Thursday, June 10, 2010


I feel truly honored and a little intimidated to be a Friendly Friday guest here at Day Dreamer. It’s hard to follow so many talented writers.

So, what should I write about today? Well, let me introduce myself. I’m a fifty something year old kid who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. I write women’s fiction and three blogs a week. For a time, I was a blogger at Your LDS Neighborhood but still write occasional articles for that newsletter.

You can find me here:

A writer’s Eyes
LDS Writer’s Blogck
The Camp Cook in Your backyard
And at K N

When I began to write seriously, I tried to be the next Dean Hughes. Somewhere along the way, I realized most of my stories fit in the women’s fiction genre. Since I’m the only man in a critique group of six women, I stopped fighting the stigma and accepted my plight. Introducing myself reminds me of an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting, “Hi, I’m Keith, and I write women’s fiction.”

Recently, I read an article about combining genres. I learned about putting romance in a thriller and how new genres are popping up out of nowhere. The writer of the article suggested a warning and it got me thinking about all the different possibilities.

Those of you who attended the LDStorymakers writer’s conference will remember the video constructed from the story we created during James Dashner’s presentation at the previous conference. Basically, a girl was afraid of pigs but forced to feed them, she learns to love the dear little guys, then things get real strange.

Here’s a genre combination I came up with, Lassie goes looking for Timmy and finds he’s been kidnapped by a zombie cult and she has to rescue him. Meanwhile, Lassie falls in love with Benji, but she discovers he’s the axe murderer the zombies have hired to create more living dead. Heart broken, Lassie enlists the help of Captain Kirk of the Enterprise and Scotty beams Timmy out of the zombie lair, but it’s too late. Timmy starts turning the enterprise crew into zombies.

It’s okay, however, because Spock calculates the variables and they fly around the sun to go forward in time. The zombies take over the Borg and Timmy is the leader. Then, we find out that just before the ship warped around the sun, Lassie climbed into the transporter and ended up in Camelot and King Arthur gives her belly rubs twice a day.

As the book ends, Lassie finds a ring in the castle moat, heats it up, and discovers strange writing. Something is making her feel unusual, like the ring is talking to her.
Okay, I’ll stick to women’s fiction, but you can see how far genre combination can go. Can you just see the scene where Lassie tugs at Kirk’s shirtsleeve and takes him to the transporter?

“What’s that, Lassie?”
“Bark. Bark.”
“You say Timmy has been kidnapped?”
“Bark. Bark. Whine?”
“You need us to beam him up?”

Many writers are pushing the genre envelope and creating new markets. They are becoming the pioneers of those markets.

If you were to peruse my project file, you’d find stories in many different genres. Some are combinations. I’ve written historical, speculative, suspense, and even fan fiction. Most of them, however, have one thing in common. They’re written about women, dealing with women’s issues. Hence, the reason I’ve focused on that genre.

I’ve learned that focus is what gets published. I’ve seen many writers over the years who claim to write in many genres. It’s true, Some authors have accomplished it, but try to put yourself in the shoes of a publisher. You spend a lot of time, talent, and money, marketing an author in one genre. It’s hard to start over and switch markets. Besides the hard work, readers get disappointed. Would you read a romantic comedy written by Stephen King?

If I had one piece of advice to offer from a non-published writer, it would be, get comfortable in a genre and perfect those skills. If your genre is a combination, make it an art form. You might be the next Stephanie Meyer.

Thank you for the opportunity to rant over here. If you get a minute, come see me on one of my other blogs. As Steve Smith say’s on the PBS Red Green Show, “I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together.”

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