The first books I published were urban fantasies. I was proud of myself. I’d gotten an agent. Dystel and Goderich formatted my e-books to put online. But I’d always written mysteries before I tried my hand at UF, and when I read a chapter of Fallen Angels to my writers’ group, they looked stunned. Every person started his/her critique with, “I don’t really know this genre…” and then they asked why the only protagonists were fallen angels, vampires, werewolves, and witches. Weren’t there any humans? Etc. Etc. After this happened enough times, I pretty much knew that urban fantasy wasn’t and never would be their thing. So I sort of stopped volunteering to read. Which didn’t bother me. We have such good writers in our group, I’m happier to listen.
When my agent pushed me to try writing a romance, so that I could get a publisher, I signed up to read again for my group. And it didn’t really surprise me when my romance chapters didn’t impress them either. I got more of the same feedback. “I don’t ever read these…” Which I knew they didn’t. My group is made up of serious writers and serious readers. That’s why I like them. And my romances are lightweight, not serious. If you ask many romance writers, a lot of them struggle to get respect. Hell, I don’t read that many romances, but when I do, I can appreciate the skill that goes into writing them. The same goes for sci/fi and fantasy, memoirs and noir. They might not be my thing, but I know that it’s hard to write anything well.
I write a webpage, as well as this blog, and when I first started posting a few romance blurbs between other posts, I got such a kick out of a reader’s comment. She said that she really enjoyed my urban fantasies and was even going to reread some of them, but she just couldn’t make herself read a romance. When I mentioned that I was going to try to write a mystery, she commented that she’d follow me to mysteries. She liked those. And the truth is, that made me happy.
I completely undersand how she feels. Some things appeal to you. Some things don’t. It doesn’t matter how good the writing is. It’s just not your thing. But I’m hoping that the readers who liked my urban fantasies might crossover to mysteries. I never expected them to be romance fans. It’s still iffy, though. I’m not writing hardcore mysteries. Amateur sleuths might not excite them either. But that’s what my editor likes:) And I like them, too. So I’ll cross my fingers and toes and see what happens!
I put up chapter 7 for a Babet & Prosper story on my webpage: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
My author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
On Twitter: @judypost