Thursday, August 6, 2009


Last month I asked you if there's anything you'd like to know about me, and I swear I haven't forgotten about you. It figures that as soon as I ask for topics, all sorts of things happened in my life (Twitter! A Trip Home! A Puppy!).

Jenna asked, "If you had to pick one genre to write in for the rest of your life what would it be? And you can't say mainstream or contemporary... you have to be specific :)."

Since mainstream/contemporary IS how I label my writing, she was nice enough to list out the main genres:

Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult
Middle Grade

Going down that list, I can immediately cross off quite a few, which leaves me with the following:

Young Adult

Romance was a maybe, but I get really uncomfortable writing love scenes and if I understand the genre correctly, that's kind of important.

I know they aren't but in my mind, Crime/Detective, Mystery, and Thriller/Suspense can all be lumped together (please don't shoot me). I'd happily write those, probably leaning towards Suspense.

I enjoy reading Literary and I would LOVE it if I could ever elevate my writing to that level, but I'm realistic. I believe I'm finding my voice and I'm happy with where it's taking me.

And where is it taking me? I think to Young Adult. I don't know if I'm going to attempt it anytime soon, but my favorite POV in my current wip is the seventeen-year old. The MC in The Other Side is nineteen, but it's definitely not YA. I've always loved "teen" movies and on Wednesday I read an excerpt from Elana Johnson's current novel and it made me want to read more about these kids.

Which ties into Jenna's final question: "What's your next idea?"

Perhaps something YA…

What about you? Are you set in one genre? Is there one you'd like to try, even if it never sees the light of day?


Adam said...

There are several publishing imprints that accept sexless romance. Something to look into maybe? :)

If I could only write in one genre it would be fantasy, but I actually intend to write at least one novel/novella in every major genre. You never know, I may be missing my calling! ;-)


Janna Qualman said...

Interesting! You'd rawk at YA.

Women's fiction for me.

Jenna said...

Interesting answer Mel :).

I intentionally left out the mainstream/contemporary label because I think it's interesting to see where people would fall if they couldn't dump themselves into a super-general category--also why I left out women's fiction.

It also interesting to see what people say they "wish" they could write compared to what they write.

I wish I had the talent to write YA Fantasy--I absolutely loved Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and his book So Yesterday and a few others in the genre.

You should try your hand at some YA stuff. In fact, I have 3 to 4 really good YA books you might like that I'll I give you when you come. Also check out Scott Westerfeld's site, he's posting Uglies (a NYT bestseller) on his site as a free PDF download. It might be a pain to read that way but it's a great book.

For now it's Women's Fiction. But I do have a few ideas that I'd like to attempt someday, even if it never sees the light of day.

Anonymous said...


Lauren said...

I love fantasy and really can only ever see myself writing that. However, I wouldn't mind writing a YA fantasy.

I think that you would be a fabulous YA writer! I hope that you do it!

EriCan said...

That's great that you chose YA- I too enjoy the YA genre quite a bit. I'm with you on the romance ;)

I would love to write a Science Fiction/Fantasy or Science Fiction/Mystery. I love the idea of science fiction and would very much like to add it to some of my stories.

I have one brewing at the moment about a woman who watches the earth get destroyed while she is on the moon (I guess she lives there?). I have no idea where to go from there. I think it will take a lot of research, but it really interests me.

Great question Jenna & Melanie :)

Melanie Avila said...

Adam, that's a really cool idea. A novella is a little less intimidating that a full-length novel, but even short stories could be a cool way to start. I don't know if I could write fantasy though. Things are too literal in my head.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I envy that you know what you excel at. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Jenna, I'm glad you challenged me. I could have explained why I don't like the ones I knocked off in the first category, but I don't want anyone to feel like they need to defend their genre. It's just not for me.

That'd be great if you have some YA books for me. I've been wanting to read more in that genre. And good to know about the pdf. I'll check that out!

Melanie Avila said...

Gypsy, that's quite different from what you DO write, right?

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Lauren. I really wish I could crawl inside you fantasy writers' heads. I just don't get it. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, that premise sounds really interesting. And my head already hurts just thinking about all the world building that would have to go into that. You should try it!

btw, I had a dream last night involving a certain vampire, werewolf, and fragile human, lol.

Nadine said...

Let's see, books # 1 & 3 are Mystery/Suspense.
Book #2 is a love story and book #4 is YA. I hop all over the place.

I'm pretty happy with those three genres and can't think of another one I would try. Although maybe an urban fantasy would be fun too.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, you seem to write the same thing as me, more or less. :)

WendyCinNYC said...

Women's fiction for me, too. But I'd love to try MG.

EriCan said...

I'll get to working on it. *wink wink*

You lucky duck you. I would give anything to dream about them... Ahhhhhh... sadly, I have not yet had that dream. I hope there was lots of um... excitement ;)

JLC said...

Suspense would be fun to write! I am still finding my niche. I have more fun writing stuff that is supernatural. (As you probably know.) Looking back on what I have written, I actually have a 'dark side' to all my WIPs.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, I think you have great research at your fingertips for MG. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, I think I actually was the fragile human because I kept grabbing their butts and neither seemed to mind. Of course this was during some kind of mystery thing where someone was chasing us. The majority of my dreams are like that.

Melanie Avila said...

JLC, I love reading your supernatural stuff. You're the other one whose brain I want to climb into. :) I'm so impressed with the world building you do, and how easy you make it seem.

I like dark sides. :)

ac said...

FYI, "sweet romance" sex scenes.

Literary. That's my preference. Unlike you, I'm not realistic. :-)

Melanie Avila said...

Aww, like puppy dog sweet? :P

Not realistic? HA!

Anonymous said...

Hey Melanie,

Actually, no. Evidently there's a lot of silly prejudice against horror nowadays. So instead, it's being called "dark suspense". So in my query for PORTRAITS, I described it as a dark suspense that takes place in the 19th century.

In truth, a lot of words could probably fit my work: Victorian Gothic, supernatural, psychological horror. But suspense is an easy, all-around term that covers a lot of different areas. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Interesting, I didn't know that about horror v dark suspense. I kind of like that name though, and for someone like me who shies away (ie - runs screaming) from horror, it could trick me into purchasing