Friday, September 27, 2013

GENRES AND AUDIENCES



I’m certain my eclectic life and my lack of specific concentration have caused many a reader to SAY WHAT?  They pick up a novel of mine by accident.  They enjoy the read so they choose another from my inventory. BZZZZ. SAY WHAT??? They look at the title, check my name and discover an entirely different genre; a theme that wouldn’t normally interest them. 

This erratic and scrambled collection of novels I have written is a parallel to my life.  I’m an adventurer; always seeking the other side of the horizon.  My novels reflect my experiences and observations because I’m too lazy to do research.

The contrast between my novels, BOOMER, and my most recent, SHOOTER, are one-hundred-eighty degrees apart.

 Although the covers could be interchanged, the stories are from different periods.  BOOMER is a period western that is for general audiences.  SHOOTER is a story about the family of assassins that killed President Kennedy and several other notables.  There are a few teenage kisses in BOOMER, but several graphic sex scenes in SHOOTER. I can go on and on with the differences but you get the drift.

A consistency of theme runs through my contemporary westerns, UNTAMED, PARTNERS, and CRYSTAL COWBOY. Another theme is portrayed in ExPat and TRES PIEDRAS.  The MURDER IN PANAMA (Jimmy Hart trilogy) is just that – an action adventure 3 book series with Panama as the backdrop.

The two BIG novels in my inventory, THE LAST FRUIT STAND ON GUAM and ALASKA BE DAMNED, both well over one-hundred-thousand words, are again as opposite as night and day.  I have had readers that loved the bawdy romantic comedy, LFS and wasn’t overly thrilled with the action-drama, ABD -- And vice versa. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this.  Before you purchase one of my novels, use the free sample and read the first couple of chapters.  I don’t want you disappointed or surprised by the content.

A lot of my favorite authors don’t have this problem.  One of my favorites is Zoe Saadia.  She writes pre-contact historical fiction.  I love it.  I can buy any of her novels and not be disappointed or surprised because she has a consistent genre.  Oh, the Indian tribes will be different, and the circumstances will change but overall, her work is consistently good; the same with Bob Dunbar, Terry C. Johnston, Michael Blake, G.E.Nolly, and Chloe Thurlow.  All excellent writers that stay within their genre. They found their niche and I’m proud to read them.

Writers like Larry McMurtry, John Nichols, and the classic authors of years past like Edward Abbey, Hemmingway, Stienbeck, and London are all over the map.

Perhaps I am emulating my old time mentors.  Who knows? I understand one hard fact about my work.  If I don’t enjoy the story, I won’t write it.  Hell, I won’t even consider writing something just to be a commercial success. Genre challenged?  Perhaps!

4 comments:

  1. You are right Robert. Knowing you and all of your various adventures, it would be hard for you to fit neatly into one writing genre. That's why being your friend is so exciting. You have experiences and stories about everything!! You know what they say...Variety is the spice of life...and you my friend, are never bland. ;)

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  2. Nice new cover for The Last Fruit Stand on Guam. Very classy!!

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  3. You have to lead an adventurous life to write authentic adventure books and Bob Hatting has done just that - the authenticity lifts off the page and I feel myself being embraced and caressed by a master.

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  4. I've read other authors where I loved the first book, and the second also though it was similar, but by the third book I was impatient because it was another variation on the same thing. I much prefer that each book is a different experience, so keep on doing what you are doing!

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