Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Should a Writer Stick to only One Genre or Not?

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason 

I thought I’d blog about a topic near and dear to my heart. As you may know, I write Romantic Suspense (RS) stories. I started writing in the RS genre because that’s what I love to read. I love suspense and I love romance. When you put it together…wow! LOL. So, yeah. But I have to say, I love other genres too. I really enjoy a good historical—especially if it has a thread of suspense in it. And I like Women’s Contemporary—especially if it has a thread of suspense in it.

Okay, okay…you get it. Ha.
My point is, as an author, I stick to one genre because studies have shown that readers like their authors to be consistent. To “brand” themselves and stay with it. But what about when an author has a great story in another genre? The question is: Do we write it or not? Are you, as readers, receptive to that idea? I know I am, but wondered about the majority. And yes, one day you might see an historical written by me! And yes, it will have an element of suspense in it. LOL.

So that brings me to my buddy Dan Walsh. I met Dan at an awards banquet a few years ago. We write for the same publishing house and share a great editor (as of this posting) and he won like a bazillion awards that night. J We had a great chat over dinner and I realized I wanted to read some of his books. So I did. And I wasn’t disappointed. J

Dan is a great author, full of talent and amazing imagination. You might know him for his Nicholas-Sparks-type books. Recently, Dan has decided to branch out and write a suspense story. I was super excited to read it since I’ve enjoyed Dan’s other books. I told Dan I wanted to read his suspense and he sent me a copy. WOW! Let me just say, I LOVED this story. It’s different and romantic and yes—suspenseful! I really enjoyed it and hope you’ll give it a read.

I asked Dan to share a little bit about himself. Stuff not in his bio. This is what he had to say:

I’ve been married to the only woman I’ve ever loved (and still my closest friend), Cindi. We just celebrated our 38th anniversary. We have two grown children and three grandchildren. We are serious dog lovers and always have been. We have three dogs at the moment. My wife is a professional dog trainer working full-time at our local Humane Society. I've actually just started a 3-book trilogy where one of the main characters in each book will be a dog.

A little more about my writing life. My new release, When Night Comes, is my 14th novel, my first indie, and my first true suspense novel. Although suspense factors heavily in all my books, even the love stories. Most of my other novels were contracted with Revell, one with Guideposts. I received my first contract for The Unfinished Gift in 2008, and it came out at Christmastime a year later. My final book with Revell is another Christmas book, which will come out next year.

If things go well, I hope to write both kinds of novels in the future (suspense and my "Nicholas-Sparks-type books).

Thanks for sharing, Dan!

So! My question for you readers…J What do you think about “genre hopping”? Are you willing to give an author a shot at writing in a different genre? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

When Night Comes
Jack Turner comes back to Culpepper to give a series of lectures for his old history professor. Within days, he starts having bizarre experiences at night. Like he’s traveling back in time, experiencing the epic events in his lectures firsthand. He has no control over these experiences and can’t make them stop.

Joe Boyd thought he’d left big city crime back in Pittsburgh when he took a detective job in Culpepper, Georgia, a sleepy southern college town. His peaceful life ends when two students turn up dead in two weeks. The coroner is saying natural causes, but something doesn’t add up.

Rachel Cook, a teaching assistant at Culpepper, can’t believe Jack is back in her life again. She’s had a crush on him since she was fourteen, but Jack never knew. He instantly seems attracted to her, but she can tell…something is deeply troubling him.
Watching all this from a distance is Nigel Avery. He’s certain this experiment’s about to unravel. It’ll be his job to tie up all the loose ends when it does.

Bestselling author Dan Walsh is known for page-turning storylines. Fans of his novels The Discovery and What Follows After will especially love…When Night Comes. 

Dan Walsh is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery and What Follows After. His books have been highly reviewed by USA Today and in magazines such as Publishers Weekly, RT Book Reviews and Library Journal. Dan lives and writes in the Daytona Beach area with his wife, Cindi. They have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren.


  1. I think branding isn't so much about genre as it is about what readers expect in your books. If there is always lets say a plucky heroine, food, a dog, some romance, and a boat in all your books, you can write in almost any genre and still give your readers what they expect. Your brand isn't a genre, it's what's IN your books. Susan May Warren has written both contemporary and historical and so have a numbe or others.

    I write women's fiction. I also have one I've been working on here and there that is set in 1929. It's still women's fiction about 4 unlikely women friends whoband together to get through. It could be set at any time and contains the things my readers like.

    So is it stil WF? Yes. It's jsut set in a different year. And (this surprised me) has a smell element of suspense.

  2. Hey all, I want to thank you for stopping by. I also forgot to include the info in the post about where you can buy Dan's books.

    When Night Comes is available on Amazon here:
    Barnes and Noble here:

    I know you'll love it if you get it. I finished reading it a few days ago and highly recommend it. :)

  3. If I like an author in one genre, I'll take a look at what they write in another genre and if the first page grabs me, I'll read it. :-) I also write romantic suspense but I also write sweet romance.

  4. I'll definitely look at an author's books in a different genre if I love the author. As someone who writes a lot of different genres, I sure hope other readers would do the same! I like what Ane said above: readers expect certain things from their favorite authors' books, but those expectations are not necessarily related to a specific genre.

  5. Like others have said, it depends on the books. If I like an author, I'll try them in the other genre and see. I plan to write in different genres as well.

  6. This is so true, Lynette and Dan! I struggled with this question so much when I first started writing. Now, I'm hearing this from so many and it is sound advice. Appreciate your insight!

  7. If I enjoy an author, I'll always give their books a shot. Then again, my tastes are eclectic. Like you, I'm drawn to suspense. If a story contains that element, I'm right there.

    Dan's book sounds amazing! I'm hopping over to Amazon to check it out.

    At the moment, I'm finishing up a Christian Speculative Fiction/Futuristic trilogy. My next project is a more contemporary story. Since I'm a Seat-of-the-Pants writer, your guess is as good as mine where it will take me. :)