Respect the Change. Respect the Author.
By: Allison Bruning
Creative writing is an art, yet becoming an author is a career. As such, there are times when an author must do something in their career to expand upon their potential market of readers. These strategic moves could be to write in a different genre or convert their book into a different media form. Most of the time when an author makes one of these moves he or she will receive criticism from other writers and readers for doing so. The critics can sometimes be so harsh that the author wants to quit any effort to reach out to potential readers.
There is a symbiotic relationship between authors and readers. The authors need the readers to make sales and readers need books to read. A professional author understands that their name is their brand. Their brand represents the kind of stories that readers expect from them. Every author has their own voice. For example, I am known for strong family values and strong female leads in all of my books. That resonates in all genres in which I write in. One of the biggest backlashes I ever received was when I announced to my fans that I was expanding my creative writing into a different genre. I am well known in the historical romance field and I had wanted to expand my artistic outlet into erotica. I felt the move would transition well because I had already mastered writing sex scenes. My die hard historical fiction fans were shocked I would even consider writing something outside my genre. Yet, my professional author friends understood why I would even consider doing so.
One of the dangers of being an author is writing so much in one genre that you pigeon hole yourself into a niche. While it may seem nice to be known for a specific type of writer you run into many close-minded problems. While not authors, actors sometimes run into the same problem. Take for example, actors such as Dean Cain who played Superman in the TV Show, Lois and Clark. When the show had ended he had a very hard time finding other acting roles because everyone type casted him as a superhero. How could the man who had become so famous playing Superman be anything less than a superhero? While Dean Cain is an actor, not an author, the same phenomenon can happen to authors. Readers will often type anything written by a well-known author based from any of the works they are known for. Think about it. What type of books do you associate with Stephen King?
So what is an author to do to expand upon their craft without offending their readers? Writing in another genre may upset some of the readers but the author is bound to find a new audience as well. Some of his or her new readers will like the authors writing so much that they might be drawn to read other works by the author. Every genre has different rules, styles and techniques that must be adhered by the author. It can be hard for an author to make the transition from one genre to another. But if the author works hard they can successfully make the transition while keeping the values they are known for.
Aside from genres, the author may choose to write in other media outlets. Movies, graphic novels, TV shows and theatrical plays are all different forms of media that challenges an author to grow in a different form of writing. The author must learn fresh writing skills and techniques to write in these different media forms. It can be daunting at times. Not every writer has the skills to successfully make the transition. In fact, there are very few writers in the world who can work in transmedia. Transmedia is the process of taking one story and converting it into different media types. Transmedia writers are honored in the literary world because they possess the advanced skill sets to achieve what most writers cannot.
The author's goal is to constantly find new readers while creating other literary works and honing their artistic skills. Writing a book should never be a hobby. Readers don’t expect an author to write just one book. They will constantly crave more books if they like the authors writing style. Hobby writers do not appreciate this. Their main goal is to tell a story, publish it and forget about their book. Professional authors understand there is a balance between business and creative expression. They work hard so they can have a career in this field.
So bloggers and readers, don’t judge the author if they decide to expand their creative writing into different genres and media forms. Encourage the author. Celebrate their success when it comes. Change is good. It’s a part of business and must occur if the author is to grow their market. Respect the change. Respect the author.
Allison Bruning originally hails from Marion, Ohio but full time RV’s with her husband and their Australian cattle dog, Lakota Sioux. Allison is the author of Calico (Children of the Shawnee: Book 1), Lies and Deceit (Children of the Shawnee: Book 2), Elsa (The Secret Heritage: Book 1), Bailey’s Revenge (Irish Twist of Fate: Book 1), Draconian Rapture (Draconian Rapture: Book 1), Reflections, and Hoppy’s Grave. She is currently writing Field of Grace (New Beginnings: Book 1). She is also the author of several non-fiction and fiction shorts. Most of her works have become Amazon bestsellers. Her current writing genres are historical romance, erotica, children’s books, Christian fiction, nonfiction, YA and graphic novels. Her graphic novels include Mystique and God’s Guardian, which can be found on the Alpine Peaks website. She is currently converting her screenplay, Field of Grace into book and graphic novel formats.
Allison's educational background includes a B.A. in theatre arts with a minor in anthropology from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theatre Arts and Communication. She was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. Allison received her Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing at Full Sail University on June 28, 2013. She is an educator, writer, speaker, screenwriter, film director, choreographer and business owner. Allison owns the transmedia company, Big Bend Productions, and an educational company, Academic Warriors. Her interests include Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family, and genealogy.