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Question about genre when writing a series

519 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Lydniz
Hi everyone!

I'm a prospective author about to take the plunge into writing novels and self-publishing, and I'm going to start writing a series, since that seems to be the way to go. I've always been a horror fan, and I'm thinking of writing a zombie apocalypse series since stories like that still seem popular these days. However, I would probably write it in a similar vein to The Walking Dead, which is part horror, but also captures a very mainstream audience and could in some ways be considered more of a dramatic thriller.

But I'm also interested in traditional horror: the supernatural; monsters; vampires; possessed cars; things that make your skin crawl. So my question is if I write a zombie series that captures readers who are into horror, but also others who are into action, dramatic, or thriller genres, will I end up turning off a lot of readers if I follow up with a second series that's a little more of the supernatural, ghastly, ghoul-y horror stuff? Would it be wiser to write a follow-up series to have the same feel as my first one, or would it perhaps be best to blend genres and make the zombie series more horror-based and give it a little twist? For all the authors here who write series in genres like urban fantasy and paranormal romance, do you try to strictly adhere to those genres with the multiple series you write, or do you blend genres how you wish to maintain a similar feel across your different series?
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And go you! You're in the right place! :)

I'd say as long as the series are all still "horror" or Share some aspect of genre like that I wouldn't worry about it
as long as the separate series are clearly labeled and you tell people what to expect in the synopsis.

Jim Butcher writes one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series.
He wrote a fantasy series.
I wasn't turned off. But it was very clear that they weren't the same thing.

(Edited for clarity)
Hi.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Welcome.
My advice is write the first book, then worry about the rest. 

I know several that write in various genres. 
But first things first, get that first book written. 
  You can always use a pen name or a second pen name if you don't want the readers of your first series to know about your second. But generally, if readers aren't interested in the second series because it's too different - they just won't read it.

  With a series, you may get readers who don't even read every book. They love, love, love your first one and the second just doesn't grab them.

  You're not going to please everyone with every book you write.

  But I agree with Cin, write the books first. That's the most important part, then decide how you want to brand them.
Thanks for the welcomes!

cinisajoy said:
Hi. Slow down. Breathe. Welcome.
What, you're saying I shouldn't worry about my second series when I haven't even started doing anything yet? :p

Thanks for the advice, though, everyone! I guess I'll get to work on my outline.
I write in two completely different genres. Spiritual and Science Fiction Space Opera.

I dont see any problem with it, as long as you make sure you tell people which genre is which. Thats a matter of good title selection, and ensuring the blurb makes it specific about which genre the book fits into.

While you will lose some following for not sticking to a genre in the next series, you will likely pick up as many as you lose. Its not really about that anyway. My personal reading tastes dont extend to zombies, but if you wrote some sci-fi, I'd read it. I just wouldnt go back to your zombies or read the next zombie series.

There are authors out there with 50+ books, who cover multiple genres, or multiple sub-genres within an overall genre. Their readers pick and choose which to read. Ultimately though, such prolific writers write what they want to write, with only half a mind on what the reader wants.

Or you could do what Steven King did. He used a pen name for his non-horror books. (Richard Bachman).
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Welcome to Kboards. I agree with everyone else: write the book first. That really is the hardest part. Then start thinking about what to do with it.
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