Cheating on your genre…

3 years ago, when I had left theater and was looking for something new to do with my life, I turned my attention to Regency Romance novels. Clearly, I was inspired by them and tried my hand at writing them, and it turned into a career. I loved writing in the era, I loved the research, I loved being fully immersed in the ย period and the characters.

But recently I’ve found that I don’t even want to read Regency novels, let alone write them. What’s happening to me?? There was a time when I couldn’t put them down. I quite literally had my nose in a Regency Romance 24/7. And I don’t think it’s the market – I’m pretty sure it’s me.

What I find funny is that as I begin to think about branching out to contemporary and chick-lit, I feel almost as if I’m cheating! How silly! But I’ve been telling people I write Regency Romance for so long, what will it feel like to say “I write chick-lit.” Almost like saying the wrong name at the altar! LOL!

Of course, I have to get over it. I want to continue to write, but I’ve got myself stuck in between not wanting to write Regency and not wanting to cheat on it. Ha! I’m one mixed up broad, huh?

How about you? Have you genre-hopped? Did you feel like you were cheating, or was it an easy move for you? Did the switch prove to be a positive move for your career?

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17 thoughts on “Cheating on your genre…

  1. I switched without a moment’s hesitation because that was where the muse took me, and sold approximately ten times what I had sold before. Guess the old muse knew what it was doing.

  2. Awesome, Miriam! Guess I should listen to my muse!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. When I first thought about writing romance, I thought I should write contemporary romance. After all, I read a lot of both Regency and contemporary, but probably more authors in the contemporary field.

    My voice is more suited to Regency though, and I love the research aspect. So after one brief, failed attempt at a contemporary, I haven’t looked back.

  4. LOL! I’m sure it wasn’t THAT bad, Catherine! But I agree – you have a fantastic voice for Regency!

  5. Marie Higgins says:

    Well…I first started out writing contemporary. My first two stories published were contemps. Then I moved into Victorian romances and had written quite a few. During this time, I also wrote a couple of chick-lits and mysteries. lol Then I switched to writing Regencies, and Georgians. Oh, I can’t forget to mention I’ve written two western historicals, and a time-travel as well.

    Now my new venture is writing Christian romances since my other stories were sensual.

    So…if I’m cheating on my genre, then I’m damned to hell, right? ROFL!

    ~Marie~

  6. LOL, I never even started writing the contemporary, Jerrica. The story was THAT bad.

  7. Erin Kelly says:

    Don’t worry – I think all writers are sluts – genre sluts, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think we have to write what moves us, and for me, that is not always going to be Regency. Besides, Regency is so high maintenance… it’s seductive to think about just typing away, never stopping to research what fabric her clothes were made of or the proper way for a servant to address their employer’s second son.
    Go for it, and if you don’t want to cheat, just become a polygamist like me so that its all above board. Sort of ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Beatriz says:

    I love the discussion here! From the looks of it, writers seem to get inspired by genre-switching, or at least genre-mixing. (And isn’t that the trend these days, anyway?) It’s so easy for authors and readers to get stuck in ruts, trotting out the same tropes book after book, and taking a fresh perspective can jolt things back to life.

    Personally, I always considered myself a historical writer, and when the idea of a First World War soldier-poet walking the streets of modern Manhattan exploded into my head during a writing workshop, I tried very hard to ignore him! Finally I sat down and wrote the damn story, and that was my first sale. Now I’d love to get back to my historical roots, but who knows? I really feel as though my boundaries have expanded magnificently!

  9. Hope Tarr says:

    I’d always written historical romances in multiple time periods but eventually my muse did a split and a brassy, sassy contemporary voice emerged. IT’S A WONDERFULLY SEXY LIFE was my first contemporary for Harlequin Blaze. I’ve learned to value both aspects of my voice–and trust them.

  10. Maria Ferrer says:

    It’s not cheating, it’s growing. I love contemporaries and yet I find myself immersed in a paranormal historical. Go figure. Good luck in your new genre.

  11. samanthagrace says:

    Great topic, Jerrica. Maybe because I haven’t been at this as long as others, but I’ve always thought of myself as just a writer. I want to write what I feel led to write. At the moment, it’s regency, but I’d easily switch to contemporary. I think I have a flair for mystery and suspense, so I might try my hand at it some day. I also really enjoy writing the chick-lit short stories. It’s a nice break from regency. And just a note, I’d read anything you wrote. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I am a cheater! There, I typed it and it is out in the open. Regency has been my favorite since I began reading and writing romances. I feel at home there. However, the French Revolution is calling to me and won’t let go. I don’t see this is a serious cheat or falling that far away from my first love because the time frames are rather close (what is 10 – 30 years,depending, right? However, I have cheated bigger, at least in my mind, when I crossed that invisible line from inspirational historical to secular historical. But hey, isn’t that what pen names are for so nobody knows :).

  13. Anne says:

    In this case, it would only be cheating if you didn’t follow your passion. And, if your passion for Regency writing has waned, go with a new flow. Oh, and don’t forget to expand your blog’s subtitle!

  14. Wow! You guys are awesome! I’m so inspired now to start a new non-Regency project! Thanks for all the encouragement and inspiration. I have some awesome followers ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Sarah Tormey says:

    I think you should follow our muse! I love reading chick lit and contemporaries and have toyed with writing one.

  16. Stephanie says:

    True cheating is writing straight fiction or Sci-fi fantasy, Regency is a time period of historical romance, not that you didn’t know that. I cheer you on, because the one thing I know from all my years of writing is you have to write what you love. The most compelling stories are the ones that make you forget the world outside for the love of the world in your head. Thanks for the blog, I needed to hear that someone else felt the same as me.

  17. Heather Boyd says:

    Interesting question. I don’t think I’ve been writing long enough to consider being unfaithful to my current genre as yet. Right now, I’m still very much fascinated by the regency era. But then again I do love old things. My house is full of old stuff. I imagine that one day I’ll try my hand another era but as yet, nothing is calling me. Since I have an unfinished series before me its probably for the best.
    :o)

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