Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reading Outside Your Genre

I love reading gothic novels. I read traditional gothics by Victoria Holt in high school and as I got older I fell in love with contemporary gothics by Barbara Michaels. If you would have asked me what type of books I would be writing, I would have said contemporary gothics.

But the oddest thing happened. I started writing my first story and it sounded nothing like a gothic. With gothic there is a dark moody tone to the writing, and there is a lot of dwelling on location with intense descriptions. My tone is fairly light, very smart ass and I seem more interested in the characters and action than the details of the surroundings. It shocked the heck out of me. Instead of writing gothics, I work away on paranormals and chicklit action diva stories.

I've started reading paranormals and chicklits. And it's made me wonder what types of books I missed out on by always reaching for my stand-bys and favorite genres.

As reader we sometimes get in ruts. If we love paranormals - that's what we devour. What is the last book you took a risk on? Something that normally you wouldn't read, or would think was your type of book, but you took a chance on? Or what type of genre have you thought about trying, but haven't gotten around to reading yet?

Samantha Storm
http://www.samanthastorm.com/

66 comments:

readingissomuchfun said...

Hello Samantha,

YaY!!! I am so glad you are here to blog with us. Great question.

I just started to get into Erotica. I love it :) My first one was Devarian Exile By: Sierra Dafoe
And now I have read several of erotica books and I love it *Winks* I am now reading Pure Sex By: Lucinda Betts, Bonnie Edwards, and Sasha White. Really good Erotica book *G*

Happy Blogging :) :)

HUGSSSS
Linda.H.

jennybrat said...

Samantha, there's no telling where the muse takes you, isn't it? I'm thinking of trying chicklit as one of my staple authors just released a book of that genre.

Cherie said...

Well, erotica I guess I just started to get into them along with ebooks.
I also took a chance on KARIN SLAUGHTER this year I normally did not read thrillers but I read faithless and it was so good I went and bought a few more books by her.

~Cherie K~

Nicola Marsh said...

Samantha,
I grew up reading Victoria Holt too! I loved her novels. I really should read some again...

I enjoy reading new authors and there are quite a few blogging here at the moment I'm definitely going to try :)

Judy F said...

I guess the last book I took a chance on was a time travel. I used to read them all the time then got tired of them. A friend recommended this book and I loved it.

suefromdevon said...

I'm another who grew up reading Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart etc.

The book I last took a chance on was a Silhouette Bombshell -- AKA Goddess by Evelyn Vaughn. And I absolutely love it. Luckily, the next Grailkeeper, Her Kind of Trouble, is out in the UK this month!

Sue Child

Maureen said...

I was not interested in Chick Lit because I felt that the stories were geared toward younger, single women. But I have found that they are a lot of fun to read, following a young woman's life as she deals with dating, her career and her friends.

Bonnie Ferguson said...

I Love historical romance and another subgenre I thoroughly enjoy is paranormal romance. I've also read contemporary romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, sci-fi romance, time travel romance, fantasy romance, romantic comedy, action adventure,etc. This includes both single title and category :)

In addition to this I've read some fantasy, urban fantasy, women's fiction, thrillers,mysteries, horror and suspense.

Debby said...

I used to only read historicals. I would never even look at anything else. Then one day I tried a Romantic suspense, froimt here I moved into contemporary and then paranormal. I found I like them all. I read based on mood though. Right now I am into vampires.

Marcail said...

I'm currently reading a litery fiction where the protagonist is a Cree Indian and a WW1 sniper. I usually don't read the military type novels that my DH does. I picked up this book for him because I was intrigued. It's called "Three Day Road." I have not been disappointed, but it is very thought-provoking and disturbing. The writing is graphic and transporting.

Meljprincess said...

I'm about to try sci-fi again. It's been years since I've read a sci-fi romance. The book was "Ravyn's Flight" by Patti O'Shea. However, she's come out with the follow up to RF *which is excellent, btw* and I want to read it. It's called, "Eternal Nights".

Cheryl said...

The last one I took a chance on was a historical. I was afraid I wouldn't understand the terminology, hence not understand the story. But I found out I could follow the story and enjoyed it.

Yvonne Lindsay said...

Ah, the greats--Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart! Loved those authors in my teenage years, together with V.C. Andrews.

While I'm a Silhouette Desire author, and love to read Desire, Presents, SIM, Bombshell... you name it, for true leisure I adore reading authors like Kay Hooper and Lisa Gardner and Barbara Erksine. There's just something about the helplessness of the situations, the absolute evil of the villains and the strength of characters that win through in the end that I find totally addictive. My dream is to continue to write category length for Silhouette Desire and complement it with a compelling romantic suspense single title career as well. It's in my *five year plan*.

Anyone else have one of those?

Oh, and Sue, Evelyn Vaughan is another one of those incredibly powerful authors that writes brilliant stories.

Yvonne (who really wishes she was in Atlanta, no matter what the humidity is like!)

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hey Samantha,

the last great risk that I took with a book was an erotic m/m romance. I never thought that I would like it but I discovered some great stories

Barb V. in NY said...

I normally read contemporary romance, but also enjoy some paranormals. Once in a while I will read historicals, mainly the Amanda Quicks. I very rarely read nonfiction. The last book I took a chance on was "Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog" by John Grogan. It was a great book, and one that has really stayed with me.

Laurie said...

I got back into historicals with Pamela Clare's "Surrender" absolutely loved it. Riskiest breakout: were Lori Handlehand's "Moon" series: Cresent Moon, Hunter's Moon etc I'm enjoying the paranormal genre.

Lori said...

Hi Samantha

I have always loved romance even as a teenager I read romance but I used to read a lot of horror and suspense too. Now, I pretty much read primarily romances.
My most recent chances have been on paranormal romances which I resisted for a long time because I did not think that I would enjoy reading about vampires and shapeshifters, but I am hooked now. My next chances was erotic romances and I love these too. I cannot believe that I had never tried them before. Otherwise, I really do stick with the romance genre.
Have a great day!
Lori

CrystalG said...

I read several romance genres.
I never have been much on reading mystery but I started reading Kate Collins' flower shop mysteries and I love them. This is a big change for me since I usually only read romance.

Carol said...

Don't forget Phyllis Whitney! I loved the gothics, too! I think I've read just every type of book but I always seem to go back to mysteries/thrillers and historicals.

Jennifer L. said...

Interesting question. I usually "discover" a new author or genre when I'm waiting for my favorite authors to realease a new book (Exhibit A: Lucy Monore's Ready, Willing, and Able series). That's when I go to the used bookstore to venture outside of my usual erotica and chick lit.

In fact that's how I started reading paranormals, which I now LUUUVE. I wouldn't have discovered, Kresley Cole, J.R. Ward, or Robin D. Owens (all stellar authors BTW) otherwise.

Pam P. said...

I love gothics, too, read them all as a teen and still like them. I read most genres, and even though my favorite is historicals, I usually don't pick up westerns, but have tried a few more recently, along with more romantic comedy.

And I'm really looking forward to reading Eye of the Storm, Samantha.

Kathleen said...

I enjoy reading romance suspense, historical romance, anything that I know will give me a good laugh and is light-hearted. I'll try any different types of books as long as I like the plot!

Kelli in Kentucky said...

I've always loved paranormal but a couple of years back I picked up The Lady is Tempted by Cathy Maxwell and loved it. Since I've read tons of historical. I've read pretty much read everything from Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Christina Dodd and Cathy Maxwell. Can anyone recommend any other good historical authors?

Dena said...

I used to only read Historicals and Romantic Suspense. Then one day I read a anthology called Hot Blooded,it had four paranormal stories in it and I really liked Christine Feehan's story Dark Hunger about Carpathian's and Vampires. So since then I've been hooked on her Dark series.I couldn't put down the last book in the series,Dark Demon and can't wait for next one.I ventured into a few other authors vampire books and paranormals with time travel and am glad that I stumbled across this genre.

MarilynS said...

Kelli......A Historical Author, well how about our own Lucy Monroe and Touch Me, Take Me and Tempt Me ( Oct. '06)

As for stepping out of a genere, Historicals I'm sure due to the author I just mentioned above.

Then Women's Fiction first reading Jane Porter's The Frog Prince and Flirting with Forty. I have a few others on my TBR pile....When Light Breaks by Patti Callahan Henry, two Mary K. Andrews and Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble.

Amy S. said...

My favorite genre is romantic suspense. In the last year, I have read more genres. Paranormal, fantasy, contemporaries, science fiction, and historical. I don't think I have read a gothic book yet though. Might have to try one of them.

Jennifer L hart said...

I was converet to a fan of paranormal romance by Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter books.

Becky said...

The last book I took a book on was "Forever Marian" a histoical at Silks Vault. I don't usually read historicals because I think they were too stuck up back then for me. lol

At a chat with Cobblestone book authors I heard about a couple really great chick lit books. So I think I'm going to try those next. :)

Joyce said...

I'd probably try chicklit.

Cryna said...

I usually read Contemporary Romance, but have been trying other genres.......paranormal and time travel being two of the different ones........and enjoyed them.

ShelMel said...

Oh wow - I love this post... it's exactly what's happening to me. I tend to read more of one or two genres and find myself writing in a completely different genre altogether. How weird is that??

I have since started taking a chance on more authors and genres in the last few years. It helps that my hubby is a voracious reader too, so now we can swap some books.

What a great topic! Thank you!!

Marcy said...

I never really went for Presents because the H's were way too alpha for my liking. But then I was told to check out Lucy's Presents and it made a world of difference. Her H's actually have feelings an aren't afraid to show them.

I've also recently rediscovered Historicals.

Susan said...

I just tried a semi paranormal romance titled A Dream Across Time by Annie Rogers. I can't wait to get the sequel!

Jenn said...

I generally read all different types of books. I don't particularly stick to one style or time period.
The first vampire werewolf book I read was by Sherrilyn Kenyon and I just feel in love with her Dark Hunter Series. I love the romantic suspence and most chick-lit. There are times for me the main character in a chick-lit story can come of being a bit whinny. I haven't really read any Erotica so maybe that should be my next step.

kim said...

i do stick to one kind of book. i would like to start reading funny vampire books though

robynl said...

I am not into medieval romance stories but might try one.

Niny said...

I just started to get into Vampires and Erotica. I'm so glad I did! I tried Erotica before but for some reason it didnt work for me at the time. Now I love it and I'm glad I gave it a second chance!

Nancy in TX said...

Hmmm... I'm a pretty voracious reader, and will pick up anything with a binding!

I was stuck on Regencies for the longest time...waiting for my favorite authors to come out with a new book...

Then started reading paranormals, esp. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan - got hooked on the genre and have branched out to other authors.

I *LOVE* a good mystery/thriller - if there's a dead body and a detective, I'm there!

I've started reading a lot of non-romance historical fiction, like Phillippa Gregory's backlist, Steve Berry, THE LAST CATO, THE SECRET SUPPER, etc.

I've also been branching out this summer and reading some non-fiction and chick-lit.

Julie in Ohio said...

I have only recently dived into the world of Inspy/Christian Romance. I didn't even know such a thing existed until recently. Then I was afraid of it either being to preachy or else I would miss the hotter portions of a standard romance. Neither happened. The sexual tension was amazing and it didn't leave me with a preachy feeling to it. I really enjoyed it.

Cherie Japp said...

I just started reading erotic romance novels last year and there are some awesome writers in that group. Very recent reads have been Electric Rayne by JJ Massa, Fire and Ice by Vivienne King, Silver Fire by Jeanne Barrack. Such wonderful books. I am definitely hooked.

Ali said...

Hi, Samantha :-)
The last book I took a risk on was probably books with shifter, like werewolves. I'm glad I tried it out, because now I'm in love with them :-)) I love the idea of mates.

Jennifer Y. said...

I just started reading contemps about a year ago after being a strictly historical romance reader for about 9 years. Now I read just about anything if the story sounds good. I just read a book with a Vampire. I really want to read more of them now.

Lucy Monroe said...

The first vampire story I read in a Secrets anthology was a huge shocker for me. I refused to read the subgenre forever because I thought it was all curses and horror. And some authors still write about vampires that way...it's not my thing. But this was an Angela Knight story and it opened a whole new world for me. The paranormal. Now, I write them...go figure!

Cynthya said...

I'm fortunate in that I enjoy a lot of different genres, but I review books sometimes and get to try books I wouldn't otherwise read. Sometimes I really hate them--LOL.

I guess the last genre I tried and really like was M/M romance. Two hot men together--sigh. A couple of my favorite M/M authors are JJ Massa and Willa Okati.

Rachael said...

I normally read thrillers, mysteries, fiction, and some chick lit. Recently my book club decided to read this HUGE book called The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I think it was about 656 pages. I didn't think I would like the book, but it turned out being REALLY good.

Another book outside my usual genre is the Harry Potter books. I love them and I didn't think I would at all.

Tess Gerritsen's medicial mysteries were something I didn't think I'd like, but now I love! Excellent books!

Anne McAllister said...

I read a lot of romance, chick lit and mysteries and westerns, besides a lot of non-fiction and history. I don't read fantasy, but I have recently been given a couple of books by Terry Prachett and I'm intrigued, so I'm going to start.

The problem is, I'm almost afraid to find a new genre that I love because then I will have even more books on my TBR pile!

Kelley said...

I play it a bit safe and rarley read out of my genre. I hear so much about paranormals but have yet to read one! I really want to, but I wonder if I'll have a hard time seeing the vampire, ect. as a real man. I hope not. I'm really curious about them. I think I'll light the light paranormals, not ones that are too dark.

Kiki said...

I am more likely to take risks with random books from my library. I discovered Janet Evanovich that way!
If I'm in a book shop and have to actually pay money for a book, I'm much less likely to take a risk. Buying a bad book means I've wasted a day of food for something I might not enjoy...

Estella said...

Erotica. I just started reading ebooks.

Jamie Leigh Hansen said...

For a while, I stayed away from first person novels, then I discovered Pamela Morsi. I really like her style.

For the most part, I've always read romance. Suspence, historical, regency, paranormal. I love the TOR books because they're easy to find and I've really loved everyone I read.

One interest that has really surprised me, after years of my husband reading fantasy, is that I really like the Drizzt Duerden books by RA Salvatore. I don't extend into fantasy all that often, but for these I will.

Another surprise was in children's books when we instituted family reading night where my dh, daughters and I would alternate reading a few pages of a story. Wow, elementary books have grown in the last few decades into very thought provoking, dramatic, sometimes dark stories. We love Margeret Peterson Haddix and her Shadow Children series.

Amy said...

I never used to read paranormal but about a year ago I found a Christine Feehan book, Dark Desire and decided to try it. I read the book and loved it and have been hooked on Vamp books ever since. Especially Christine's.

Jen in WA said...

When I started reading romance (which was a complete departure for me), it was strictly contemps. I picked up a Kasey Michaels historical and have not looked back. My first paranormal (I always frowned at vampire and werewolf stories) was a MaryJanice Davidson book. She made the paranormal genre more digestable to me (not horror-like... I'd never get into a Stephen King book). I also recently moved into erotica. I still have to take it in small doses and really do prefer some plot to the story and not just a string of sex-scenes.

Michelle B said...

Interesting question! I will pretty much read anything that has a story that appeals to me, no matter what the genre!

I think the last big "risk" I took was actually quite a while ago. I started reading erotic romance and got hooked!

lidia said...

I don't read paranormal books. However, now that Lucy is writing them I may have to give them a try.

My reading time is very limited and I mostly read HPs (would some other series books thrown in periodically) and Historicals.

Jodi said...

Historical romance. I wasn't sure about it until I picked up Lucy's first in her trilogy. I devoured it and couldn't wait to read the other 2.
I have some paranormals, but still have make that jump to read them! LOL

Heather said...

I normally read mystery/romantic suspense, but am not afraid to read outside those parameters: para, general fictional, women's fiction, even erotica on the rare occasion.

Recently I read a blurb for a book in a newsletter for what seemed to be a "light comedic suspense" and for some reason thought it was a "Next." Even when I saw it in the store I still thought it was a "Next" and it wasn't until I fished it out of the bag to read that I realized it was a Love Inspired Suspense.

*Sigh*

NOT my cuppa, but I did give it a try.

I ended up skipping over whole sections of preachy prose (if I wanted a sermon I'd go to church), BUT -- take out all that and it was a pretty good romantic comedy with a twist of suspense. Would I read one again? Definitely not -- but it won't stop me from reading other books outside my normal preferences, either.

Brandy said...

Science Fiction. I used to devour it when I was a teenager, then discovered I preferred HEA's. I now read mostly romance, mystery, and paranormal. I guess maybe I ought to slip back into the past again adn pick up a sci-fi book.

Annie West said...

Samantha, Yes I started out reading Victoria Holt, and like Yvonne, Mary Stewart. Great books!

Now I mainly read romance with a smattering of others: non fiction, historical and so on. But I've never really tried fantasy. I did read Jasper Fforde - The Eyre Affair is such fun for anyone who loves books! And just recently a friend loaned me some of her Terry Pratchett favourites (no, it can't be the same person who loaned TP to Anne McAllister - I'm sure of it!). I'm having fun delving into those too.

Annie
http://www.annie-west.com

Melissa said...

I don't usually read paranormals especially vamps, but for some reason I was drawn to Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series and have been reading those.

As someone else said now that Lucy is doing some paranormal I may have to give it more of a try:).

Pamk said...

lol I don't read much contemporarys not much time for extra reading but just finished seducing simon by maya banks at samhain and it was very good.

Jennifer L. said...

I haven't read a romantic suspense in about a decade, although that's what I cut my teeth on years ago. I keep saying that I'm going to start back but to date, I haven't gotten back into it.

Any recommendations anyone?

Juliet said...

Hmmm, I love romances, and I have found great romances in all the genres I tried. In the begining I read only historicals, but then I began reading whatever I could get my hands on, and several times I have enjoyed a book more that I though I did, and became addicted to new authors and genres. My last dicovery are paranormals, and now I am hooked and eager to read more and more, but I still love to read many other genres and my wish list-TBB lists are bigger and bigger. :o)

mammakim said...

I used to just read stories from Danielle Steele and Fern Michaels. While I still do, I opened up to more genres, I like some paranormal, chicklits, historicals.

catslady said...

My favorite is historical but I just read a time travel and really enjoyed it. I've learned not to rule any genre out. A good book is a good book no matter what type.

Teoh said...

A GUY!!! introduced me to this book saying it was a sci fic fantasy. Took me sometime before I actually did pick it up to read. Loved it to bits for the tortured hero. Turns out later it was introduced at Fantasy Romance Writer. Never let him forget that he actually read a romance novel.
Name of the book : Song of the Beast by Carol Berg

suefromdevon said...

Hi Yvonne :-)

Yay another Mary Stewart fan! Some of mine are falling to pieces from being read too much (if there is such a thing?) They've reissued some of them over here so I'm having fun replacing them.

Sue