I love Batman, Star Wars, hard rock music, video games and dark television shows. My interests qualify me for the 'geek' or 'rocker chick' label, but romance author? When I began my publishing journey, my friends would ask what all people ask when they find out you're a writer: What are your books about? They always seemed surprised to learn I wrote quite a few romance books.
To be honest, I hadn't predicted that I would write romance. The first novel I wrote when I was just sixteen was a ghost story (The Lake). My second novel some years later was Young Adult (The Butterfly and the Moonbeam), my third novel was a police procedural (Secret Lives) and the fourth was women's fiction (Living with the Lights On). So, now you reach the Desert Pleasures Series, respectively the fifth - eighth book I've written. They were all romance novels, with crossover characters. And when I decided to publish, I chose to go with those first.
So where did they come from? I don't regularly read romance, at least not erotica. I have read Anais Nin and Henry Miller. That's the extent of my exposure to erotica early in life. My favorite authors are Robert McCammon, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker and Joe Hill. They can all fit nicely in the 'horror/suspense' genre. So, why am I writing romance?
The reality is, those four books in the Desert Pleasures Series aren't much different from my other novels. The biggest change is that the sex is explicit and plays a larger part in the challenge and growth of my characters. All of my stories focus on relationships. Whether it's the relationship between two young sisters( Butterfly and the Moonbeam), or the professional and personal relationships in a detective's life as he is working a crime (Secret Lives), they are vital to the story. I am a firm believer that writer's should write their book, not their genre. Say what you want to say, because no one can say it like you.
Write your book, not your genre.
There are those who will advise new writers to stick to one genre. For some, they are happy in one genre, like comfort food. But for me, I like not knowing what my next book is going to be about. Hugh Howey, a successful science fiction writer, wrote and published a romance book. He wrote the story he wanted to write and it was well received.
The advice is based on the data that shows in general, readers don't cross genres. Liliana Hart is a best selling self published author who writes romance and dark suspense novels. She has said many times that her Mackenzie's are often too sexy for her suspense readers and her suspense novels are too dark for some of her Mackenzie lovers. But had she never written her suspense novels, she wouldn't be nearly as prolific and I am fairly sure she wouldn't be having as much fun as she is now writing what pleases her.
So yes, this 'geek' writes romance. This 'rocker chick' has also written over 100 short horror stories that will never see the light of day. They are better in the dark, away from public eyes. Too scary! The reality is you are very likely to see me write in several genres as time goes on and I still have something to say.
Be who you are, write what you want. That is what art is all about.