Saturday, May 23, 2009

Genre Bender - not so Anonymous

When I first started writing - many years ago. I wrote just plain contemporary romances or just plain historical romances. I didn't mix genres. I wrote one thing and stopped there, but no more. Now I can't write just plain anything. I have to stand up and say to all: Hello, my name is Francesca and I'm a genre bender. All together now, "Hi, Francesca!"

My first novel length work - Protect and Defend - is a paranormal suspense erotic romance. My second novel which will be released on May 29, 2009 bends and blends the genres even more. This one is a medieval paranormal erotic romance. I wonder if eventually I'll manage to blend all the genres I enjoy writing into one very weird but exciting book. Can you imagine a medieval paranormal suspense time-travel erotic romance? Sounds almost scary, huh. Believe it or not, I'm contemplating it. Yeah, really.

How did I get this way? What turned me into a genre bender? I think it was my fascination with anything New Agey. I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. Shirley MacLaine's book, Out on a Limb was a huge hit - even as she fielded a lot of crap for it. Also, my parents were investigating eastern religions and psychic phenomena. It's possible the interest happened even before I hit my teens though.

I remember watching Dark Shadows when I was really little - I thought Barnabas Collins was the coolest. I loved Dracula. I was a fan of Vincent Price horror movies. All of that stuff intrigued me. It's always surprised me that as much as I love reading vampire stories and watching vampire movies, I have never written anything featuring vamps. But I didn't.

Instead, I focused on shapeshifters with my first novel. I didn't like the involuntary werewolf scenario so I created my own, where my characters were a different species and could choose to be human or wolf. I still like that concept and I'm developing other stories in that urban fantasy universe.

In my medieval paranormal, Seeking Truth, I didn't go with the shapeshifter concept. I asked myself, what would happen to a person with genuine psychic abilities during the Middle Ages - thus Lady Vérité de Sauigni was born. She has special abilities which she has been forced to keep hidden. When she marries, she worries how her new husband will react. Will he accept or denounce her? It was fun writing the story to find out.
I'm working on another genre bending historical too. Seeking Peace combines the medieval paranormal suspense erotic romance. No time-travel here - but it could happen. Later. My hero and heroine both have psychic abilities but neither knows the other has a gift when the story opens and they are forced into a marriage together. This will be fun to write as my characters will be clashing over their views of the world. He's an absolutist and she's a relativist. Even though neither has fur -cause they aren't shapeshifters - the fur is gonna fly!
So do you bend and blend genres when you write? Do you enjoy reading books where the author has melded some disparate genres together to create a cohesive whole? Let me know what you think!


  1. Hi Francesca!

    Great post! While I like contemporaries, paranormals and historicals, I also really like books that mix it up. Keeps things interesting. And I love the idea for your new medieval!

  2. Thanks Evangeline. I love mixing things up - it's like creating a new recipe using favorite ingredients. It's always different and challenging. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  3. I enjoy different genres in a book as long as the author blends them well via his writing. Interesting post btw :)

  4. While some genres don't blend well (erotic middle grade fiction! paranormal alien fantasy suspense scifi kitchen sink fiction!), those sound like great combinations that actually inform one another instead of make things confusing. Great post!