I recently finished reading my seventeenth novel written by, Mary Higgins Clark titled, I’ll Walk Alone. I hadn’t read one of her books in a couple of years and had forgot what a talented writer she is. For thirty-five years she has been writing heart-pounding thrillers. She truly is the queen of suspense.
However, I do I know why I switch around and read so many different writer’s work. I get bored reading the same author all the time. Before I was half way through I’ll Walk Alone I knew the villain, and it wasn’t the person Mary Higgins Clark was leading you to believe it was. Enough said. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.
I keep a list of books I’ve read. Yes, I’ve been hooked by Danielle Steele and am not ashamed to tell you that I have read fifty-five books written by her. But, I haven’t read any of Danielle’s work in a couple of years. Why, because they were becoming too predictable.
This got me to thinking about my own writing. Now that I’m working on book number four, I’m wondering if my readers will think my work is predictable? I hope not. I really don’t want to be classified in one particular genre. My first published novel is young adult, and I am finding myself drawn to writing in a young person’s voice, but I’m not stuck there. My first and third novel, In the Coal Mine Shadows and The Color of My Heart are both a bit gritty. Not intended for the young at heart.
I have other authors that I’ve followed through the years, Sandra Brown, twenty-seven books read, Nora Roberts, fourteen, Fern Michaels, thirteen. The list goes on and on. Looking back through my notebook I see Kathleen Woodwiss’s name and remember how much I loved Ashes In The Wind and Shanna, and Jude Deveraux’s, The Summer House. I even got into reading the gory tales by John Saul for a while. After making myself finish book number six, titled, The Right Hand of Evil, I was pretty sure John Saul must be evil himself to think up such horrific stories, and about children too!
Since keeping track, I can count over seventy-five different authors I’ve read books by. Some of the best stories were by first time authors, like Katherine Stockett, Mary Netreba, Shauna Kelley, and L.Y. Marlow. A couple of these gals are famous and the other two, like me, are struggling to be noticed by the literary world. Maybe we’ll get there someday and maybe we won’t. Either way we’ll keep trying.
A friend of mine, who has read all three of my books, emailed me the other day. Knowing I’m having trouble with my tendonitis elbow she said, “Please don’t stop writing, you’re too good.” She’ll never know how much those words meant to me. She didn’t have to say them, so, I think she really meant them. We all need encouragement, no matter how thick skinned we seem.
I am so thankful for everyone who has read my book, Guardian Spirit. It blesses my heart when people stop me on the street or in the grocery store and ask me when I’ll have another book for sale. Some are acquaintances, others are strangers, but you are all a part of me, because you have read my inner thoughts. What we write is a reflection of ourselves. No, I don’t want to be classified in one particular genre, but I do want to be known as the writer with a lot of heart, an inspiration, sort of mysterious and captivating, magical you might say.
Before the end of this year, hopefully one way or another I’ll have another book on the market for you to read. And, I can assure you of one thing; I don’t think you’ll say it’s just like the first one. Books are like children. They may have the same parent but they are all different. Even if you have ten kids, each will be unique in its own way. That’s what I want to do. I want to create with the same genes, but change up the hair, the personality, and the intrigue.
Every one of us comes from the same breath of life. Some don’t believe that, and I really feel sorry for you, but it’s a fact. We all have different talents and qualities. Some of us are nurturers, some are leaches, others will give you the shirt off their backs, but it takes all of us to make up this old world. One of the best parts of growing older is being able to accept people for who they are, and what they believe.
Not every book will be as great as James Alexander Thorn’s, Follow the River, and some will be better. The awesome part of reading is that you never know what you’ll find when you turn those pages. As the story twists and weaves it’s way into our minds sometimes I think I have the ending all figured out. Many times I’m right, but the best books are the ones that leave me thinking: Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.
What is my genre? Let’s see… Young adult, historical fiction, multicultural, Christian, inspirational, family saga, suspense, those are just a few of the ways I classify my writing. Even if I have a dozen novels published, I hope you will be pleased when you open each one and find something you didn’t expect. I like surprises, don’t you?