July Round Robin topic: Whatever genre you write, do you have a different one that you love to read? What do you think attracts readers to certain genres?
Consensus opinion when I first started writing was to stick to one genre, at least until you were established. But then, I always did march to a different piper. The first book I wrote, currently abiding buried in a file folder somewhere on yellow lined paper, wasa regency romance – that was what I was mostly reading at the time. My next effort was mainstream and the one following that was a time travel. I’ve also written contemporary romance and historical romance and a few short stories that fit none of those genres. My published genres include mainstream – political intrigue, a contemporary romance series and one historical time travel romance. I have a straight historical romance in progress and another more mainstream novel as well.
What genres do I read? I’m always a sucker for a good love story, but I’m kind of picky. I detest billionaires and models and I’m not into romances that are thinly veiled vehicles for sex. I’ve worn out any interest in innocent young heroines, but perhaps that’s my age showing. One of the most endearing romances I’ve read recently featured a heroine who was my age – a second chance at love long after she’d ever expected it. But my reading is far more eclectic than my writing.
I love a good suspense. I read lots of military and history, both non-fiction and fiction. I’m a huge MitchRapp and Jack Reacher fan and I follow the exploits of John Corey and Oliver Stone, by Nelson Demille and other similar action adventure series. I love following a series because once the author has made me fall in love with a hero/heroine, I want to see more of them. Another series I enjoyed was Men in Blue by W.E.B. Griffin, focused on the Philadelphia Police Department.
The third part of this month’s topic is: What attracts people to a particular genre? Everyone is different, living different lives, coming from different experiences and sometimes wishing for adventures they might never have personally, and for every wish, dream or yearning, there’s a genre.
For people who love romance, both with their significant other and in the world around them, reading about a hero and heroine falling in love, overcoming the obstacles and finding their happyever after leaves a warm fuzzy feeling. Most of us will only fall in love once or twice in our lives, but reading romance lets you fall in love over and over again. And even here, there are dozens of subgenres to pick from: do you like firefighters? Cowboys? Highland warriors or modern military figures? Law Enforcement? Paranormal: witches and warlocks, vampires or werewolves. Some romance readers just want something sweet, some want spicy. Personally, I already know how Tab A fits into Slot B so I don’t want to read all the physical details – I just want the emotional roller coaster that goes with lovemaking.
Action adventure gives even those of us who never even come close to being heroes a chance to admire those who are and share the adrenalin pumping action. And who doesn’t admire the dedication, drive and perseverance that it takes to become a Navy SEAL, Spec-ops, Pararescue or covert operators in all organizations. Perhaps sitting on the edge of your seat and biting your fingernails to nubs while the hero or heroine puts their life on the line for a higher cause fills a need for adventure even for those of us who work at a desk all day.
Some of us like puzzles, mysteries that challenge us to figure out who dun it. There are others who enjoy reading alternative histories. For instance, what if America had lost the Revolutionary War? Or what if Hitler had won his war? What if airplanes had never been invented. It makes for an interesting and thought provoking scenario. Then there’s fantasy or science fiction for those who’d like to imagine a very different world with fascinatingly different creatures.
But to answer the question what draws people to different genres? What makes some folk love seafood while others prefer meat? What drives one man to become a Marine while another studies to become a heart doctor? Why does one person enjoy a Manhattan while someone else wants their whiskey straight up? Why does one person love the sea and another the mountains? Perhaps it’s how or where we grew up. Perhaps it’s what our parents revered, or perhaps it’s in rebellion. Perhaps it’s all about the things we covet or the things we treasure most. I don’t think it’s any one thing that draws a reader to one genre or another. It’s a combination of the things we enjoy, admire, covet, dream of or just want to experience between the pages of a book. But whatever you choose, READ ON. All the world is in a book.
Be sure to check out what these authors write and read and why!
Anne de Gruchy
Dr. Bob Rich