Genre are sort of like warm blankies. You may have several, lying around your house, but there is that one special blankie that makes you feel all warm and snugglie inside. That's how it is for me and book genres. Whether I'm writing or reading, I'm really most comfortable with mystery, and occasionally I'll venture into romance or even a little science fiction- say if my mystery blankie is in the wash.
Recently, I had the opportunity to read a new genre- steampunk. To be completely honest, I had to look it up to find out what it even was! I review books for Tracy Riva (TracyRiva.com) and the book I received to review was out of my normal 'blankie bounds'. So, just like a new blanket, I tried it out. Low and behold, I think I like it! Now, I can't say that for this genre on a whole, but, I really did enjoy this particular book. It mixes steam-era living, think Old West or Victorian era- with something futuristic- in this case, purposeful genetic mutation. What is created is a very interesting world. (The book is 'The Converted' by C.R. Hindmarsh.) And of course, now it's got me thinking. Would I enjoy writing something akin to this story? It's an interesting thought, taking two very different technologies and juxtaposing them in a story. It's quite a liberating thought, really.
This leads me to my second question this morning- Do you write in more than one genre? There are several big name authors that do- James Patterson, for one. Many authors write under different names for their different genres- take Nora Roberts/ J.D. Robb. If you do write in more than one genre, do you write under different names? I find it interesting, just as a social question as well. Personally, I think I would (will?) write under a different name for different genres. As a reader, it can be confusing to pick up a book (not to name names) called 'The Lake House' and instead of a romance, get a strange mystery/thriller involving winged creatures. (Don't get me wrong- I loved the book! Just wasn't what I was expecting!)
Here's a thought for NaNo- instead of wrapping up in that same tattered blankie- try a brand new blankie out! I think I will- this one may be a little stiff at first, but you never know, it might get soft and snuggly the more I use it!