- Will there be no more Lindsey McCall medical mystery novels?
- Why have you switched from writing mystery fiction to historical fiction?
- Will this help your sales?
I’ve been asked these questions of late by a few folks kind enough to write and tell me how much they enjoy Lindsey, her husband Rich and their adventures. Or are merely curious about writers, why we write what we do and what is the source of our inspiration. So I wrote an article for Serious Reading last week. Perhaps you’ll find it interesting. I called it Changing Genres in the Middle of a Series? Are You Crazy?
Here is a sample of that article:
“After completing the fourth novel in my Dr. Lindsey McCall medical mystery series last December, Malthus Revisited-The Cup of Wrath, I’ve started my next book, I, Claudia, a novel about Claudia Procula, wife of Pontius Pilate, instead of the fifth in the mystery series I had planned to write. This switch from medical mystery to historical fiction feels peculiar- but then so did fiction after a lifetime of nonfiction.
- Why do this after spending substantial time, money and energy to gather a following, albeit a modest one, for the mystery series?
- The answer is simple. It wasn’t my idea. I, Claudia, ‘appeared in my head’ exactly like Dr. Lindsey McCall did about ten years ago.
It’s the truth. Writing fiction was a childish dream. If you’re a novelist, then you have some familiarity with the voices. The ones that shout “Forget it! You’re no Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald! Nor Lee Child! Or…” (fill in the blank with the name of your favorite novelist.)
“Write a novel?
“You haven’t got what it takes for a short story, never mind a whole book!”
Back then, I believed that writers were born with that mysterious, mystical entity, The Muse. I had no knowledge of the reality of all that is excellent. That single, critical ingredient of good authors: Grit.
But now, after four novels, each of which is better than its predecessor, I have the confidence to wonder:
- “Now that I finally know what I’m doing, am I crazy to take on a brand new category? One I’ve no experience with? Historical fiction?
- It even sounds intimidating- like that word, genre.
- A quick, rather trivial question before continuing. Am I the only one that dislikes that word, genre? Feels as if she’s in Freshman English again pretending to be an English major? One who never read Hemingway and winces when writing the word, genre?
WHEN I BEGAN TO ATTACK SYSTEMATICALLY THE PILE OF BOOKS ON CLAUDIA, PONTIUS PILATE, CICERO, ANCIENT ROME, GREECE, AND ISRAEL, ANOTHER VOICE IN MY HEAD SHOWED UP. THIS TIME TO WHISPER: “YOU’RE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE, LIN. THE ONLY WAY TO GET KNOWN IS TO SPECIALIZE IN YOUR WRITING…YOU’RE ALL OVER THE PLACE…
If you’d like to read the rest of this piece, great! Click here.