Tuesday, January 5

More on the Zone...

...because Liz made me start thinking about writing zones yesterday and what that means. I said in a comment on her post that I wasn't sure what my zone is, but I think I can definitely say what it isn't.

I'm not an erotica writer of any kind--I don't read it except for clients and crit partners and I just can't write it. It's not my thing, although I defend vigorously anyone's right to read or write erotica. I'm not a paranormal writer for the same reason. Just not my thing, although again, I'm happy to edit it for clients. Same goes for scifi and other kinds of other-wordly fiction.

When it comes to romance, I'm not much of a historical romance reader or a Regency reader, but I'm fast becoming one because of the work I do for a couple of my Big 5 clients. I don't read or write YA or New Adult and I've never really gotten into Inspirational Romance . . . and wow, am I starting to sound like a really boring reader  or what. . . my list of don'ts is pretty long, isn't it?

So . . . what do I read and logically, is that what I write? I read a lot of contemporary romance, a lot of romantic suspense, and I'm crazy about romantic comedies (think  Lani Diane Rich and Jennifer Crusie) outside of romance, I read political suspense and biographies. I love a good cozy mystery, but I'm not too much into murder mysteries that are graphic and definitely no horror, with the exception of some of Stephen King's stories. Did you read his novel about the assassination of JFK? Fabulous time travel story that drew me in immediately and kept me glued to the page. Which reminds me--I do love a good time travel romance or actually just a good time travel story.

And that leads me into what I write--mostly contemporary romance. I love my little Michigan village of Willow Bay and creating stories for the folks who live there. But I'm also ready to try some new things. Time travel would be a fun place to go after the WOWB series is written. I have an idea buzzing around--a story that takes a character back to the time of the Chicago Fire . . . dunno, it's possible. And adding the little historical suspense note to The Summer of Second Chances sorta makes me think I could write romantic suspense as long it didn't include murder or gore. (See what I did there? Gave you a chance to click and order TSOSC now that you're good and intrigued.)

So what is the point of this blog? Um, mostly, it was me processing out loud, but there is a question for you because this is Word Wranglers and we want you to be involved here: If you were to step outside your zone as either a reader or a writer, where would you go?


  1. If I were to step out, I'd still stay sweet simply because I like it, but I'd write more historical romances. Americana ones set in the Midwest. The one I wrote was so much fun I'd love to do it again, but the research takes up more time than I want to give it. Good post, Ms. Nan.

  2. I loved Home to Singing Trees, Liz! You could totally do another historical and it would be fabulous!

  3. hmmm...going outside the comfort zone...I would probably try a little romantic suspense because I like reading it but (at least so far) my attempts have been quiet...un-suspenseful. :)

    Great post, Nan!

  4. For me, I think the two sub-genres that I'd find it hardest to write in would be Inspy and YA, I just can't think like an angsty teen girl. The DH tells me all the time that I don't think like a girl, and I believe he's right.

  5. I've stepped out of my box lately by leaving YA behind to focus on Contemp fiction and a little magical realism. I guess we'll see if they stick :)