Bopping Among Genres

People wonder why I write pop culture books and (now) new adult paranormals in addition to dark/weird fiction. It is a wide array. Re books, I have thrillers, pop science, pop culture, young adult fantasies, horror, dark/weird fiction, and science fiction. Re short stories, I have mysteries, dark science fiction, dark fantasy, dark humor, weird fiction. So why don’t I stick to one genre, and do I switch around on purpose?

My ideal is to create something unusual, strange, and dark. I prefer to read fiction that’s different in prose, style, and voice. I like experimentation when it’s pulled off well. I like poetry.  So when I write short stories, I lean toward the unusual, strange, and dark; and I prefer to use my natural style and voice.

When I write the pop culture books, such as the forthcoming Mortal Instruments Companion, I immerse myself in the material and let the analytical side of me run wild. This is tremendous fun, actually, because I learn a lot about many subjects along the way, and I get to study some excellent novels: how they’re put together, how great authors structure scenes and develop character relationships. For Mortal Instruments, I used more than 50 research books, as well as online materials culled from the local university’s library system. Some of these books are ancient – and very cool!

For my current novel project, I’m in the research phase right now. This means I’m immersing myself in the material — again, more than 50 library books.  After I immerse myself sufficiently in the background material, my head will be cemented in the world I’m creating, and the plot and characters will take off.  This current novel will be different from anything I’ve written in the past, and I’m very excited about it.

So back to the questions, why don’t I stick to one genre, and do I switch around on purpose?  I like too many subjects to confine myself to just one genre, such as dark fiction, young adult fantasy, new adult paranormal, or pop culture. And yes, I do switch around on purpose. If I could split myself into five Lois’, each one would be writing books and stories in several genres. There’s not enough time in a day or a week (or a life) to write everything that I want to write.

There you have it. I love the act of writing, the craft of it, the unfolding of the stories. This has nothing to do with marketing or what’s selling today or tomorrow. It has to do with something much simpler. –


LOIS H. GRESH is the New York Times Best-Selling Author (6 times), Publishers Weekly Best-Selling Paperback Author, and Publishers Weekly Best-Selling Paperback Children’s Author of 27 books and 50+ short stories. Her books have been published in approximately 20 languages. Current books are paranormal romance NIGHTFALL, dark short story collection ELDRITCH EVOLUTIONS, DARK FUSIONS (editor, PS Publishing, Oct 2013), and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS COMPANION (June 2013). Lois has received Bram Stoker Award, Nebula Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, and International Horror Guild Award nominations for her work.




Bopping Among Genres — 3 Comments

  1. Whoa, how brave you are. I could never post about a work not yet begun. I could not even talk about it, lest it die prenatally. I have to (as it were) get to the second trimester before I can tell anyone, and ideally I should be ‘showing’. Just to be sure it will survive!