Writing Diversity

A few days ago, I met with a local publisher who is also a consultant and was told that it would be best for my novels to stick to a single genre.  My first three were contemporary detective novels, and could be considered old-fashioned in that they were suspenseful, but relatively wholesome with minimal obscene language, no graphic descriptions of violence or sex.  I sold about 4,000 copies.  I’ve just finished my last edit on a novel that is nearly twice as long as the any of my first three, and is a post-Civil war frontier saga with a lot of historical references.  My fifth novel is a combination of a murder mystery with cold war techno-intrigue and government conspiracy.  It will be a bit edgier and more R-rated than my previous novels.  My interest in changing genres — and who knows, I may want to write a romance novel in the future — is to find success as a writer whose works form the basis for film or television.  The many query letters I’ve sent to prospective agents have all been rejected.  And yes, I’m told not to be discouraged and that rejections are part of the struggle.  But if I didn’t get a bite on one genre, I’ll try something else. . . keep changing bait until I find out what “they” will swallow.  Also, I have enjoyed the variety, and especially the research involved in the frontier novel.  The dilemma I face is when I do get that Hollywood contract, is what they bit on first what I will then concentrate on forever?  I’ve considered using a different nom de plume for my different genres.  But on the other hand, I ask myself are readers that controlling that they wouldn’t appreciate that one author could venture off in varous directions?  For now I think I’ll just create and write the stories I think readers will enjoy regardless of the genre.  But I can’t wait to find out what I’ll do when I do get the big offer.


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