By Bethany Maines
One of the most common questions a writer hears is: Who are you like? In other words, what (famous, more talented, richer, that I would have heard of) author are you like? Of course, as authors we would always like to respond – I am like no one! I am a unique snowflake of infinite genius! Bow down before my staggering work of novelistic achievement! Possibly at this point is where we also start investing in a parrot, flowing robes, and a pencil thin moustache to twirl. I’m not saying all authors would go full Disney villain. Clearly, the eyebrows and make-up require a more high-maintenance lifestyle than most of us are cut out for. I’m just saying, nobody likes to think of themselves, as “just like” somebody else.
However, temper-tantrums and eyeliner aside, it is a useful question. It does let people know where they should look for you in the library and where you fall on their reader spectrum. For the record, I usually answer this question with – Janet Evanovich. My series Carrie Mae Mysteries is female centered spy series, with plenty of hunks, humor, and huge action scenes. However, I also write in another genre – contemporary fantasy. I write modern day fairy tales about fairies, vampires, and what happens when a mermaid meets a SEAL.
Writing in multiple genres used to be very “not done” because the publishing houses found it hard to market. The prevailing wisdom was that readers don’t read multiple genres (uh… say what?), Self-publishing has opened the door for authors to write whatever their unique snowflake heart’s desire, but it’s still a risk, and a challenge for those doing the marketing, to figure out what to say to the question – who do you write like?
I guess for now, I’ll have to go with this answer – I write like my fingers are fire with sheer greatness and my mascara is totally, totally on point.