Tuesday, November 12, 2013

February Grace and Of Stardust

So I know Bru doesn't actually need a lot of introduction, as she's a member of our blogging community, but Bru is one of my few writer friends I've had a chance to meet in person. She's a lovely woman who lives relatively close to me and came to the Kerrytown Bookfest the first time I participated in a signing at Aunt Agatha's booth.

So when I learned Bru had a book coming out, her second, I thought I'd invite her to talk a little about switching it up because I'd seen her talk about how different this book feels from her first one, and some of YOU think about switching genres sometimes, so maybe that would help you, too.

So without further ado, Welcome Bru!!!


What a gorgeous cover, eh?
You Wrote What? By February Grace

When Hart graciously invited me to write a guest post for her blog in honor of the release of my new novel, I was thrilled and thankful for the opportunity. She is such a fantastic writer and spectacular person to boot, how could I not be?

Then I asked her what she might like me to blog about, and she suggested talking about ‘writing different flavors’ (meaning of course, genres).

Yikes.

Yes it’s true that my first published novel was a literary romance with Steampunk embellishments about a brooding doctor with a dark, secret past, and my new novel is a fantasy romance about, um, well… a behind the scenes look at the lives of modern Fairy Godparents.

How did I get from Steampunk to something of a fairy tale?

All I can tell you is this: in the case of each book, the characters led the way.

The tagline on my blog has always been, “The characters are in control, I just take dictation.”
That sums up my experience as a writer. I don’t get to direct who I meet on my internal literary journey, any more than you get to choose your waitress at the truck stop off of I 75 on a really long road trip.

The characters are who they are to me, just as if they were real people; already formed. Identities, names, and personality traits all there—my job is to get to know them and convey their story to the world.

Your experience may (very likely) be vastly different. You might have complete control over where your characters go, and things like the names they’ll answer to. If I try to change the name of a character it’s likely they’ll stop ‘talking’ to me, and then I have to do a find/replace on the manuscript and put the name back to what it originally was before the stop with the silent treatment and the story can get going again. And they say writers are temperamental…it’s the characters to blame if you ask me!

You might wonder, ‘why in the world would I want to write in a different genre if I LOVE LOVE LOVE writing historical romances or technically mind-blowing sci-fi or dinosaur erotica’? To me the answer is clear, you might not want to. You might want to stick with it and only ever write the one kind of story; and if that works for you, I offer my congratulations! You’ve found your bliss, there’s no reason to deny it.

However if you are like me and the characters rule (my sympathies) or if you’ve ever even wondered what it might be like to try writing a book completely different from a book you’ve written previously (or poem, or short story, or play) then I say why not give it a try? If nothing else you will have learned something from the experience of working outside of your comfort zone, and if it works well you might even end up seeing the novel you started on a whim for NaNoWriMo the year before go through the revision and editing process and then end up a REAL BOOK, like my novel about Fairy Godparents named Gus and Till.

Just think about the possibilities! And consider how the library would look if everyone wrote the same genre, or if all authors stuck with only one genre. We would have a lot less variety to pick from, and as with food I really believe in storytelling that variety really is a wonderful thing.
So that’s the story of how I ended up going from writing moody Steampunk to writing romantic fantasy. In case you’re wondering, I have no idea what I might write next (after I finish the sequel in progress to the Fairy Godparents story, that is.)

I just know this, wherever the characters take me, it’s going to be interesting.

Thanks again to Hart for generously sharing her blog with me today, and thank you all for reading!

~F.G.

Buying Links:
Amazon:  amzn.to/17y5KGf
Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/16M0pN0

12 comments:

February Grace said...

Thank you so much for having me over for a visit, I appreciate you more than words can say! xoxo ~bru

Michelle Gregory said...

Hart, i'm slightly jealous that you've met Bru in person. :) Bru, lovely blog post, as usual.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Wherever characters go, it's best to follow the lead February. Another fine guest post Hart.

Crystal Collier said...

Birds of a feather. =) Love this. I've dabbled in so many genres it would probably make most people sick--but it's totally the characters.

Hart Johnson said...

I had to snarfle a the dinosaur erotica reminder... and get back on a pet project of mine *waggles eyebrows*

It was great to have you today, Bru!

Michelle, you should definitely be jealous! Bru is fabulous!

Maurice, right?

Crystal-HA!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Love love LOVE the cover!

February Grace said...

Thanks for your kind remarks, everyone! And you should be jealous of me getting to meet Hart instead... she is phenomenal!

~bru

Trisha F said...

I know a Bru, though her full name is Bruna :D

I can relate to her take on characters driving the truck, so to speak. And I can also relate to writing in different genres. I've written in many so far. :)

Helena said...

I know just what you mean, Bru, about letting the characters write the story. When they take over (okay, it sounds like a mental illness), my own stories flow more naturally.

I'm interested in Of Stardust and will check it out. And I'm also interested in your... dinosaur erotica? (lol)

Liz Blocker said...

I love your tagline, Bru. It's so true!! I just wrote a whole post about being taken over by a character. They really do guide the way.

February Grace said...

LOL Helena, not *my* dinosaur erotica,(that's not my cup of tea) but there IS somebody out there writing it, I've heard. No, I am not making that up, you can't make up stuff like that (well I guess you can, someone did! LOL)

I hope you enjoy Of Stardust if you decide to give it a read! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Thank you, Liz! I will have to check out your post, it sounds like it will be right up my alley! Thanks for your comment and for visiting my blog! ~bru

February Grace said...

Oh, Trisha, apologies, I meant to reply to you as well-- thank you for reading and commenting! I've never known a Bruna before, very exotic and lovely name!:~) I'm glad you could relate to the post!