This week, Mary asks: “Hi, my question is, do you write according to book trends or follow your heart and interests?”
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I write in the genre of medical suspense because I have the expertise and interest to do just that, so yes, my writing is affected by those factors. Further, given the slowness of the traditional publishing process, what is popular now may not be in a year when my completed manuscript (which took me eight months or so to write) becomes a book. That time is shortened for self-publication, which is another question entirely. Meanwhile, my suggestion for authors is not to chase the curve of book trends. You’ll never catch up.
I write what I enjoy. That might or might not fall into trends, but if it ever does, it's only by chance.
I write what I want to write and what my readers want to read. I tried writing to a trend once, and it was a lot of work. I want my writing to be fun. If I'm enjoying writing the story, then my readers will enjoy reading it.
I started out writing mainstream mystery. My idea (and I stress thewords my idea) was to reach out to an unsaved world through fiction. I sold some books to small publishers, but after finally telling God I’d write whatever He wanted me to write, I got my first major contract – for inspirational cozy mystery. After a while, I became convinced that God wanted me to stay on the inspirational side of the industry. My mysteries turned into Mennonite-themed suspense. (Don’t ask. I still don’t quite understand that! LOL!) Now I’m starting to write inspirational law enforcement-themed suspense. My publisher allows me to work my mystery side into my stories, so I’m exactly where I want to be. I still love pure mystery, but suspense allows me to tackle tougher subjects like child abuse, etc.
If I’d dug my heels in and had been determined to stick with mainstream mystery, I would have missed out on a lot! Giving your writing to God can be exciting!