I know I broke the rules. But really, who follows them anymore? And who doesn’t get tired of hearing the phrase, “industry standard?” Okay, so maybe it is industry standard to have a pen name if you’re going to write in more than one genre. Best-selling romance writer, Nora Roberts writes under J. D. Robb for her futuristic suspense novels. But in a world where branding has become a big deal and one’s name needs to be attached to a lengthy resume in order to be picked up by search engines, can you blame me for not wanting to write under a pseudonym?

The publishing industry says that a writer must stick with one genre, otherwise it will confuse the reader. But how can that be when a book cover on a romance novel is completely different than one on a thriller? My Big Fake Irish Life, my romantic comedy, doesn’t look a thing like my dystopian novel, Logging Off. Besides, readers tend to read the synopsis of a book before buying it.

Lucky for me, times seem to be slowly changing. Thriller writer, James Patterson didn’t choose a non de plume for his romance Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, nor did John Grisham when he strayed away from his legal suspense genre to pen A Painted House.

I really do hope these two amazing writers have started a new trend, and perhaps a better one. What better way to sample a genre that normally doesn’t interest you than by having one of your favorite authors get you hooked on it?

Trying something new can be surprisingly delightful and maybe even a little addictive.


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