There’s the Beth Ciotta who write the Cupcake Lovers series—small town contemporary romance. And the Beth Ciotta who writes the Glorious Victorious Darcys series—steampunk paranormal romance. I also write other types of paranormal romances as well as historical western romances, which makes me four-faced I guess, but let’s keep it simple (simpler) for now.
There are pros and cons to writing two vastly different sub-genres for two different publishers. I won’t go into how this situation came to be, I’ll just say it’s the life I’ve been leading (juggling) for more than two and a half years now and, if all goes well (growing fan base and increased sales), I’ll be on this duel track for a while. Writing in multiple sub-genres is exciting and creatively rewarding, but there are also multiple challenges. I’ll present three.
- The Writing
- The Marketing
- The Promise
Speaking to the writers out there, if you’re going to juggle sub-genres on a consistent basis then it would behoove you to pick two that you love, two that come naturally, because you’re going to bounce back and forth between worlds like crazy. It doesn’t start out that way. My contracted deadlines alternate—contemporary, steampunk, contemporary, steampunk. That’s for the full manuscript and that would be fine if it stopped there. But then suddenly, right when you’re in the middle of, oh, say, a steampunk story, the revisions come in for the contemporary story . . . with a deadline. And there are more deadlines to come. Line edits, copy edits, galleys. Different stages of the process coming at you at different times which often entails stopping and starting the story your trying to write and deliver on time. Whereas, in theory, I scheduled five months to concentrate on one story, in reality I’m sometimes juggling three in a two week period. And this is why I say it’s best to choose sub-genre’s that come naturally. For me it means being able to jump quickly and easily from writing about a small town in Vermont, featuring every day, present day characters to an altered version of the Victorian Era, featuring extraordinary characters—some with supernatural skills. There are days when I feel a little schizoid, but it keeps life interesting and keeps my writing fresh.
There are debates as whether to use a pseudonym when writing in different genres or sub-genres. There are strong arguments on both sides. I researched, considered the pros and cons, and decided I preferred to write under one name. None of my publishers had a problem with this so I embraced the challenge full on. On the one hand, it keeps things simple. One name. One website, one blog, one Amazon author page, one Twitter account, one Facebook account . . . okay, two Facebook pages—one personal, one pro—but they are both under Beth Ciotta. On the other hand, not every reader who likes contemporary is going to like steampunk and vice versa. I knew this going in. I accept this. But I also knew there would be a crossover audience. That’s where this next part comes in . . .
No matter if I am writing a contemporary, steampunk, paranormal, or historical romance, my style and voice will be the same across sub-genres. When you pick up a Beth Ciotta book you’ll be getting a sexy love story with a little suspense or mystery and a good dose of humor. Complex relationships and quirky, but lovable, characters. That’s the promise I make to my readers. If you like my historicals, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy my steampunk or contemporaries because the voice and the basic elements will be the same. They just take place in different worlds.
Considering I’m not the fastest writer in the world, life can be somewhat stressful when maintaining two-faces. But I can honestly say, I don’t regret taking this route. Not for one minute. Come on. I’m juggling cupcakes and dirigibles. It doesn’t get much more fun than that!
Comment for a chance to win Beth’s latest book in the Cucpake Lovers series–THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE… and her upcoming release (June 4)–HIS CLOCKWORK CANARY–the latest tale in the Glorious Victoris Darcys