Friday, February 18, 2011

MGOC Extra Essay: Two Faces of Fiction by KJ Howe

Let's call this post a mission in research.

I've recently been working on a profile about David Morrell (NYT Bestseller and creator of Rambo). David has had an illustrious career spanning 40 years, an incredible feat given the innate challenges of the publishing industry. Unlike many authors today, David has never really created a series character. Instead, he writes stand-alone novels that encompass several different genres, from thrillers to horror to speculative fiction.

Most publishers insist that authors find a niche (specific genre, style of book) and stick with it so they are easier to market.

I can understand this preference as it makes business sense to be able to "brand" and market an author's niche. Sometimes publishers ask authors to change their name and brand if they are writing a new style of book. For example, Joe Konrath wrote the Jack Daniels mystery series under his name, [J. A. Konrath], then started writing in a different genre as Jack Killborn.

As a reader, do you want to reach for a book by X author and know that it will be a certain style and type of novel, or do you like to be surprised by the genre/storyline knowing that you will enjoy the book no matter what because of the author's voice and talent?

Another question that piques my interest is whether readers enjoy the variety of stand-alones more or less than the comfort of a series character novel? I would be so appreciative if you could share your thoughts on these two issues!

("Two Faces of Fiction" appeared in its original form at Romance Bandits, April 23, 2010.)

KJ Howe has won three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

posted by heidi

1 comment:

  1. Love this topic; thanks, Kim!

    This post reminded me to offer an update, too: after we posted the initial table of contents, we added an essay by Ryan Michael Williams to the book which addresses the issue Kim raises to some degree. It's called "One Writer, Many Genres".