Thursday, January 8, 2015

Does the genre you read or write say something about you as a person?

Hi! Lisa here. That was a long break and I've missed you guys. I'm back and I have a question for writers and readers: What genre are you?
Do you write New Adult romance? Do you read Science Fiction? How does that genre mesh with the real you?
Me? I write Young Adult as my main genre. My teenage daughters would say it's because I'm still immature. I don't think they mean I'm always behind on my bills (I hide that from them too well;). I just have a playful and spontaneous attitude. I play hide and seek with my daughters...and dog. I'll even bicker with them if they cheat. Give me a break, I'm competitive. I still do cartwheels, giggle, make weird faces and wear ridiculous clothes just to get a reaction. And this aspect of myself might be why my characters still come to me as teens. I'm a character-first, plot-second kind of writer and the character always pops into my head as a teenager.
The "reader" me is very young. My two favorite books of all time have eleven- and twelve-year-old main characters: ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery, and HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling. I guess I'm never growing up.
All of the books I've written have mystery and that reflects my personality well. I love the detective shows and movies. I'm almost always wrong about who I peg as the killer in the beginning, but it's always more fun to be wrong than right.

What about you? Tell me how your reader/writer self reflects your personality.

Dan: Oh, this is a dangerous topic. I read science fiction because I like science and technology, especially the optimistic/futuristic kind. I read epic second-world fantasy for the escape. I guess somewhere, deep down, I like the idea of riding horses and fighting with swords against evil. Finally, I read grimdark (gritty fantasy) because I think it's a more realistic picture of human nature. I hate it that I'm playing right into the stereotype of the geeky white guy who reads sci-fi/fantasy, but it's true.

Luckily, I can break the mold a little bit when it come to TV and movies. I like action/spy thrillers like the Bourne Identity, smart dramas (The West Wing), mysteries (Sherlock Holmes). I'm not sure what this says about me, but thought I'd put it out there.

Caitlin:  I write YA and NA. While both age categories have a lot of interesting aspects to them, mostly, I think I write in them because there's a lot more wiggle room for mixing up genres. I think my reading and watching interests would reflect that too, because I like a little bit of everything: literary short stories, mysteries, fantasies, steamy romances, heartfelt contemporaries, etc. etc. When I was a kid, I loved watching Murder She Wrote, my favorite author was R. L. Stine, and I couldn't get enough of Back to the Future. As I got older, my favorite weekly show became The X-Files (I am a "monster-of-the-week" X-files fan [see, Dan, I can get nerdy too. :) ].),  I discovered some great mystery writers, like Ellery Queen, and I loved the grittiness in The Ususal Suspects and Fight Club. I also gobbled up almost every rom com the 90s had to offer (which is a lot!) and started sneaking reads of my mom's romance books.

Since then, my tastes have remained eclectic and I like trying to fit as many of the things I love into one novel. Yes, I know that mixing too many genres is often (always?) looked down upon...but, hey, I have fun with it and I know that at least I like reading those kinds of mashups. (If anyone knows of a book that's French Kiss meets The Sixth Sense meets Gosford Park, send it my way! *grabby hands*). And, if it can at least fit neatly into a category, like NA, then it has a publishing home and the freedom to splash around a bit. :)

Karlie: I write mostly fantasy, but have been known to dabble in darker suspense and even some lighthearted romance. Like Caitlin, I like a little bit of everything! While Susanna Kearsley is my current favorite author, there's plenty of John Grisham on my shelves, and Christopher Paolini and J.K. Rowling have in no way been neglected. Medical thrillers is one of my favorite genres. I'll try just about anything - the only genres I tend to stay away from completely are horror and erotica.

As far as TV goes - I'm currently in love with BBC's Sherlock, I never miss an episode of Chicago Fire or Chicago P.D., and I also like the darker movies - Red Eye, Nonstop, Taken, things like that. But Monk is also a personal favorite of mine. Bottom line - I rarely say no to anything. ;)

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