This post comes out of my vacation last week to Savannah – the most haunted city in America. The first thing we did was tour Bonaventure Cemetery (familiar to anyone who read or saw Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). We also took a two hour ghost tour. Obviously I came out of that with a fully fleshed-out idea for a three book ghost series.
Except…I write contemporaries. My entire brand is built upon that. Not to mention that the scuttlebutt in the industry is that nobody is buying paranormals. So what’s a girl with a hot idea to do?
Spoiler alert – I don’t actually have an answer. I do know that before I sold my Aisle Bound wedding series I’d started tinkering with a fallen angel/demon trilogy. So much so that I have a third of the first book written. But when I mentioned it to my editor, she said it was imperative that I build my contemporary brand. There was to be NO straying into other genres! Now, I know she had my best interest at heart. That it was a strong, professional decision to insist I throw all my energy into a single genre to help me be recognized in the marketplace.
But when does that stop? Do I have to wait until I hit a list to broaden my writing? Until I have three series under my belt? Five? There don’t appear to be any guidelines about this sort of thing. Moreover, my voice (funny, snarky and romantic) would stay the same, so I think people who enjoy my contemporaries would also like the paranormals. At what point is it safe to expand my audience?
And if I take that leap, is it true that readers aren’t buying paranormals, or just New York editors? Because literally everybody I know loves them and gobbles them up. At book signings, readers flock first to the PNR authors. Is it a case of ‘if you write it, they will come’?
Lastly, I am a writer, first and foremost. So if I have this rock-solid, fantastic idea that begs to be written, why shouldn’t I? Seriously – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this conundrum.