You Can’t Tell Me What to Do

“Write what you know.”

“Stay in your wheelhouse.”

“Don’t confuse your readers.”

RulesOh Lord, how often do writers hear these bits of wisdom? And they all sound reasonable, right? Because common sense tells us to learn how to do one thing, do it well, and keep doing it over and over again.

Bullsh-u-z-t-z. Excuse my sneeze, y’all.

Before I became I writer, the longest I stayed with one job was four and a half years. And those four+ years seemed like FOREVER. See, I get bored easily. If I do the same thing day after day, year after year, I eventually lose my edge and the passion that drew me to the work in the first place.

And that pretty much spells doom for my writing career, doesn’t it? After all, I’ve been doing this writing thing seriously since 2007.

Well, variety can be the answer to boredom. Yes, the work may be essentially the same, but by writing in different genres and sub-genres I keep from becoming bored out of my gourd!

And I didn’t wait until I became burned out to write—and publish—different types of stories. My debut contemporary romance, Personal Assets, released in late August 2013. By November, I had also released a cozy mystery, In For a Penny, co-written with Nancy Naigle. Sassy, sexy contemporary romance with a blue-collar hero and HAWT sex versus cozy mystery chockfull of crazy over-fifty women and no granny-sex? Doesn’t sound like a particularly smart strategy, does it?

But guess what?

I love it.

I also have two paranormal romance series with five books each in the works (although I won’t have time to birth those into the world for a while).

Oh my, what will my readers say? Will they be confused, angry, throw rotten fruit at my head?

So far, I haven’t been forced to wipe any black bananas or moldy strawberries from my face. I realize my readers may not follow me from genre to genre. Which means my income may not be what it would if I concentrated all my efforts in one area. But that’s a price I’m more than willing to pay to keep myself interested in my work.

Because if I lose interest, guess what else I’ll likely lose?

You got it.

Readers. If I’m bored, they will be too.

But I do believe a writer should always deliver on certain promises to her readers. So what can someone expect from a Kelsey Browning book regardless of whether it’s a contemporary romance, paranormal romance, or cozy mystery?

  • A sassy edge
  • Fast-paced dialogue
  • Banter
  • Quirky characters
  • Some LOL moments (so says my crit partner :-) )
  • And hopefully a whole heaping of entertainment

And those are promises I’ll never get bored with!

Do you read the work of authors who write in more than one genre or sub-genre? Do you follow them regardless of genre?


Running the Red Light Summary

Running the Red Light by Kelsey BrowningAfter wearing a “Least Likely to Succeed” label all her life, Roxanne Eberly is hell-bent on making her Red Light Lingerie store successful. Although the residents of small-town Shelbyville, Texas, are a little…lingerie-resistant, she’ll win them over eventually. So when a former employer sues her, putting a major wrinkle in her careful plans, she reluctantly accepts help from hot-stuff Houston attorney Jamie Wright.

Jamie’s on track to become his firm’s youngest partner, but discovers an unwritten prerequisite—marriage. Turns out, the only woman he wants is Roxanne, but peddling thongs and sex toys isn’t a suitable career for the spouse of an up-and-coming attorney.

Jamie’s tangled up in Roxanne’s lawsuit, her life and her lingerie. But if they’re ever going to make it work, Roxanne’s big-city boy will have to decide what he values more: the career he always thought he wanted or the woman he never thought he’d fall for.

Find Running the Red Light at all your favorite e-tailers!


Carina Press

Barnes & Noble


You Can’t Tell Me What to Do — 11 Comments

  1. I can so relate to this. First of all, if I only wrote what I knew, my subjects would be limited and deadly boring. Secondly, the longest job I’ve ever had is my current one at seven years, but only because it’s part-time and I pretty much make my own schedule. Mainly the reason I’ve lasted this long is that aside from accounting, I’ve been able to do things like write articles and interview members for the newsletter. It keeps me interested.

    Thirdly, I like to write in different genres too. Like having variety in my day job, I need it my writing. I’ve been concentrating on contemporary romance for a while and lately I’m longing to write romantic suspense or another WW2 story. Like you said, if I’m not interested, readers won’t be either. Great post, Kelsey.

    • Yes, Jana! Variety in your work can keep it from being the death of you :-). As for the different story types, I find it cleanses my “writing palate.” And hopefully, that makes all my writing better.

      Thanks for popping in!

      • Liz – excellent point. Sometimes I worry about losing touch and not being relevant anymore. Which means an author can’t ever stop learning. Good thing it’s one of my favorite things to do. :-)


  2. Kelsey, I love this. I have the same “problem.” Never stayed with a job longer than 2 years, not even volunteer work, before boredom set in. So I worried I wouldn’t be able to stick with the writing. After four years, a little of that worry has eased…although not all of it. But I love learning and writing allows me to do that. Maybe there’s hope.

    • Whew, Samantha – I’m SO happy to know there are others like me out there. And I think you’ve found your calling with writing. Like I told Liz, I think the constant learning–of both craft and content–keep the easily bored among us stimulated.

      Have a great weekend!

  3. Nice post. If it weren’t for authors switching up genres, there are a lot I would not be reading today. I was always a romantic suspense and contemporary romance fan. Back before I had learned of a lot of new authors, one of my fave authors (Adrienne Giordano) said I should try Misty Evans’ romantic suspense books. I did. I loved them. Then I needed more books to read. So, I noticed Misty had some paranormal romance and fantasy…so I thought I would give those a try. You know what? I loved them. If I like an author’s writing, I will pretty much read all that they write. I think it helps to venture out into new genres when you know it is with an author you trust. The same was true for me and Jeffe Kennedy. I read her fantasy book (Rogue’s Pawn) and then thought I would give her erotic romance a try. Now, there are some genres that I will only read from authors I know. So, I like it when authors switch it up!

  4. Fantastic post, Kelsey. I love that you’re mixing it up. Doing the same thing gets wearisome for me, too, after awhile. So I can definitely understand why you need to switch it up to keep things interesting for yourself. I can’t think of a writer I followed into other genres, but then again the genres I read have been expanding lately, so it’s bound to happen.

    • Reese –

      I’m finding the more I read, the more likely I am to follow an author through all her work. It also remind me that although I may not love a book she does in one of her subgenres, I should still give her second subgenre a chance!


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