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Saturday, June 2, 2018
Why I am a Genre-Jumper
Publishers tell authors that the best way to cultivate a following, as an author, is to write in one genre. One releases a book, markets it, and ideally, each time one releases a book you have purchasers who buy your book because they were already hooked on your prior published efforts. This is the way, they say, to cultivate a following. This has certainly worked for Patsy Cornwell, John Grisham, Stephen King and Dean Koontz. (Yes, Hi, you'all, I am quoting you.)
Why then, am I a Genre-Jumper? (Yes, my word, no one elses)
I have often said that I write what I see needs to be written. Then it is to be released into the world to be read and to help others, as it will be there far longer than I. My first book was actually Rational Preparedness:A Primer to Preparedness. It was written because families needed a book that would allow them to prepare for different types of emergencies written in a concise and clear manner, so that they could make reasonable disaster preparations in the space of one short weekend.
My second book is the story of the life and times and the loss of my beloved son Daniel. What I Learned from Daniel, is not only the sharing of a remarkable young man who was sent to our family, but contains wisdom on surviving grief and loss as a family, and finding comfort and even contentment afterward.
I might have stopped there had there not been a request or series of them for a novel with a preparedness but not a post-apocalyptic theme. My first novel, Portsoy Woods, tells of a family who relocates from the suburbs to an extremely rural environment just prior to an American financial collapse.
In November of last year, I found myself writing a very difficult piece, entitled, Lawrence DeWolfe Kelsey: The Life of the Explorer. Explorer Kelsey was not only a sixteen year old radio operator during WWII who was in Okinawa on a ship when the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but not much time later, he was in Bari, Italy, just after the Luftwaffe bombed every ship in the harbor. Subsequent years found him as the young radio operator on the Finn Ronne Antarctic Expedition, and later in Afghanistan and Pakistan on the Fairservis Archaeological Expedition. His many exploits continue throughout his lifetime. He was a very interesting father to have had.
My fifth book is in the works. It's a novel that lays bare both loss and romantic love, another departure in writing for me.
I genre jump because I want to relate all that I see or have experienced in life, in novel form or otherwise. Don't you think reading just one genre would be boring? That's what I thought!