Mar 21, 2011

Back To My Roots

For the past few months I've been reading a lot of YA Paranormal and Dystopian. There are so many books out there that fall into these genres that I can't seem to keep up with my "Want-To-Read" list--even though I've been reading everything I can get my hands on.

This past Friday I was looking through the selection of books available on for my Kindle and came across a contemporary adult romance that looked pretty good. It's been a long time since I read something like that and thought a break from the YA would be nice for a change, so I bought it.

About 30 minutes later I was deep into the story and realized something. Reading in this genre is like going HOME. I grew up reading romance novels and when I began taking my writing seriously, that was the genre I wrote in. I have two novels that are adult romance, one with some paranormal content in it. I finished reading the novel last night and LOVED it. It was like rebooting my brain.

However, the problem with going back to my roots of romance are . . . now I'm reconsidering writing in the YA genre. I know I can do both, but where is my true voice? Where am I most comfortable writing? I have a lot to think about.

So, where are your roots in writing or reading? What kind of books take you back to a good place in your life where things felt RIGHT?


  1. Literary fiction.

    I just started reading THE RED TENT. And man. I love, love, love the feel of it. Gobbled up several pages without even breaking a sweat. (you know what I mean). Jo Graham-style. The Fionavar Tapestry style.

    I don't have ANYTHING in this style at the moment. Maybe BECOME comes close. Or could, if I let it.

    I wonder if I'll ever write what I love one day?

    Good luck Chris. I know it's a hard, hard journey. I also know you'll figure it out if you don't give up!

  2. It's always good to get outside your genre and read-- and it's always great to go home again. I've been trying to branch out recently, but sci fi and fantasy is where I make my home. Whenever I find a good one, it just fits. I've tried to write outside the genre, but I always come back to it. I can't leave it alone!

  3. I've tried my hand at adult, but I just can't do it. It's hard for me to read too. Is that weird? Anyway, I just LOVE YA. I don't think it will ever change. It just feels like home to me and that is where I'll stay.
    As for your dilemma, I would say write what's in your heart. If you love adult romance, try to write a little and see where it takes you. I don't think it's bad at all to switch genres until you find your niche. It's good to write a bunch of crap and then discover what you absolutely love in the process. Personally, I think you'll do great in both! :) Good luck with finding your "voice"! If you need any cheerleading, let me know! :D

  4. I love something that paints vivid images in my brain, makes me laugh, see universal themes, and apply them to my own life. That could be any genre, I guess.
    Happy writing.

  5. Ali - the RED TENT is awesome! And I am an adult thriller reader...and yes, I haven't read any in a while. Guess I should change that.

  6. My adult characters keep turning into teenagers, but I do have a couple of ideas for an adult audience. It's been hard for me to find my niche, too. I'm still figuring it all out.

  7. I toyed with this same question last year. I love reading historical romances (always have), but I also enjoy funny contemporary romances. After some soul-searching, I realized - for now - I wanted to stick with the historical romances. Maybe some day I'll go back to my funny women's ficiton manuscript, but for now I'm "home."

  8. Hmm, very interesting! (Love the tree photo too.) I think my roots are Nancy Drew mysteries. I think I have elements of mystery and drop clues throughout my novels, even tho they're NOT mysteries, so perhaps I've subconsciously been drawing on my roots all along. Good luck deciding, and have fun!

  9. I've thought a lot about this recently. I heard a story about a published author who was struggling to fulfill their contract because they were publishing in a genre they weren't necessarily "in love with." I think you have to write what you're in love with so that when the hard comes, you can love it just enough to get through.

  10. Write what you love. How about YA sweet romance?

  11. Funny, I have two trains of thought along these lines.

    My first thought is about getting back to that comfortable reading zone. I have spent a long time pursuing novelty in what I read. I wanted to read things that were entirely original in premise or voice. I liked to read things that gave me insight into cultures or viewpoints that I would never understand without such literature.

    But... I have done so much of that lately that I am fatigued. Now, I want to read about someone like me, going through things that I am going through, feeling things I feel. Sometimes I want to read about someone enough like me that I could imagine myself in their fantasy of a story.

    And then on the YA topic. I am trying to write a story that spans two women's lives, spanning decades. However, now that I am reaching a certain level of maturity in their lives (I guess mid-twenties is where I hit the wall), I am losing the drive to tell the story.

    Maybe it's not exactly the same thing. Or maybe I should just give up and try to write YA.