I’m an opportunistic writer. I write whatever is in my head or heart without a thought to how it fits in the designated categories until later. I read the same way. I don’t much care what genre it is if it looks interesting. That’s not to say I’m not drawn to specific things in both writing and reading, because I am, but unless I’m writing to a specific market or publisher, I’m not going to limit myself to just this one portion of the stories in my head for consistency’s sake.
It used to be that the advice was to pick a genre and stick to it for the sake of your “writer brand”. This always made me sad though because I have so many different stories to write. In the broadest sense of the word, I suppose I do stick to a category of genre in that I do tend toward fantasy, science fiction, horror, and several of the subgenres therein, but it’s actually a goal of mine to get a book published in nearly every genre. I don’t see myself doing a non-fiction book at this juncture in my life but that could change. I won’t ever say never.
Some authors do this very well and very successfully using multiple pen names. I’m pretty sure these authors have a marketing staff to run each name’s social media too 0r, when it gets to be too much, they arrange to out their pen name so everyone knows who it is anyway (Stephen King/Richard Bachman and Nora Roberts/JD Robb come to mind here).
Marketing and Branding are hard enough without the genre stuff, it’s something I’m certainly still learning and working on. I may discover, down the road, that I’ve shot myself in the foot but I suppose we’ll see. I’ve already written enough short fiction in multiple genres under my own name to really sort of preclude using a pseudonym (unless someone smarter than me – future agent, publisher, marketing guru whatever tells me I’m wrong).
If my stories have anything in common, it’s that these are the stories I want to read. That and most of my leads are orphans because they do have that in common too. Right now, my leads are people, of various genders and races and planets of origin, who are just figuring out just how strong they can be and that relationships aren’t weaknesses.
I think I’d rather be a multigenre author and tell all my stories. What do you think?