Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Post - Gregory Allen

Can Authors Write in Different Genres?

Whenever I’m interviewed, I’m always asked what genre I write in. It’s the toughest question I seem to get as an author because I’ve never been able to say “I write vampire books” or “I’m a sci-fi mystery man’. The truth is: I write whatever story comes to me at that moment. But mainly, I write about people overcoming obstacles and adversity – and there are numerous settings and genres those stories can play out in.

My debut novel Well With My Soul has been classified as literary fiction as well as gay fiction (because one of the characters was gay). So people would begin to assume I only can write gay-themed novels. My novelette Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir was a book about addiction and a dying man coming to terms with his life (who happened to be my real-life half brother). Next year readers will be able to get a sense of feminine side when Patchwork of Me comes out (about a woman who is driven to therapy because of an invisible rash and discovers a past she never knew she had). All of these deal with adversity, but each have a different writing style and genre attached to them.

I understand that many readers want to be able to return to a beloved author and know exactly what they can expect from them, but I tend to think giving the unexpected can also be a great thing. There is no need to treat readers as simple-minded people who can only ‘handle’ one thing from an author. I love reading different types of books and as Jonathan Lethem points out in this interview; really only care about good quality writing.

My background as an actor and writer was in children’s theater. All of my first musicals were written for the stage and I received my equity card (the actor’s stage union) from doing children’s shows. So to write a book for children seemed second nature to me when I wrote Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero With Autism. And to add to that, my godson has autism and I knew I wanted to bring attention to the subject told through a different way. Most books I found were all from the perspective of a sibling and not the child. So his older sister and I worked on this story, submitted it to MeeGenius Publishing for their author challenge and the public is able to vote on it until December 18. (Shameless plug: I’d love for all readers to click on the link to see the story and please vote: http://meegenius.com/challenge/chicken-boy-the-amazing-adventures-of-a-super-hero-with-autism-by-gregory-g-allen )

So the next time you think an author must always write in the same genre, just remember this: Ian Fleming (James Bond stories) also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And where would we be without that story?

More information on author Gregory G. Allen can be found at www.ggallen.net

Thank you so much, Gregory. I think if an author can tell a great story, I'll read anything he or she writes. I love the mysteries Janet Evanovich writes, but I've also enjoyed her romances.

Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero With Autism sounds like a book that our children today need. With more and more children being diagnosed with Autism every year, there needs to be resources for those of us without the inside scoop...so that we can teach our children what is going on. I can teach my children to be patient with people who are different (after all everyone is different), but it's also great to be armed with as much real information as possible.

I already voted, please readers go vote on this one and tell all your friends.

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