Monday, July 18, 2022

Toe-dipping into new genres

 Q: Okay, we write about crime, but if you had to dip a toe into another genre, which would you add to the mix, and why?


-from Susan


Right now, I’m toe-dipping into what’s called “women’s fiction,” a term that makes me wince, but is quite popular. In my mind at least it means stories that center on women and how they interact with the world in ways that are different than men. Of course, this means huge generalizations unless authors work hard to avoid clichés and myths. I’m actually playing with those clichés. Crime can be involved. Romance can be involved. Female friendships and alliances are almost always part of the story. 


I’m doing this because I love opera, in this case, “Don Giovanni,” by Mozart. More I won’t say, in part to avoid added disappointment if my project bombs. I’m hard at it right now, trying to work my way into the genre’s sensibilities, a stretch for someone who loves to write murder mysteries. 


I’ve always wanted to write a Carl Hiassen-like crime satire and maybe I’ll try that too, although unless you are Carl Hiassen, it’s probably hard to sell. And I love capers and have one half-written manuscript that keeps getting set aside when the demands of a real contract capture my attention. 


Like every one of my Minds colleagues, I just want to write, to keep making things up that give me pleasure. Straying from one genre into another is part of the challenge that attracts me and keeps me at my desk when I should be getting exercise.


NOTE: I’ll be on the faculty at Book Passage’s highly regarded Mystery Writers Conference again this year. First weekend in August. I’m an alum of the MWC myself, and this year, a former participant I spent time with in 2019, D.M. Rowell, is having her first crime fiction novel published, and I’m thrilled for her! It comes out in November, and based on our lengthy conversations at MWC, I am sure it’s going to be outstanding. 




Dietrich Kalteis said...

Good to see you trying new things and being prolific, Susan.

Terry said...

I really hope the Don Giovanni project comes to fruition. It sounds so intriguing.

Susan C Shea said...

Thanks, Dietrich. I'm not sure it's prolific. I'm a fairly slow writer.

Terry, thanks. I know you're an opera lover too!

Unknown said...

Thank you Susan for mentioning my first novel, "Never Name the Dead." Book Passage's Mystery Writer Convention was the first I attended. It was wonderful. I was amazed at the generosity of all the authors there, especially Susan, in sharing their experiences, techniques and tricks to us want to be writers and mystery book lovers.

I won't be able to make this year's conference, but MWC is a definite for 2023.