Where did October go? I remember waaay back at the beginning of the month asking the four-year-old boy next door what he was going to be for Halloween.

"A vampire... or a pirate! Arg!" he said with a big parrot-worthy grimace.

"Why not be a vampire-pirate?" I asked him.

"Oh no, you can't be both. It has to be just one. Or people won't know who I am."

And that got me thinking about genres. And pen names. And writing in general.

Sometimes I look upon writing as wearing a disguise. For some articles, I'm a car buff, for others, I know the ins and outs of getting liposuction done. It's all part of earning a living writing magazine articles -- most of us have to wear many different hats.

Deep down though, it's still me. The one worried about making deadlines or concerned that the last thing she wrote is absolute crap. ;)

The same might be said for fiction authors. No, not about the crap, but the different hats. I know many who write in more than one genre, using more than one name in order to dip their pen into another pond without getting their legion of fans in their initial genre upset.

Is little Lukas right? Do people want to see only vampires or pirates, and not vampire-pirates?

I don't think so. If that were the case, we wouldn't have those awesome genre-busting novels that reach out beyond a certain readership. That's what sells books and keeps publishers happy.

The only problem is that in order to get your foot in the door, most agents and editors expect to know where a novel fits in the market. That inspirational/time-travel/western with erotic elements might scare people. Oh, and don't forget the zombies.

The secret, I can only guess (based on hearing it a gazillion times), is to present them with a such a fabulous story, they don't care how many genres it bends and breaks through. 

As for Lukas, we'll see who shows up at my door tomorrow night.

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