Wednesday, 13 August 2008

What do youuuuu write?

I have a confession to make. I read fantasy books. For the longest time, I thought I was a fantasy writer and congratulated myself on such a choice. But then I started to realize something...the books I grew up with, the ones I loved the most, had no whiff of fantasy about them.

Writers like Wilson Rawls, Sterling North, Mr. London, Walter Farley and others brought me through into a pure love of nature and the animals in it - namely, horses. :)

When I started writing again after not having done it for so long, the first book I wrote was a horse book. I'll probably go back to that one one day...

...but then along came Mira and her Katsina. While fantasy, it was fully rooted in myth and legend and had all sorts of interesting connections throughout the different mythologies of the world. In truth, I think I spent more time and had more fun putting all the connections together than the writing, which was considerable. But this book only cemented for me that it was my "thing" to do, writing. I started to query, but keeping in mind what all the agents say, I considered which of my ideas would be the next to start work on ...

... and along came Ike and princess.

And I discovered that really, although I'd like to think I'm a fantasy writer, I get all my best ideas from the real world.

So, I'm not afraid to say it: I'm a Middle Grade and Young Adult writer: heavy on personal discovery but light on the romance...big on adventure but light on shopping. Leaning more towards westerns than romance any day.

Where do you consider yourself to be? Did you first consider yourself another type of writer?

4 comments:

Stephen Parrish said...

Sterling North, yes! Racoons rule! Any friend of Sterling is a friend of mine.

Heidi the Hick said...

I've wanted to be a fantasy writer since high school, but 20 years later realize that I might not be.

I wanted to be a YA writer and as you know, started writing something that I thought was YA.

Then it got really dark.

I still hope to write that fantasy some day but the way things are going it'll be somewhat disturbing. You know what? I just want to write GOOD books that people can't put down. I know that's not a genre...

Heidi said...

This immediately felt like something I could have written!

I wanted to be a YA or MG writer. I think it was my kids reading so voraciously that made me think that. I wanted to be the kind of writer that made kids love reading at such an early age. And I thought I could hammer them out faster than anything.

But when I tried I came up with a total lack of ambition. I wanted to do it. I just couldn't.

I tried mystery/crime once, because that was what I was reading so much of, and didn't feel like that was me.

And then I tried just fiction (is that kind of like being "just a mom"?). I think it's a harder genre to break into, and one that is less loved by readers, but I fit it well.

This brings an interesting question too: do you try to write what is highly marketable, or what you feel driven to write?

JenWriter said...

I wanted to be a mystery writer. That didn't work out well. I'm a fantasy writer, whether it be urban, traditional, paranormal or whatever you want to call it. Seems like that's where I'm in my zone. And the target age is usually young adult or college aged.