Monday, January 11, 2010

Who Am I?

"What kind of books do you write?" a friend asked me at dinner the other night. It's a good question, and one I didn't know how to answer.

"I'm still figuring that out," is really as close as I can get.

My short stories have all been sort of literary (except for the few that I've written and published under a pseudonym).

And my novels, well, I've written a mystery (but I can't really fit it perfectly into a sub-genre like "cozy"), a mainstream/literary novel (the type of book one might find with a book club discussion guide in the back), a middle grade novel with slight elements of fantasy, and an erotic romance.

So far the style that feels most natural to me is a sort of mainstream fiction voice.

But I read in a lot of genres so I thought I'd give several different styles a try before settling down, as it were. (And who knows? I might never settle on just one style.)

For the last month I've written no fiction at all - though of course I've thought about writing quite a bit and frequently draft little pieces in my mind as I go about my day.

For the last month I've been seriously concentrating on reading.

Over the past few weeks I've read: Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson (fantasy), Laurell K. Hamilton (totally different kind of fantasy), Robin Hobb (yet another style of fantasy), Sara Paretsky (hard-boiled mystery), and Patricia Cornwell (thriller), just for fun. I'm currently reading Jill McCorkle (literary short stories) and Kathryn Stockett (historical fiction) for book club meetings next week. And I have the latest Diana Gabaldon (historical fiction? romance? fantasy?) all queued up and ready to go after that. I also have a stack as tall as my bedside table and a shelf on a bookcase at the foot of my bed that are the rest of my "to be read" pile. And that's just books I own or currently have checked out from the library!

Even more than I'm a writer, I'm a reader.

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