How many times have you reinvented yourself? I ask this question because I’m in the middle of doing that very thing. Having to come up with bios for my guest panelist applications have made me question what kind of writer I am.
If someone asked me what I like to write, I’d tell them speculative fiction. This title encompasses everything from paranormal romance to horror to sci-fi. That’s me in a nutshell.
So why does any of this matter? It does when it comes to things like query letters, marketing, and sales because everyone wants specifics. However, I’ve been thinking a lot about the rules governing urban fantasy and paranormal romance and I feel like I’ve outgrown them. I’m cool with that. 😎
Though my stories have urban fantasy elements, I don’t have kick-ass heroines who go out looking for trouble or tote their toughness on their sleeves. They’re touchable, which is a rarity in urban fantasy, and IMHO, makes them more human. Trouble finds them and they’re forced to become something they’re not or do things they wouldn’t normally do. My paranormal romances depend heavily on the action and mystery while falling in love always adds another complication on top of the heap. Is that the definition of a romance? I don’t know and don’t care. I write the story the sings the loudest whether romance is involved or not. Let’s not forget about that sci-fi YA I’m writing. That’s completely off the paranormal spectrum…but not outside the realm of speculative fiction.
Some writers know exactly who they are and what they write. Lately, many of them have been dipping their toes into other waters, making me wonder how they bill themselves. Paranormal romance authors have gone into the urban fantasy arena. Chick-lit authors have taken chances with a contemporaries. The list goes on.
I don’t like labels. Not unless they’re broad enough to encompass all of my interests. That’s why I think speculative fiction is the best label for me. The only reason why it has taken me so long to embraced the “speculative fiction” tag is because of marketing. I don’t think the word has gotten out about speculative fiction and it leaves too many questions in a reader’s mind. Nonetheless, that’s what I am and I’m proud of it. 😀
Have you always known what you write or have you bounced back and forth and questioned your label like me?