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.