Tell Us About Why You Read/ Write Your Favorite Genre


renjith krishnan

We all have our favorite genres, often more than one.  Today I would like everyone to discuss why they like the genre(s) they do.  For authors, what made you start writing a particular genre?  Readers, what is your favorite genre and why?  You are welcome to name more than one if necessary.  Though your answer doesn’t need to be long winded, it should be more than “because it is interesting.”  Here are some examples just to help:

“I write science fiction because I believe there are aliens and like to explore that in my books.  Are they really these ugly creatures the movies portray or something much more like us?  That is what I try to explore.”

“I read romance because I like love stories and happy endings.  Plus it is great to imagine the hot guys authors put in them!”

“Historical Fiction is my genre of choice because I read about the past all the time and want to create a story using it.  The middle ages are my biggest focus point.  There is so much to work with during that time.”

“Thrillers keep my attention more than any other genre.  The action is great and the suspense keeps me going.  Slower books bore me.”

The examples above should give you all an idea of what I’m looking for, though yours can certainly be longer.  For authors, this is a great place to plug one of your books and use it as an example of why you used the particular genre you did for it.

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~ by Suzie on May 31, 2011.

16 Responses to “Tell Us About Why You Read/ Write Your Favorite Genre”

  1. I love fantasy fiction. It’s the idea of escaping reality and being a part of a world that often parallels our own, but with magical elements. The scope of possibilities within the fantasy genre is only as limited as the imagination creating it. I also like the way this genre often embraces the antihero…the loner, the outcast, the orphan…and gives them the means to prove their place in the world, which usually exceeds the expectations of everyone around them.

    • Katy, I have to agree with you about fantasy fiction. The escapism is certainly an important part to me. People who don’t read them (at least on occasion) are really missing out. Anti-heroes are certainly wonderful as well. You got to love a “not so perfect” guy that actually has complexities shaping who he is.

      Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed your comment!

  2. I like the puzzle of a good mystery and latched onto Nancy Drew when I was in high school. But then my cousin gave me a copy of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. When a book makes you sleep with the lights on, that is a book that stays with you after you turn the last page. I have straddled the genre fence ever since. Dean Koontz’s LIGHTNING was a time travel/romance. I like a touch of “will they/won’t they” in books but not too fond of the traditional bodice rippers. Thrillers make me cheer for the kick-ass hero, and police procedurals show me justice wins in the end. Apocalyse-type books are another favorite – combines the thrill/fear of an alien invasion with the belief that mankind will survive. I saw hobgoblins from age 4 to my teens and believe we are not alone. With that type of background no one should be surprised that my books combine mystery with fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal and horror.

    • Sandy, I haven’t had a book make me sleep with the lights on yet. Though to be fair the only Stephen King book I read was Christine (that was when I was fourteen so a rather long time ago). Perhaps, though, that book was enough tonscare me off! My father always owned old beat up cars. I started eying them differently after that.

      All the other genres you mentioned are good as well. I like that some of the recent urban fantasies delve into a mixture of them. I never thought police procedural books were all that interesting until I found authors who added vampires or alien worlds to the mix. That made it a lot more fun.

      Thanks for your answers. They certainly explained some of the great things about those various genres!

  3. I used to be fantasy fiction all the way, reading and writing. I was originally drawn to it for what Katy said: escape. I had a rough childhood, and took refuge reading and creating worlds where the “antihero” (thank you Katy) is not helpless. That’s probably the same line of thinking that had me loving the “no rules” except the ones I made.

    That said, about 3 years ago I did what I thought was the unthinkable–I switched genres! Okay, not radically, I now read and write urban fantasy. It started with the idea of a supernatural character who was for once, normal, and not the evil-righter by night persona. Phoenix Feather was born, paranormal in the sense that my main character isn’t human, but the bulk of the story is the romance and detective aspects. The writing process for that project went so smoothly that I realized I had been writing the wrong genre. Sure, I loved fantasy, but it was also a lot of strenuous work, whereas everything with this urban fantasy just clicked. I’ve since written another urban fantasy (supernatural plays a bigger role this time) and am still loving it.

    My reasons are still the same, except now I think it’s a little easier to relate to characters set in the “real world.” And I don’t know if it’s still so much about the antihero, or just quasi-normal people finding they have it in them to be something more.
    Maybe that was a bit long winded…

    • It wasn’t long winded Angela. Thanks for the follow up comment. It’s great to hear how you have adapted your writing to meet the needs of your imagination. Urban fantasy is certainly a fun genre with all the variations it can take.

  4. When I was eight years old, we visited my grandmother. I was one of those kids who read both sides of the cereal box at breakfast, so got bored quick and wanted something to read. My grandma told me she had a box of old books upstairs that I could look through, and I pulled two out. One was L. Frank Baum’s Tick-toc of Oz. First published in 1911, I still have the book. I read it in one sitting and decided then and there that I wanted to be able to do that. To tell a story that would keep a kid, or anyone still while the words became pictures in their mind.

    Later I got away from writing — well, I wrote ad copy, so it doesn’t count — until my wife and I opened a retail gallery specializing in American Indian handmade objects, jewelry and fine arts. This had been a childhood interest of ours, and now I wore the hat of a full-time Indian Trader. As our items were mostly perceived by people as more than just culturally significant, I began to wonder why my customers seemed to find more spirituality in traditional American Indian spiritual teachings than those of their ancestors. Western European traditions that pre-dated Christianity became a research interest of mine, as I believed, in Frank McCourt’s words, “We were all perfectly good heathens once.”

    Since the advent of the Pax Romana and the over-painting of European culture with the Judeo-Christian brush, I strongly grew to believe that our history as people has been seriously truncated. If our ancestors began to walk upright and make tools two million years ago, why is it that only the last 4000 years or so are considered noteworthy? Was all the knowledge of millenniums of time lost? Or does it still lie undiscovered?

    My research took off in down times at the store, finding me pounding the keyboard behind the register, daily. Really encouraging glimpses of the culture of the ancients began to spark my imagination. I began to focus on Ireland and the horde of cultural riches of the past rushed out from the screen and from the printed page in a torrent.

    My first book, The Red Gate (2009)written behind our cash register between customers, took over six years to finish. It is a family saga because that is the common denominator for all of our species. In it, the discovery made in a sheep meadow high above the Mayo coastline grew out of a desire to better understand my own hard-wired heritage coming through my parents’ genes. They led me back to Ireland and Scotland. The idea that knowledge so profound could be lying hidden in the least expected place just seemed to work with the Irish folk traditions and the length of time people have made it their home.

    The sequel,The Gatekeepers (2010), followed soon after and another book, obliquely connected to the first two, is currently being pitched. I believe there are at least two more books in the Gatekeepers series though, and I look forward to writing them for the learning that’s in it for me!

    • Richard, thanks for sharing your story on how you came to write your books. It is interesting how our personal journey’s can lead us to new topics we never considered before. I agree that there is far less discussion about very ancient times. Out of curiosity, I studied some of the history for ancient Mesopatamia and found there were great civilizations back then. They were certainly pagan in nature but they had a profound impact on the future of the world due to their organization and learning.

      Though it was just for my own pleasure and not published, but I wrote a book that based my characters on that past. It was a lot of fun to write. I got so into it that I wrote 60,000 words in about four weeks. My poor husband couldn’t drag me from the computer to stop. It all just poured out. History can be a lot of fun to use for writing!

      • Susan, while I’m not a rabid pagan, there is quite a lot to be said for spiritual cultures that were built upon thousands and thousands of years of observing creation, probably without a text-book to reference. The thought of all that knowledge gathered before a time when definitive answers would be put in print to settle any questions just begs investigation. Even in relatively recent history, the burning of the repository/library at Alexandria, Egypt, at the end of the Greco-Ptolemy culture, by mobs of “Christian fundamentalists” speaks volumes about the limits the history we were all taught. I’m not surprised that your thirst for understanding came out in a torrent of words. That shows they came from your heart.

  5. My screaming parents screwed my internal wiring up at an early age. When their battles raged (and involved whichever of us six children were foolish enough to be nearby) my fight or flight instincts went into overdrive. Since 5-year-old children can’t physically run very far or very fast, I learned that through fiction I could mentally disappear. After that, No matter how loud or frightening our house became, I had only to hide under the covers with a flashlight and a good book.

    Oddly, I found that rather than gravitate toward a particular genre, I appreciated any story that started with the protagonist in an even worse environment than my own. Subconsciously, I think I was hoping to learn a way out…but in fact I learned a way through. By reading about people overcoming terrible ordeals, I was able to convince myself that I, too, could be that strong. That I, too, could find a way to survive.

    Today, I write across several genres, much the same way that I read back then. The setting is less important to me than a character or characters that I, the author, can like and cheer for. Then, no matter how horrible the circumstances I drop them into, I’m always riveted as they find their way through or out. If I’ve done it right, my readers are just as enthralled reading about them as I was in creating the journey. My ultimate goal is to create an environment where someone with problems can find shelter, at least for a time.

    In summary, I guess my genre is character-driven fiction where the ending somehow always makes you smile.

    My novels “The Santa Shop,” and “From My Cold Young Fingers” are currently available.

    “Zachary Pill, The Dragon at Station End” will be released in Summer of 2011.

    • Writing can be therapeutic and it sounds like in some ways yours is. The beauty of it is the chance to share with others and possibly help them with their own ordeals. It’s good you do so. I am still planning to read “The Santa Shop” soon. Your recent posts have only made me more curious as to your writing style!

  6. I enjoy reading everything and anything 🙂 But my favorite genre would be horror and thriller/mysteries. I like reading everything, but I have noticed that these genre hold my interest a lot more than others. Not really sure why. Although I do have to say that recently I have taken a liking to paranormal fantasy books.

    I started reading when I was about 8, reading things like the baby sitters club and goose bumps, but then I stopped reading when I was about 10. I started reading again because I love watching scary movies, and after watching so many of Stephen Kings movies, I went to the library and picked Misery up and I haven’t put a book down since. I think for a person to really start reading and be as addicted as I am now, you really have to pick up that one book that changes everything in the reading world for you.

  7. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read. Growing up dirt-poor on a farm didn’t allow for many pasttimes, but library books were free, and became my escape. I can remember my mother making me turn off the flashlight I had sumggled under the covers so I could finish a book.

    I’ve read just about every genre over the years, but seem to gravitate toward mysteries, thrillers, or anything depicting a character overcoming tremendous challenges (one of my favorites is “Follow the River” by Thom Alexander).

    I marvel at the imagination of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and can remember having to sleep with the lights on for a week after reading “Amityville Horror” (it was probably more frightening to me because it was supposed to be based on a true story).

    I’ve read and loved a zillion of the “classics”, but also devour the sassy wit of Janet Evanovich, Robert Parker, and Kinky Friedman.

    I’m certainly no snob when it comes to reading – any book that makes me want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next is a good one, and I admire anyone with the talent to create them!

  8. I started reading horror to help me deal with my Social Anxiety disorder. Facing fictional terrors helps me learn how to handle the irrational fears of my condition. Now I read it because I admire the talent required to write something that can suspend disbelief and reach into a reader’s subconscious.

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