Monday, September 13, 2010

Back on the Blog Chain: Genres

For this round of the Blog Chain, Margie wants to know How did you come to write your YA genre (e.g. contemp, fantasy, etc.)? AND (yep, it’s a 2 parter), if you weren’t writing that, what genre would you be interested in exploring?

As usual, Amanda comes before me in the chain and Eric afterward.

I'm in the minority in this group; I don't consider myself a YA writer. (But you still like me, right? Right?) For me, the speculative element of science fiction or fantasy is more important than the age of my main character or my readers. I've written both teenage and adult main characters. I like to plan not just trilogies, but sagas in which the characters I originally started with mature and have children/new main characters to continue the story; I'd like to do that with my current project. So although Across Two Universes could be YA, I think I'm better off marketing it as regular science fiction.

As to how I got into science fiction and fantasy, I started reading it when I was a girl. I went through periods where I explored other genres, but when a friend introduced me to the Star Trek novels, I gradually found my way back to SF/fantasy. At this point, it makes up the vast majority of my fiction reading. I'm a science geek, so that's part of the reason I read SF. I'm also a Midwesterner born and raised. I love the region, yet I must admit it's very mundane at times, especially in the middle of winter, when I'm surrounded by a barren landscape full of suburbs and strip malls and dead spaces between highways. Who wouldn't want something magical or alien to revive you with a sense of wonder?

Ironically, if I could no longer write SF or fantasy, my writing would probably be full of the mundane I try to escape. They say to write what you know, after all. It's hard to imagine writing something without a speculative element. I might wind up writing general fiction or women's fiction, drawing my themes from the challenges of middle age. As Ringo said in A Hard Day's Night, "Being middle-aged and old takes up most of your time, doesn't it?" But I'd still prefer to mix some magic into the mundane world of middle age. Why let teenagers have all the fun, after all? ;)

12 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

Of course we still love you! And yeah, mundane should always be splashed with a twist of magic. Just saying!

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: ...when I'm surrounded by a barren landscape full of suburbs and strip malls and dead spaces between highways.

This reminds me of the stories my husband would tell me of when he was growing up in Chicago. As a kid he roamed back allies and warehouse roofs with his merry band of friends. They'd have adventures, pretending they were on a strange new planet, exploring the unknown, and fighting off imaginary aliens.

Kids make their own magic. I think maybe that's why we write. To hold on to that kid inside all of us.

nomadshan said...

As a fellow Midwesterner, I understand the mundanity you talk about. It's interesting how many people I grew up with found it very, very comforting. I couldn't wait to move. :) Glad you discovered a way to spice it up for yourself.

Cole Gibsen said...

I'm always impressed by people who feel comfortable writing such a broad range of genres. I'm too scared to leave my comfort zone!

lbdiamond said...

Finding the magic in the mundane would be FANtastic! :D

I think Charles de Lint does a great job of that.

Eric said...

I could see Across Two Universes as not being YA. And though they don't classify Colorado as midwest (I don't think), I completely agree with you about what to do during the winter. You ain't catchin' me outside in the cold (another reason I need to move to Arizona where it's respectably hot). Yikes, guess I better go craft my post for tomorrow. Nice job.

Michelle McLean said...

my first book was adult historical and though my current book would be YA based on the character's ages, I've been told it has a more adult tone...so I'm probably in a similar situation with you :) And yes, I like my mundane with a hint of something more flavorful :D

Kat Harris said...

I completely understand about the Midwest in the winter thing. I do some of my best writing then.

B.J. Anderson said...

That's so cool that you write science fiction. And I love the saga. It makes you feel like the people in the book are your own family. Great post!

writerchick6 said...

What a good post! The genre you like reminds me of the fantasy Dragon Song series I used to love. They had Dragon Singer too and others with the stories continuing with MC's children.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Ha - I love that if you didn't write SF/Fantasy that you'd be taking stuff from your "mundane" surroundings. I actually think you'd be great at that just from your small description of the landscape in this post!

Shaun Hutchinson said...

I love the idea of bringing magic to adulthood. We could sure use it!

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