I’m sure every author has, at some time, been in the exact, same spot I find myself today: at the crossroads of their writing careers, unsure which path to take next.
Since I first embarked on this exciting, wonderful, frustrating, annoying and totally consuming journey of being an author, some three years ago now, I have authored or co-authored and published, seven full-length books. I’m pretty proud of that achievement in itself, but three years on and I still have no real idea who I am as a writer and what I should, or perhaps, more correctly, what I want to write.
I started off with a Fantasy/Adventure/Romance called The Second Coming, which I have actually turned into a trilogy, with the final book, Holy War, having just been published a week or so ago.
I’ve also co-authored a Supernatural Thriller, written a Supernatural/Horror, and a collection of Short-Stories in the Paranormal/Supernatural/Horror genre. To top it off, I wrote a semi-autobiographical Action/Romance.
So, now, I’m sitting back and saying to myself; where do I go from here?
If I were to look solely at which book has made me the most money, hands down, it is my Supernatural/Horror, novel; THE PHOTOGRAPH!
I have to ask myself, therefore, if sales are my prime motivation, then surely I should concentrate on the genres that sell and the paranormal/supernatural/horror market has a wide audience. I also get considerable pleasure from writing in this genre, as it gives an author much more freedom to write and explore outlandish, grotesque and frankly weird creatures and apparitions. So, yes, this is a genre I enjoy and it is successful.
I think the real paradox I face here is the books that I have enjoyed writing the most, are my most unsuccessful, from a sales perspective. My Second Coming Trilogy; The Second Coming, Rise of the AntiChrist, and Holy War are my personal favorites and the three books I enjoyed writing the most. Yes, it was a big risk using “religion” as the basis for these fantasy novels and I guess that’s why I’m paying for that now, at the “box office”, but of all my books, they are the ones I am most proud of. I would love to write more in this vein, but can I sustain them when I cannot sell them?
It’s interesting; someone warned me right at the start regarding this series. They said; “Christians will see it as blasphemous or non-biblical and will shun it and non-Christians will see it has God in it and automatically shun it. Perhaps I should have listened. My argument, at the time was, some of the best-sellers in this genre were neither biblical nor secular and yet they still sold well. I gave examples such as; Tim Le Havre’s The Left Behind Series and Mitch Ablomb’s The First Phone Call from Heaven. My reviews tell me that those who have read the books understand and got what I was trying to achieve, but sadly there were not enough people actually buying them to make them successful.
Never mind! It didn’t happen and I’m fine with that, but should I continue trying to “flog a dead horse”?
I do also love writing romance, but it needs to be romance with an edge. I’ve even been tempted, from time to time to try my hand at a bit of erotica, but having read some of my friends’ work, I realize I’m probably not in the same league as them in that genre, so perhaps I should concentrate more on the straight romantic/adventure angle.
So, where does that place me right now?
I’m having a little break from writing as I contemplate what will be my next project. I’m doing a bit of editing for others and have decided I want to start my next project by the end of this month, October. But what will it be?
I have two ideas at the moment. Firstly, a friend told me it is good to have a non-fiction book or two in your catalog. Non-fiction sells as well, if not better than fiction and at a higher price generally, he assured me. So, I’m seriously considering writing a self-help book, based on a series of blogs I did a year or so ago. I know… I know! Every man and his dog’s jumped on the self-help bandwagon and the marketplace is flooded with titles.
So is every market. It’s an incredibly competitive world out there in the self-publishing game. I also think I may have a slightly different perspective on what self-help means and entails than some of the others. So, that’s the first option.
Option Number two is another novel. I have a few plot ideas bashing around in my head seeking my attention, but perhaps the one that stands out the most at this point is a political thriller based here in my home; The Philippines. We have just elected a hard-man for President, who is waging a war against drugs, corruption, and criminality in general. Whilst he has overwhelming support from the vast majority of the population, there is a small, but vocal minority who question and challenge what, to them, appears to be a total disregard for human rights, the rule of law, and the inevitable journey toward dictatorship, martial law, and/or communism. I am sure there is something in there that can provide a fertile mind with ammunition for a blockbuster novel.
The other idea that is competing violently inside my tiny, little mind is the exploitation and abuse of children through the channel of sex cams. This is an enormous business in my home country and I would really love to attempt to pen a novel on this disgusting trade, from the perspective of a nine-year-old victim.
My darling wife and my biggest fan, who I owe everything to, by the way, keeps telling me to write something “nice”, something “sweet”, something “happy”, and something “lovely”, so perhaps I’ll write a #cozyromance or a #cozymystery.
I am a hopeless romantic and I do love being in love and writing about being in love, so maybe she has a good point. She often asks me why I have to write about horror, the devil, evil, violence, and sex all the time. I’m not sure I always have an answer for her on that, beyond; “it’s what I do best my darling.” Maybe it’s time to write a towering, sweeping, romantic adventure?
God! Who Knows?
So, am I any further on than when I started this article? No, not really. I’m still standing at that crossroads deciding where to go next.
Your ideas, suggestions, and opinions are very welcome. I gotta figure this one out, because while there were only two certainties in life before; death and taxes. There are now four: Death, Taxes, I will love my wife forever, and I will write until the day I die.
Thank you so much for reading my meaningless ramblings today. I do appreciate it and all your suggestions are most welcome.
Till next time, have a wonderful, peace-filled day!