Saturday, May 12, 2012

Genre books… the passion…and the punishment!!

I say a lot of different things when people ask me why I write genre fiction. I sometimes ramble on about how I think it’s a place of intense creativity—specifically urban fantasy and paranormal romance. How I see these subgenres as grand melting pots of mystery, horror, romance, science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. All true.

But really, I’m here because I love it here. I love reading romance, mystery, urban fantasy, erotica, science fiction—all of it! And I love writing it.

Back when I was  9 or 10 years old I was breathlessly in love with reading. My greatest desire in life was to sit in a quiet place and have everyone leave me the hell alone with my Nancy Drew or Wrinkle in Time or Rats of NIMH. And when I was away from my books, I just wanted to get back. In fact, I loved reading so much, that when I was bad my parents would put my books on the top shelf of my closet where I couldn’t reach them as punishment. It was the only thing that worked. LOL.

As I grew older, I got really serious and went hard into literary fiction, attended college as an English Literature major and stopped picking up genre books for a long while after. And I didn’t feel that wild passion quite as often or as intensely, yet I didn’t know it was missing.

And then, desperate for reading material on a plane, I resorted to reading THE OUTLANDER. And suddenly I reconnected with that 10-year old self who loved reading in a wild and complete way. I remembered what it was like to feel so freaking breathless about a book that I’d have to stay up all night. And pine for a book when I was away from it. It was awesome! I didn't know I could have that feeling back. 

Of course there are “literary” authors I reread and love—especially Graham Greene & Somerset Maugham…though, actually these authors were genre writers in their day. Dickens was genre. Hell, many would argue Shakespeare was a genre writer in his day, writing tawdry plays for the rabble.

Anyway, I love genre fiction, and that’s why I write it. And I love the community of writers and readers. It’s genre fiction that reconnects me with the fun of books. That’s one of the reasons I’m happy for the wild success of 50 Shades - say what you will, these are compelling books that are reconnecting adult readers with an experience of reading being fun and exciting. Yay! 


  1. Great post, Carolyn! I love that it was Outlander that reconnected you. That feeling of falling in love with a book, a voice, a world - there's just nothing like it.

  2. Hey, thanks Jeffe! Yes, don't you feel so lucky sometimes for all the book goodness out there?

  3. I think I partly became a writer to repay some of that book goodness - it's meant so much to me, I wanted to give back.