A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Swapping Genres? by Kathy Ivan

First off, let me say that while I'm a bit waterlogged, everything here in North Texas (at least in my neck of the woods), is fine and we're drying out.  Though I'll admit, I haven't seen this much rain since I lived in Florida—during hurricane season. 

I've been thinking about my suspense writing a lot recently.  Why?  Because I haven't done any—not for a couple of months.  Oh, I'm still writing, and I have a series of books coming out that are contemporary romance—without any smidgeon of suspense or mystery in sight. 
It's been a bit of a palate cleanser, to be honest.  Most of what I've written over the last few years has been romantic suspense, writing and building up my New Orleans Connection series.  But when I had the idea for this new contemporary romance series, there wasn't any place to fit in a good mystery.  It was strictly hero and heroine romance (of course with a happily-ever-after).

And strangely enough, these stories flowed quickly and easily.  I think it's because I didn't have to contemplate and plot about laying a trail of red herrings and false clues to divert suspicion from the villain. 

Truthfully, I think the break has done me a world of good, because I'm currently working on the next romantic suspense book in my New Orleans Connection series, and it feels fresh and exciting again.  So for me, taking a little bit of a genre break worked.  I can't promise it will work for everybody, but if you find yourself feeling the blues over your latest work in progress, consider a writing palate cleanser and write a short story in a different genre—even if it never sees the light of day once you finish.  You may find it stimulates your creative juices in new and exciting directions.

I'll never leave behind my romantic suspense roots, I can't.  I love it too much.  Being able to weave elements of mystery into the books, the adrenaline rush you get in creating those life and death situations—no, I'll always write that.  But every once in a while, don't be surprised if you see me working on a little something "extra." 

P.S.  I threw in the picture of Nathan Fillion, because, hey, who couldn't use a little something pretty to look at on a Friday?

Kathy Ivan can be found at her computer, drowning in Diet Dr. Pepper and writing her next book.  Check out her books at your local e-retailer on her website at  


Clare London said...

Great post Kathy. I write across a few genres too, and enjoy the variety. What do you think of the attitude that authors should stick to one genre, in case they dilute their brand, or confuse readers? I can see the need for a split between YA and erotica, for example, but when I personally like an author, I'll read anything they write, regardless of genre LOL.

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Clare

I'm in total agreement. Unless there's a huge difference in genre, like erotic and inspiration or YA, I probably wouldn't change my name. Your voice, your style, that innate thing that makes your storytelling unique is what the readers are looking for. Like you, I will follow an author across genres if I think there writing is good.

That said, I try to be careful with my branding. Everyone knows with my stories you WILL have a happily-ever-after. You WILL have an alpha hero and a strong heroine who is quite capable of taking care of herself. You WILL have emotionally gripping stories (I hope) that take you on a journey where you come to think of the characters as realistic and fully formed people going through the same things everyone does. Well, except for the murders, car chases, guns, and villains trying to kill you. LOL

Thanks for dropping by.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Kathy, and timely for me. I think I will take your advice and "cleanse" my palate, too. Something completely different. Hmm. Maybe a western...

Anne Marie Becker said...

It's interesting to hear how writing in a different genre cleansed the palate. I've had a contemporary series marinating in the back of my mind since 2009, but haven't had time to write it because I've been trying to build up my RS brand. I keep thinking next year will be the year I try some new things. Good to hear your perspective! :)

jean harrington said...

Kathy, You're not going to believe this, but my maiden name was Fillion. (No relation to the star unless I never heard about it.) The name happens to be French, and it was always a last name people had trouble remembering. Not any more! Couldn't believe a man with the name Fillion wouldn't change it for the silver screen. So there you go . . . will wonders never cease.

Kathy Ivan said...

Marcelle, I bet you'll find the words come easy, and then you can go back to your lovely suspense books, feeling fresh and invigorated.

Kathy Ivan said...

Anne Marie

I thought I'd never write anything that didn't have any suspense in it, but it was actually great. Not that I'll ever leave my romantic suspense roots. I love it too much. But try writing just a little "flirt" story, 4000 to 5000 words and see what happens.

Kathy Ivan said...

That is just so funny.

I adore him. I've followed his career since he was on the soap opera "One Life to Life." I won't tell you how many years ago that was. LOL I think he does an amazing job with Castle (which of course is a lovely little mystery program with romance -- hmm.)

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