Writing in more than one genre is great! I love the variety. I love the opportunity to time-travel in my imagination and create my own worlds. Contrary to what most people think, there isn’t that much difference between writing historical romance and writing paranormal romance. A romance is about two people falling in love no matter what world they live in. No matter which genre I choose, I need to give my characters conflict so the road to the happy ending isn’t easy. I also need to create friends and enemies to complicate their lives.
I like to compare the two genres to a kid’s coloring book and a blank sheet of paper. Writing historical romance is the coloring book, the paranormal romance is the blank paper.
So for my analogy, you would think that historical romance would be colorin within the lines and paranormal romance would be coloring outside the lines. Again, not true. Historical fiction does have a more formal framework. History documents people. Inventions occur on a timeline, as do births and deaths. When I’m writing my historical romances, I have to keep the real history in mind. I have to do my research and color within those lines.
When writing paranormal romance, I can’t just grab a sheet of blank paper and scribble all over. I can make my own rules for my paranormal world, but once I do, I’ve created lines! I have to stay within those lines just as I would in my historical romance. Once I create a society, I have to respect that framework. I have to color within those lines.
What makes the writing experience different is not the lines, it’s the crayons. I can peel those crayons, lay them on their side, and shade large areas at once. I can sharpen the crayon and make precise swirls, dots, and even scribbles. I can press down hard or very lightly. I can even switch to markers or paint. The color I use is the plotting, the characterization. I have an infinite combination of shades I can use to help my characters solve their conflict, make love, kill an enemy, make a friend, and forge a partnership the reader will believe continues after the last page.
So the real key to writing in more than one genre is how the writer applies the color within the lines.
I feel so comfortable writing in two different genres that I’ll be adding a third–contemporary–in December with a holiday novella called CHRISTMAS IN SAVAGE BAY. Please visit my website for excerpts of all my books.