20130626-095332.jpg“What do you write?” It’s the first question people ask after learning that I’m a writer. If only I didn’t stumble over my answer more often than not.

It’s not that I don’t know what to say or am embarrassed to reveal my latest project. I think part of the verbal bumbling comes from insecurity because I haven’t been traditionally published … yet. If I had a literary agent or a contract, it would be easier to say I’m working on a series of contemporary inspirational romances for such-and-such publisher. Then again, I write both fiction and non-fiction so that muddies the waters.

So, what do I write? I blog about faith, family, and fiction and try to offer others encouragement for life’s journey. Quite a few of my past posts have been repackaged into self-published devotional books in addition to a book for parents with special needs kids and a devotional comparison of faith and football. (Not to mention a dozen or so articles published in various magazines and anonymous writing for our church’s missions department blog.)

But my dream is to also write fiction. That’s where classifying my stories gets tricky in what can be considered genre soup. Perhaps it’s easier to say that I don’t write historicals, westerns, Amish, or fantasy. While I love to read a good mystery or suspense, I haven’t tried my hand at the whodunit or escape-the-bad-guy thriller. What does that leave? Romance and the nebulous general/women’s fiction categories. But most definitely the clean versions with faith as an important quality for my characters.

My stories (including the two completed novels, current work-in-progress, and future ideas percolating in my brain) are essentially love stories with a strong faith element. A girl with issues to work through meets a boy with his own issues and together, with God’s help, they journey together toward a happily-ever-after ending. The problem is that not every story fits the common publisher guidelines of alternating points-of-view between the hero and heroine, making it more difficult to get an agent willing to take on a debut novel.

Have I gotten discouraged? At times. Do I believe in my stories? Absolutely. Do I keep getting fresh ideas? All the time. So I’ll keep on blogging and writing inspirational romance in hopes that some day answering the question of what I write becomes easier.

What about you? What genre do you like to read? Do you prefer stories that fit a prescribed mold or those that are a little different? What dreams are you working toward?

Genre Soup
Tagged on: