It used to be–or so I’m told anyway–that a writer had to stick to the same genre in order to be successful. That they had to stay in that genre to build their brand, because there weren’t a lot of other ways to build that brand. The genre would, essentially, become the writer’s identity.
However, because of blogging, social media, and self-publishing, it’s become much easier for writer’s to jump genres. I find that I’m wandering to various genres myself, and I think that benefits me overall as a writer. So far, I’ve published science-fiction, fantasy, steampunk, YA, and flintlock fantasy, and I’m currently working on horror and cyberpunk as well. Being able to do this has allowed me to exercise my creative muscles and branch out. It also helps me to bring something new to these genres by bringing something from another genre. Be it a technique or what have you.
Broadening my spectrum of genres also means I can appeal to a wider audience, and potentially bring two audiences together. Perhaps I write a YA flintlock fantasy. Those who enjoy YA may potentially discover they enjoy flintlock fantasy as well, and that could therefore draw them to my other flintlock fantasy works. There is certainly no shortage of mixed-genre books now.
How do you feel about genre jumping? Do you write in multiple genres? If not, do you plan to? Have you ever discovered you like another genre by reading a mixed-genre book?