Remember when you were in school and you had to read books the teacher chose for the class? Heck, maybe you are in college and have to do that now. Well, I remember. I specifically remember how much it sucked sometimes when I was stuck reading a book that was outside my favorite genres. Although, now that I really look back on those times and really think about how the teacher was exposing me to books I would have never read on my own, I now appreciate those reading assignments.
You see it is easy in life to limit oneself. If I wasn’t exposed to reading romance, suspense and thrillers, I would have missed out on some great stories that I believe, had helped to improve my writing style just as much as my favorite sci-fi and fantasy novels. I would have limited not only my style of storytelling, but my perspective on what makes great fiction.
So since I read stories that are outside my favorite genres I write stories outside my favorite genres. I do this because I feel that a great story is a great story no matter what the genre is and I feel that I should not limit myself to a specific kind of storytelling. Now when I decide to write a different genre I usually use a different pen name since readers associate Andre Cruz with sci-fi, horror and fantasy. You don’t have to create a different pen name for yourself, but it is just a safe book marketing tactic and heck, it is a lot of fun.
Another cool thing that I do when I read genres that sometimes make me blush, such as romance, is add their elements to my own favorite genres when writing. It is not unusual to mix romance with horror now-a-days thanks to the whole teen vampire craze, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. I feel that mixing different elements from different genres into your story can make it fuller and more memorable to readers. And we all want our readers to remember our works.