An acquaintance recently read my first book and sent me the following email:
“When I started reading your book, I had some expectations of what was going to happen, especially with the cover of a bloody knife. The brutality was too real and it surprised and shocked me. I got a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach and the final chapter made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was a weird roller-coaster ride full of pain and death. You’re a strange writer. When is the next book coming out?”
I made an impression on this reader and his email made me feel pretty good about the off-hand way I write. I do not often follow the mainstream; I’m traveling along “mainstream’s” banks and dipping my foot in every now and then.
Another recent reader told me this:
“If you could wring a book, your book would drip blood.”
Hmm. Did I incorporate too much violence? Were the depictions of death too graphic? Was the reality too real?
Nah. No more so than many television shows and theatrical movies.
The great thing about writing is I can change my stripes, unlike the poor tiger. I am working on romance, science fiction, mystery, horror, humor, fantasy, and plain old drama. In the each genre, my writing style changes, although my signature cynicism is evident.
As a reader, do you like when an author you are familiar with swings his or her style of writing? Do you feel cheated or pleasantly surprised?
As a writer, can you change how you write or does your “signature” come through too strongly for you to successfully cross over to another genre?
J J Dare, author of the Joe Daniels’ trilogy