by Susan Sey
So I was working on an outline for my latest masterpiece, & I surprised myself.
This almost never happens.
I am, in a word, predictable.
I've had the same five CDs on shuffle in my car well over a year. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day. Lunch, too. (Different from breakfast, but the same every day. Just in case you were worried I've been eating the same meal twice a day, every day. Even I know that's not good for you.)
On Friday nights I make pizza & after church on Sundays we have eggs & bagels. I love to eat out but am sometimes reluctant to try a new restaurant in case I don't like it. I'll have wasted my "out" meal--a luxury for me--on something I didn't like. Wah.
And when I write, I write single title contemporary. I don't seem to have any power over this. I write in the world as it stands, & no matter how dark a backstory I give my characters, they speak in charming, zippy back-and-forths. Nothing for it, this is simply what I do.
So I was surprised--nay, shocked--when my latest masterpiece in progress took itself a jag into the paranormal. Light paranormal, actually. Extremely light. Questionable, even. But paranormal nonetheless.
Which has me nervous. Even if I enjoyed gadding about in new & unusual places (ha), I'm not sure it's a great idea to write myself into a questionable place in the library. Or the bookstore for that matter. Why mess with the Squishy In Between when you can write something easily defined, easily shelved, & easily consumed?
When I buy a book, I like to know What It Is. This may be my obsessive/compulsive nature coming out, but that's why I have a particularly soft spot for category romance. Those authors are SO GOOD at defining the read. Is this a lost love book? A secret baby? A marriage of convenience? I like to know. The enjoyment comes from having my expectations met with skill & charm.
I'm not sure readers like to be surprised but for now I'm stuck in the Squishy In Between. Neither here (straight contemporary) nor there (paranormal.)
What do you all think? Is there room in your library for something that doesn't FIT? Do you like to be surprised, or do you buy a book because you know what you're getting? Do you have any favorite books that weren't what you expected? Or any authors who are great at serving up a surprise?