• Veronica Cline Barton

#GenreRemorse, Is the Grass Greener on Another Side?

We’ve all probably had a case of buyers remorse, where your must have purchase turned out to be less than imagined (or a case of forgetting not to Drink and Prime on Amazon on a Friday evening…just sayin’). This past week on Twitter I’ve been reading lots of super cute tweets from the romance writers who attended RWA18, the Romance Writers of America convention held in Denver this year. There were loads of pictures with the writers all dressed up in glamourous ballgowns, tiaras, and tons of sparkle (Je suis jealous!). It had me thinking, did I choose the right genre for my writings? Romance is in and very lucrative for many writers (they have the largest reader market currently). Who doesn’t love a good love story? It’s one of my favorite genres to read, so should I make the switch? It’s not just romance either. Who da thunk so many people would be drawn to dragons? And how ’bout those zombies?

I think when it comes to writing, it’s much easier to get into the #WritersZone if you love the genre above all others. When you’re in genre love and the zone, you don’t mind the subject research, the inevitable writers blockages, the odd hours, the marketing and promo plans, and the other zillion things that are constantly being put in our writer’s path. Just like a career path or educational background, you tend to perform better when you’re comfortable in your setting, like what you’re doing, and challenged by the work or study requirements. There are some writers that may make major genre switches, and to those brave souls I salute you, you are indeed a rare breed.

Today’s genres tend to blend a bit I think, just to incorporate the nuances of everyday life (or galactic, fantasy, or horrific situations…). No genre is strictly black or white in my opinion, because of the people, animals, locations, conversations, situations etc. involved. There’s a little literary seepage in every book I’ve read.  After some deliberation, I’ve decided that even with the lure of fantastic conferences and the chance to wear a tiara, I’m staying in the cozy mystery genre for the time being (I can always wear a tiara BTW). I thought I’d share some of the topics I think go cross genre—that just might eliminate any #GenreEnvy or #GenreRemorse going on. 🙂

I do love those Royals…

I know in my series I have a faux royal family (out of respect to the real ones—some of them have family issues that no one could make up!) I believe even Royals deserve a little mystery and mayhem in their lives, so why not include them in a cozy mystery story? I know, I know, everyone loves a Cinderella/handsome prince storyline. It can happen in a cozy mystery too, there just might be a few bodies along the way. I think it adds some interest as well to get to know the back stories on the royals that fit right into a cozy mystery—their security requirements are just calling out for something to happen, don’t you think? What about the family lines that didn’t make it to the crown? There just might be some anger and envy there too, just sayin’.

Location

Mysteries can happen anywhere in the world, so why not have the cozy stories set on glamourous estates, larger than life castles, or beautiful resorts? Weddings are not just for romance either—there are lots of deep emotions that tend to run in these events. Sometimes the bride or groom have secret pasts or deadly intentions, great for a cozy mystery. Don’t forget those luxury hotels, not everything is as it seems…

Glitz and Glamourous Events

Cozy mystery characters can live pretty high on the hog as well, and I know for a fact that my characters love a good party or red carpet event, even if things get a little scary at times. Teas, dinner galas, show premiers, knighthoods—they can be a big part of a cozy mystery storyline. Someone seems to always be willing to stab one in the back, literally. Let’s not forget the fabulous fashions, shoes and jewels either! (don’t worry, Gemma, Ma-ma, and Aunt Pippa are not going to let me get sloppy here, they wouldn’t be caught dead in some things….)

You can still have great relationships, even if bodies are lying around…

I know traveling with a bunch of friends, a girls only trip, a weekend get-away all sound like loads of fun. But again, they can happen in a cozy mystery too. Especially once the sherry starts flowing. Is your so called best friend really your bestie? There is nothing better than having a strong friendship or alliance in a cozy mystery, someone may be needed to save your life!

I think my #GenreRemorse crisis has been averted. Sometimes you just need to step back and take inventory of what you love and why. There’s always rooms for tweaks here and there I’ve found, in all areas of my life. Nothing is cast in concrete, and there is always room for change. I think the mystery, romance, and historical fiction with Pippa and the Lancaster family fit just fine in the cozy mystery genre, and give me lots of room to play in some of my favorite topic areas as well.

Crowns and Kisses,

Veronica

P.S. I’m going to some mystery conference later this year—you can bet I’m bringing my crown. Gemma would approve 🙂

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