For my first novel, Father’s Creed, I decided to write historical fiction. I do read a fair amount of history, fiction and nonfiction, but it’s only one of the many go-to genres that I enjoy. I plan to write more books after this one, and have already started a sci-fi novel, Ghost City, while I was vacationing from Father’s Creed after its first draft.
Lately, as I edit, my mind is wandering to new stories. Like wildflowers, my seeds of imagination are spreading to other fields, and I’m not drawn to any particular category of novel. Though I’m excited by the thought of being a prolific cross-genre writer, there are few authors that have done this, and done this well.
So, as I dream of sci-fi and fantasy tales I’d love to nurture into novels, I wonder if what I’m writing now will keep me from doing so. If my first novel is historical fiction, and let’s assume it has some relative success, I’m certain that everyone from readers to my agent and publisher will push for me to create another in its likeness. Goodbye, Ghost City. Goodbye, unnamed fantasy novel. Hello, Father’s Creed 2, 3, etc.
Now that notion does not completely dishearten me. To think that people out there would want to read more of what I’ve written is fantastic, and even if I only ever write sequels to FC, (and I have started to develop those story ideas), I will be excited, but will some part of me be unfulfilled? Will I be playing the “what if?” game forever? What if I had written Ghost City first? Would I then be trying to alter FC to fit into a sci-fi realm? (Baptist Farmers in Space)
Worst case scenario, I adopt a nom de plume and repeat the publisher-seeking process as Asus Dasani (a name cleverly and quickly plucked, like many passwords and password hints of old, from that fountain of randomness known as ‘things on my desk’).
I hope that I’m not terribly domesticated by my readers or my handlers, but if I am corralled for my remaining days, I’ll never forget my wild roots. No one can stop me from writing what I want to, and really no one can stop me from publishing what I want to. There is a freedom that writing gives you, and it does not do well in confinement. It travels on the wind, and if it has the desire to, it changes the direction that wind is blowing. I aim to hitch a ride on that freedom and settle where I please, for a time.
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