I got an email from a friend the other day who had a suggestion for what my next book should be. Of course like all the rest of the authors out there, there are already about 50 new ideas banging around in my head. BUT...she actually had a great idea.
The problem is that my friend thinks that I'm funny. Which I guess in person I can be. People laugh at me (they say "with me"), but are they rolling their eyes and thinking that I'm a dork? Or are they truly laughing at what I say? They are usually my friends, so I'll never know.
Anyway, the story my friend wants me to write would be very funny...and require me to move...but I don't write funny. Anyone who knows me and my writing will tell you that. My stories are plot driven, with a lot of angst (and a few witty lines thrown in for good measure). I know authors who write dialogue beautifully, or it is the character interactions that drive the story, or they are just plain funny. Which is what makes this such a great world to live in! Can you imagine a world where all the stories where written exactly the same?
All of this got me thinking about whether or not an author should stick to what they do best or if they should try to expand?
I mentioned that one of my favorite authors is Maeve Binchey. The first book that I read of hers was Circle of Friends (you know the movie with Minnie Driver and Chris O'Donnell - where the big girl gets the guy in the end?). I loved this story! So, I kept reading her books. My favorite of hers is The Glass Lake; beautiful story about 1950's/1960's Ireland and how the morals of the time dictate the relationships of the characters. All of the books that I originally read by Maeve Binchey were similar to this and I couldn't get enough.
Then she started writing contemporary stories...And, while I still think that her writing is very captivating, I don't love these stories as much. I wish that she would write more of the 1960's Ireland stories.
Try to imagine someone like Stephen King writing a romance? Or Jackie Collins writing historical fiction?
In the end, I think that no matter how you write; funny, angsty, hot and sexy...Be proud of that and go with it. That is what your readers expect of you and want from you.
So, while I will definitely be making notes in regards to the story suggestion...you can be sure that my next book is a plot driven angsty story...it's what I do!