Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#12) -- Pick a Genre

If you could make a living out of writing in just one genre, what would it be? -- Shelagh Watkins

Ouch. That's one of the toughest questions ever to stare me down. It's like asking me to pick just one of my kids and to give the other two away. I'm such an ADD writer that I need the freedom of bouncing around from genre to genre. 

I've worked in so many genres and enjoyed them all.

Pulp.
Sci-Fi.
Fantasy.
Super-heroes.
Mystery.
Drama.
Literary.
Horror.
Steampunk.

What I really enjoy, however, is throwing combinations of them in a blender and seeing what develops.

A steampunk horror tale with sci-fi overtones? Sure.
A literary horror tale about saving a marriage after the dead rise? Why not?
A pulp tale of time-displaced hero on Mars battling snake women who question what it means to deny their culture and make an individual choice to be a better person? Absolutely. 

A literary sci-fi tale about whether a baby is a curse, a blessing, or merely an organ? Is there a better way to explore such an idea?
A love story about two supervillains who just want to be good neighbors in  spite of their choice of career? Of course. 

But I digress. For the purpose of this question, you've got me at gunpoint and you're forcing me to choose one and only one to in which to work for the rest of my career.

So I choose...

Pulp.

Why? Because it leaves the most varied choices of settings and characters open to me to play with. I could touch on action stories featuring masked vigilantes and private eyes and mysterious dames and fantastical situations.

But even then, I still go to bed crying each night for the other genres I was barred from exploring.