Genre Hopping


My first published book was a middle grade fantasy. Its called “The Curious Misadventures of Feltus Ovalton” and you can look it up if you want. It looks like this:

I was contracted to do a series of at least 2. I wrote 3. Only one came out for various reasons which I will not revisit here. I would have been perfectly happy to write middle-grade fantasy for a long time. I love to read it and I love to write it, but it was not to be. After the 2nd and 3rd manuscripts ended up gathering dust in a drawer…(yes in my house it is possible to gather dust inside furniture) I wrote an adult book. But half-heartedly. I wanted to continue writing for children but I was temporarily out of ideas and I was having a hard time letting Feltus go.
“If I cant write about Feltus then I wont write about anyone!” I declared, pounding my fists against the floor.
Actually I subsided into a lengthy period of ‘feeling sorry for myself”.
When I eventually emerged, I had a new character and a new idea.
But she was a girl. She was 17 years old. And it wasnt fantasy in the strictest definition of the term.
Ok, fine. Im an imaginative person and this was the story and character that came to me.
I love her easily as much as I love Feltus.
And she has been good to me beyond my wildest dreams. (More on that later!)
But now I write YA.
If good things happen with this newest manuscript, will I have to continue to write YA? Its ok because the ideas rattling around in my head at this moment are two sequels and another YA book with a female MC and some magic.
But what if I wanted to go back to middle-grade?
While I continue to frolic around in obscurity, can I hop from genre to genre without anyone caring? Are the 12 year olds who read Feltus going to be mad that Im writing girl books now? *Actually some of the boys werent pleased.
Does my agent want me to stay inside my pigeon hole? (Yes Ill ask him.)
And what happens if my YA book explodes onto the scene like a meteor of literary awesomness? Yeah I know Im jumping the gun, but what if??!!
Then will I be encouraged to write about that same character until Im forced to kill her off like Sherlock Holmes or Stephen Kings tormented author in Misery?
All my favorite childrens lit authors (Lois Lowry, Ursula K. LeGuin, Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman) skip around, writing a coming of age here, a fantasy there, perhaps a book in prose…The common thread? That they wrote each book. Nothing more than that.

This entry was posted in genres, middle grade, posts, the writing process, YA. Bookmark the permalink.


Comments are closed.