even though I’ve been working on it for far too long (lots of things got in the way), I’m still really excited about this story. And, personally speaking, I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done.

What are your thoughts on genre switching? Would you have preferred a favorite author to stick with the genre she (or he) initially captured you with? Or are you willing to give her (or him) a chance to wow you with a whole new genre?

About Liz Kreger

Liz Kreger writes science fiction/romances and to date, has two books published by Samhain Publishing ... FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW and PROMISE FOR TOMORROW. Liz is presently branching out to contemporary paranormals and is experimenting with urban fantasy.
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10 Responses to Switching Genres In Mid-Stride

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I think Cynthia always wrote romantic suspense, it’s just that one was paranormal and the other isn’t. Suspense was always the core of her books, and it’s easy to follow her.

    I agree that Liz should keep her name for New Adult. After all, the young adults reading her books will very soon be new adults. It’s not like she’s writing historical or hard core mysteries. It seems to me a bad move to make her change names.

    • Liz Kreger says:

      That’s pretty much the stickler right now with Liz, Edie. She really doesn’t want to try to develop two different fan bases. And seeing how the genres are pretty close, it strikes me as a waste of time to split her efforts.

  2. Good post! I think some of the genre switching comes about because of publishing trends, like the explosion in popularity of new adult in the last year or two (like you mention).

    I will follow an author to another genre. If I like her voice in one genre, then I’ll probably like it in another one too. Sometimes, I find that I like the author’s new genre/books even better.
    Jennifer Estep`s last blog was …Print versions of Bigtime books available …

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Hmm, I’ve tried that, Jennifer … trying an author’s new direction and I’ve more often than not been disappointed. Probably because its a genre that really never interested me in the first place. This wouldn’t be so bad if the author would still generate books in her original genre, but too often they make a complete break … and, I’m sorry, they lost me.

      Just picked up “Spider”, by the way. Just gotta finish up the book I’m currently reading and then I’m all over it. 😆

  3. Amy R. says:

    I personally don’t mind when an author switches genres and I find that they can gain fans that way. There are some authors where I don’t read all genres they write because I stick with what interests me. I also don’t mind if they write the other genres for other types of fans. In the past I only read contemporary romance and romantic suspense until Misty came along. I loved her writing so much with her Super Agent books that I wanted to read more of her work so I then zipped through her Paranormal & Urban Fantasy books. That then led me to venture out with other authors in those genres. So, I think it can be a good thing and can help open readers up to other genres they never thought they would read. Best of luck on your UF you are writing!

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Good point, Amy. It is a good way for authors to gain a whole different fan base, but for me the writing has got to just as good, if not better. I really don’t see myself as ever making a habit of becoming a suspense (or historical … or whatever) fan, but I do read it occasionally.

      Over the years I’ve been burned out on so many genres that when I find one that excites me, I tend to stick with it. Huh … perhaps that’s why I burn out. 😯 Something to think about.

  4. Hi Liz! I’ll follow an author. I really enjoy reading all romance genres so if I like an author’s voice, I’ll give something new a try. Best wishes with your urban fantasy!

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Thanx, Robin. I’m sure it makes a huge difference if your genre interests span the spectrum. In some ways I envy that. I’m sure there are a ton of great books that I’m missing when I fixate on one genre. However, there are only so many hours in the day and I gotta sleep some time. 😉

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Liz,

    As one author who writes in many genres, I find many of my fans make the switch quite readily. Some would only have tried a genre because they tried my book. I think it’s the author over the genre. Also in today’s publishing world, it’s a joy to be able to write what I feel the most passionate at the time.

    I couldn’t possibly develop a second fan base though!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Knock, Knock… book 5 of the Psychic Visions series is on SALE now!

    • Liz Kreger says:

      It is cool if you can successfully pull your fan base into a new genre, Dale. But I’m with you. It would take a lot of time and effort to pull together two different personas.

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