Mistaken for a Romance Writer

My assessor said I blended genres.

She worked with me on my first novel, and while I liked books, it never dawned on me their genres were so rigid. I had television experience and in the film and TV world, blending and re-inventing genres was normal.

When I started promoting myself and my book, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, people categorised it as mmromance, and as I knew no better, I went along with it.

Image by dimono, courtesy of Pixabay

I was reprimanded at my first book conference.

I was on a panel called ‘Love in Literature’ and at some stage, a representative from a publishing house had a go at me for being on this panel. There were two of us who claimed we ‘just wrote books’ without thinking of genre, but I was singled out for apparently parading myself as a Romance author.

More recently, I was on a similar panel where I had to look up ‘reverse harem’. And as the session continued I had to make it clear that I didn’t consider myself a Romance author, but this didn’t stop me being categorised as such.

I’ve written two Romance novellas, and a lot of books about love.

When my books weren’t selling well with a previous publisher, I decided to write a Romance titled Nate and the New Yorker. When it came out, readers either totally loved it or totally hated it.

The original cover for ‘Nate and the New Yorker’ and the current ‘two story’ paperback.

The problem is, both Nate and Cameron books are about grief. Nathan has already met his soul mate and now has to learn to love second best. It’s a comedy but at its heart, it’s about loss.

My cover artist has given me a romantic style.

She is very talented. It’s not abnormal to make the same author’s books look similar. It helps readers recognise them. Note the choice of font. I love this branded style.

A style that promotes love.

One of my novellas is listed as Romance on a particular website. Winter Masquerade is part Alice in Wonderland and part steampunk and is based on a darker time in my life. Yes, there’s comedy and enchantment, but the love interest is not the focus of the story.

The theme of my first novel is reincarnation.

The Actors and Angels series (the books with Drama Queens in the title) delve into the lives of one gay couple during two incarnations, both in Sydney and in the theatre district of the Afterlife.

I played with the concept of soul mates and second chances. I was given a comedy reading list by my assessor when I wrote the first of the series as, both me and my assessor knew I was writing a farce. I didn’t set out to write Romance. Some reviewers worked this out.

But no matter which book of mine you pick up, part of it will be about love.

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