Identity Crisis

So yesterday, Slate.com recognized me as a romance novelist. Not that I’m arguing here, but I don’t think I’ve ever written a romance novel. Well, there was that one pathetic attempt to write to a market during my first NaNo, but it was ill-conceived at best and utter tripe. I still have it, filed under What Not To Do. For a long time, I thought of myself as a chick lit writer. You know, that no man’s land between romance, women’s fiction and snark. I have, however, been informed that chick lit is now a dirty word. Okay. Gotcha. No chick lit. Must call it romantic comedy. But right now I’m writing mystery. So who the hell am I, anyway?

I had some trouble sleeping last night– no, not because I don’t know if I’m a mystery writer or what– and my mind got to cranking away. Not only did I figure out how to get my heroine to disable her would be killer with a refrigerator door, but I thought up a wonderful little sci fi plot.

Yeah. I write sci fi sometimes. I have even dabbled in horror and, just to prove I could write it and not blush, a little bit of smut. It was sci fi smut, by the way, and was an indulgence of my lust for Brent Spiner. But that’s another blog.

I belong to several writers’ groups, on which we prattle on and on about marketing, craft, yada yada. So I asked today: Does dabbling in multiple genres make you a stronger writer or just prove you have ADHD? The answer? Yes.

It’s always good to stretch your literary muscles, it was decided, but marketing might be interesting. It’s good that you can write to several markets, but when your sci fi fans are clamoring for another book, what will you tell your chick lit fans who are equally impatient. I’m following my bliss?

But that’s not my current problem. My current problem is finishing one mystery, polishing a partial on my last chick lit… uh… romantic comedy, and getting something freaking sold! I’ll worry about marketing when I have someone who actually wants to market anything I write.

And in the mean time, I’ll keep writing my mystery. It makes my mother happy. This is the first manuscript of mine she actually wants to read. She would be completely and utterly devastated if she knew someone on-line had called me a romance novelist. It would be tantamount to calling me a leper in her opinion. But a mystery writer, that carries some clout. As if. Trust me, Ma, I wish.

So what do I call myself? I’m a mom, a wife, and yes, a writer. I write a lot of stuff. Including and, much to your misfortune, this blog when I get to it. So that’s good enough for now. Later on, I’ll let the market decide.

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