The Muse

Dark and Light.

Fact, fiction, poems, short stories, articles and novels.

Dark fiction, light fiction, cross-genre, slipstream, non-traditional and romance, gothic, horror, fantasy and more…

Let me explain…

Fact and fiction…

Although I’m primarily a fiction writer I have been approached on occasion to writefact. One of those times was for The Really Wild Nursery and Arthritis Care Breaking Down the Barriers garden project. This meant writing all types of material I’d never previously attempted, including press releases and a piece suitable for translation into Braille.

Poems…

Although I don’t write many poems, it’s a good exercise for any writer to play with words. However, poems for me tend to come in cycles. I may write the occasional poem, but it’s more likely that I’ll write them for many weeks or months at a time, and then take an even longer break where I won’t write any at all, sometimes not for years.

Short stories…

I once never wanted to write a short story. I just wasn’t that interested. Now, I love writing short stories, and it’s a pity many people seem to have lost the joy of reading them. My father always said that he preferred a novel because no sooner was he into a short story than it was over. While I see his point, a short story can be a whole universe in itself. For any writer, I would always encourage the practice of short story writing. It teaches so much, and can improve a style.

Articles…

As well as the aforementioned factual pieces I wrote for the garden project, I’ve been asked on occasion to write articles, namely for a west country newsletter. Currently, I’m no longer doing this, but I’ll never say never again. I’ve written pieces on writing that were well received by print and electronic publications.

Novels…Novellas…

While my novels to date are set within the romance genre, I have other projects in mind, namely fantasy. Just as I never expected to be writing as I am now, I’m happy to see what surprises the future has in store. Novellas are an interesting, and useful, length to consider writing. Not all stories can be stretched out into 60, 70, or 80,000+ words. My foray into Space 1889 has now stretched to novel length in the third season.

 

 

Dark fiction, light fiction…

Although I blend genres, there seems to be a dark thread that runs through much of my work and dominates my non-romance writing. In romance, I’ve gone more for a mix of dark and light, where some of my titles are intended to induce a simple smile or a laugh. I may explore an even darker side of romance in time.

Cross-genre…

The one thing I like about the current romance industry is that it allows for all categories of sub-genres and therefore cross-genre writing, but we’ll come to that in a moment. It’s enough to say for now that this is the largest attraction for me. One of my romances has been described as Prince and the Pauper crossed with Arabian nights. A short story of mine starts with someone deliriously ill. Her ramblings turn into the story of a dysfunctional family, a subsequent crime, and a heartbreaking look at her life. It’s more than one story within a story and if asked to give it a category I would have to list it under several genres. I love taking two seemingly disconnected occurrences and crossing them to make something new.

Slipstream…

Slipstream is possibly another way to say I write cross-genre. It’s a relatively new term that covers stories that ‘slip’ around or between other genres, containing elements of both or many. I really should have included Speculative Fiction in my list so I’m mentioning it here. It’s really a collective term for all stories that contain elements of the fantastic or improbable, things that are unlikely to occur in our universe.

Non-traditional romance…

You may well ask why I list my romantic endeavours as non-traditional, but there is a good reason for this. While I would never rule out the possibility of writing a more traditional romance one day, I prefer modern romances which contain facets of the paranormal or erotica. They may also contain varying sexualities. These sub-genres allow for greater story telling. Authors love conflict and where can you get more conflict than in same-sex pairings or with multiple partners, or in the supernatural? The idea of non-traditional simply covers the genre of romance and all the sub-genres that exist, and allows you to throw whatever you wish into the mix.

Gothic…

While I don’t specifically write gothic pieces, I do believe many of my stories may contain gothic components, particularly when they are dark stories that don’t quite extend into horror. I’ve written some dark fairy tales that I would rather call gothic than horror.

Horror…

Horror as opposed to gothic for me is when there are truly nasty aspects to the story. These may include some gory scenes, or implied scenes, a serial killer (although that could equally apply to crime), or a plain, old-fashioned monster on the loose. Said monster doesn’t have to possess fangs and claws, and can be quite human, as in the serial killer scenario. In short, horror would have a stronger definition of portrayed violence, and that’s probably why I don’t write much that I would categorise as horror. I would rather call my darker stories gothic as in atmospheric.

Fantasy…

Hardly needs explaining, although my fantasies can cross genres as much as any other types of writing. I love epic novels depicting completely new and strange worlds and societies.

and more…

More because there’s so many things unlisted. Will I ever write a historical? I have written a dark version of a fairy tale that’s historical, but also erotic romance. Get the picture? Will I write crime? Look to the short story as mentioned above. That particular tale is definitely slipstream, but there’s an underlying crime. Erotica? Look to my romance, or even some of my darker gothic stories. If the story requires a sensuous moment, or an in your face love scene, I’m not going to turn shy on my characters. I will always put into words what I feel the story requires, and that’s why I call my work diverse. I’ve recently added steampunk to the mix.

Thanks for reading!
Sharon x

Comments are closed