Can You Love More than One Genre?

As many of you know, I write in three genres, although two are somewhat (though less than you’d think) similar. They are Pride and Prejudice Variations, Regency Romance (American style), and Epic Fantasy.

What I love about the work I do with Renata is the pleasant familiarity. The feeling of friendship inherent in creating each story. With each one, we get to say, “Hello, Mr. Darcy. Hello, Elizabeth. Let’s see what you two and your cohorts are up to this time.” There is an ease, a happiness and something of a sense of comfort in our work, like drinking your favorite cup of tea with your favorite cookies.

Fantasy books, on the other hand, offer absolute freedom. More than that, they require considerable world building. The author is responsible for understanding the entirety of the universe and every place and being within. How they all came to be. Who and what they are. Where they’re going. The world is a character, perhaps the most important one, and in Epic Fantasy, the world is at stake. Writing Epic Fantasy is challenging and thrilling.

Regency Romance falls in the middle. Within reason, Regency Romance can be filled with daring deeds. Duels, holding up carriages, dashing here and there, which is one of the most fun components of fantasy. Not as much in the way of world building, though definitely some, and plenty of plot building. It’s a nice compromise between the other two genres.

What always confuses me, is how little carry over there is between the genres. With three separate mailing lists, it’s very obvious how few of my readers from each genre delve into the other two. I love all three. Why doesn’t everyone? Is it possible to truly love more than one genre?

So I ask you, what genres do you love? Do you follow the author, or the genre? 

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24 Responses to Can You Love More than One Genre?

  1. I read what I’m in the mood for…usually it’s JAFF, Regency romance, or classics, but I’ve also read a fair amount of sci fi. And a whole lot of non-fiction…I definitely go months where I don’t read any fiction books because I’m trying to work through my research pile!

  2. Thinking on it, I realized that I read specific genres for a period of time. I don’t usually mix them. Early on, I read books about horses: Walter Farley, etc. Then I got into Agatha Christi and Joseph Tey’s mysteries. When I discovered Star Trek, I was on a Sci-Fi kick for years: Heinlein, Asimov, etc. and especially every Star Trek book written at the beginning. Found Nora Roberts and read most of her earlier romances but quit when she started writing J.D. Robb. Then I found P&P variations, and I haven’t looked back. 🙂 Love clean Regency romance and the P&P’s. Only two or three of the contemporary P&P’s have interested me. I’m stuck in the Regency Era and love it. <3

    • I also read Josephine Tey and was sorry when she died making it so there were no more of her mysteries. I particularly liked The Daughter of Time and Brat Farrar. I’m not saying this as a recommendation, since I have no idea if I read them now if I would still think they were good. I read Walter Farley many years ago, and I don’t think I would enjoy rereading them. Of course, anyone who has read mysteries should at least sample Dame Agatha.

  3. I enjoy reading several different genres including paranormal romance, fantasy, graphic novels, historical romance, and Regency romances (especially JAFF). There’s probably other genres that I am forgetting at the moment but these are my usual go to genres. I also read a lot of Harry Potter based FanFiction.

    • Oh, graphic novels. That’s a good category, often overlooked. I have read, and will read again, some graphic novels 🙂

  4. I enjoy JAFF for the cozy familiarity. Right now as I care for aging parents with cancer and Alzheimer’s and three grown kids with various chronic illnesses and conditions, I need the comfort of JAFF…that the HEA will always come despite the angst.

    I also read mysteries…lots o’ mysteries! A few “cozy” but only certain authors: Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile mysteries, Amanda Flowers’ Magic Bookshop and Magic Garden series. I also love historical mysteries: Anne Perry’s Pitt series (the new series featuring their son, Daniel, have also been excellent) but her Monk series is too dark. I also love Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight series and C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries. I’ve also recently plunged into Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series (book three is sitting in my library stack!) and Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series. Mel Starr’s medieval Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series is amazing as is Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver series. I have developed quite the affinity for mysteries set in the 1920s and ’30s, even into the ’40s. Of course, following the continuation of the beloved Lord Peter series by Dorothy Sayers and now seamlessly picked up (with permission of Sayers’ estate) by Jill Paton Walsh, I do enjoy mysteries actually written in the ’20-’40s. I’ve started Peters’ Cadfael series as well. And I mean to go back and read Chesterton’s Father Brown series although I’ve watched the amazing TV series several times through. Same with Miss Fisher’s Mysteries.

    So I definitely follow authors within a genre, but not necessarily all of the books by that author. I’m more of a series reader than being devoted to a particular author.

    I receive daily e-mails from BookBub and Book Gorilla with sales on e-books, but with a severely constrained budget, I usually order the books that attract my interest in these e-mails from our county library’s e-book service and only spend my $1.99 on books I can’t obtain elsewhere. 😉

    So that’s my story about reading fiction. I do occasionally delve into literary or women’s fiction, often historical, but not extremely often. I could have done without reading Gone Girl…sigh.

    Susanne 🙂

    • Hi Susanne,

      You read a lot of mysteries! I haven’t tried Jill Paton Walsh’s Lord Peter Wimsey books. I have heard that they’re good. I was reading the series that started with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, but it got too dark for me.

      I completely agree about the comfort of JAFFs. I usually read books for comfort and wonderment. No upsetting surprises.

      Wishing you well, and that you find happy reading,


  5. Since I came into the #Austenesque World, I tend to steep myself in other books in the genre if only to keep myself in the headspace. However, I find that I enjoy certain spy/mystery sequences (see John LeCarre, Daniel Silva) as well as Napoleonic sea novels (O’Brien and Wareham). I tend to be a “golden age” sort of reader. Thus, I will read Christie, Cartland, Benchley, Mencken, Parker, and Wolf as well as Woolf, Asimov, LeGuin, Fontana, Niven, Clarke, Heinlein, Doyle, and Burroughs. Then there is Winston Churchill. Honestly, I appreciate great writing…irrespective of the genre. These masters inspire me to be the best writer I can be. I do not intentionally write mash-ups but rather allow the tale to take me where it must go. These influences unmistakably show up in my work, which inevitably creates what seems to be a hybrid work that runs outside the norm of P&P Variation or Regency Romance.

    • I think I’ve only read six of your “golden age” authors (although I am ridiculously bad with names and so may have read more), but I can see why you would call it the Golden Age. There is still good writing today, of course, and maybe writing from other eras seems better in part because only the best are still part of our lives, but it does seem like there was a perfect moment when writing was a high art, and printing and binding had become an efficient art, where amazing books clustered. And you are correct, of course, classics defy genre. Some books are so wonderful, it couldn’t matter what category we’re putting them in.

  6. I love romance, though I greatly enjoy other things like biographies and histories. I don’t read the latter two as much anymore.

    I adore JAFF, and love regular Regency Romance (not sure what you mean by American Style, though), and cowboy romance, both historical and contemporary. I don’t read much sports romance other than my own Pride & Prejudice & Racecars series. LOL But I do enjoy it. I had a secret passion for a long time for motorcycle club romances, but my favorite authors of that have moved on to other things and I’m not so fond of some of the other books in the genre. I like both sweet and steamy reads.

    I’m not a fan of fantasy or sci fi or things along those lines. Not sure why, because I have read some. It just didn’t resonate with me, I guess.

    I write JAFF only for now, but I have an idea for a Regency Romance series and a non-JAFF racing series. I’d love to write another Western romance. I wish I could write another JAFF one, and I might one day, but not a lot of folks like non-Regency JAFF so it will be a while before I do.

    I don’t know that I read everything that any author writes. Even my favorite JAFF author writes more contemporary stuff, and I rarely read contemporary JAFF. My favorite Western romance author has a couple series that I have devoured (one is a rodeo romance series and two are cowboy romance series, one historical and one contemporary) but she has another series I’m not particularly interested in. I follow a couple Regency Romance authors but don’t read everything they write either. LOL But I’m a bit picky, too. I have a dozen books on my tablet that I have partially read and had to stop reading because I couldn’t deal emotionally with what I could see coming. That’s where print books are better, IMO, because it’s easy to read the end and make sure it all comes out ok. LOL

    Geez, I wrote a book! Sorry about that. Reading and books are one of my favorite topics! <3

    • Reading and books are great topics 🙂

      I envy your ability to write contemporary, and Westerns. I would love to write steam punk, but I simply can’t seem to write anything but fantasy and Regency (and the Regency pat is an ongoing learning process…).

      I said American style because I feel as if there’s the real Regency Era, which the British are more in tune with, and then a style of romance novels that sort of more embody how we romantically wish the Regency Era was. They have a lot in common with each other, and a little less, perhaps, in common with how things really were, but they are a lovely, sort of Disney-fied world that I very much enjoy.

      I’ll have to keep an eye out for your upcoming (someday) Regency series 🙂

    • P.S. That’s why I like print books better, too! I just get too nervous. I can’t enjoy a book when I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know what that says about me 🙂

  7. My favs are Regency Romance , and I like mysteries too. I don’t read every one I come to either unless it grabs my interest.

    • Hi Cindie – You don’t read every Regency Romance, or every mystery? Or both?

      I love to watch mysteries on TV, but I’ve never been good at reading them. I don’t like surprises in my books. I… and don’t tell anyone because I know this is awful… I skip to the end of books to make sure I know what will happen, then go back and read them. Otherwise, it’s too stressful for me. That said, I do like to read Lord Peter Wimsey books by Dorothy L. Sayers. I don’t know why, but out of all mysteries, those I find soothing.

  8. I enjoy multiple genres and I can’t think of one particular genre that I will not read. I think for me it usually comes down to the premise as my favorite genre is fantasy but I don’t always read every fantasy I come across as sometimes the premise just doesn’t grab me.

    • I didn’t know your favorite genre is fantasy 🙂 Fantasy books are why I learned to read. The first book I ever read was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. Then I read The Chronicles of Narnia. Then Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Series.

      • I remember reading “The Dark is Rising” and enjoying it. I think I read some of the other books in the series but don’t remember.

        • Some of those older YA (and adult) fantasy series get a little meandering after the first book or so 🙂 But I still love them 🙂

  9. My favourite genre is historical mysteries,then modern crime stories and then JAFF, preferably stories which are not about Darcy and Elizabeth. Within each genre I do have my favouite authors but my wish lists are under the genre not authors

    • I would think that historical mysteries would depend on a combination of author and era. I do like some historical fiction. I love to watch historical mysteries 🙂 As for modern crime stories, I have pretty much zero knowledge. That’s great that you like such a variety.

      If you best like JAFFs that aren’t about Darcy and Elizabeth, it makes sense you wouldn’t choose specifically by author. Take me and Renata, for example. We enjoy writing non-Darcy and Elizabeth JAFFs, but we only have a couple. A few about Caroline, one about Mrs. Younge and, probably both of our favorites as far as non- Darcy adn Elizabeth JAFFs go (although I haven’t confirmed that with Renata), one about Mr. Collins. We’re working on one about Wickham right now 🙂

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