Monday, January 27, 2014

Genre Diversity Reigns Supreme (a guest post by Cornelia Grey)

Hello, everyone, and thank you for stopping by for Storm Moon Press' anniversary blog tour! The press is turning four, and today is also my birthday (I am, however, just slightly older than that... ;) ), so I'm twice as happy to be here chatting with you! :)

I have been with Storm Moon Press almost since the beginning; I submitted my first story for one of their anthologies in December 2010. (Gosh, I can't believe it's already been that long!) I still have the original email, and I remember it well because I was snowed in and without Internet connection, the deadline was looming, and I had to drive all the way to a friend's house to manage to send in the submission... what a time!

The anthology was Wild Passions, whose stories all include characters with some animal features; for example, mine were fox-people, humanoids with ears and tails. I remember how intrigued I was by this theme when I read the call for submissions, and my fascination with SMP's original and unusual anthologies remains. Gun kink, tentacle porn, dragons, slave fantasy, non-con... I have yet to find another publisher so willing to push boundaries and feature such a variety of themes.

I am definitely a genre fiction writer by calling, since even as a reader I was never too keen on contemporaries; and one thing that I've often read in 'advice for writers' articles is that authors should pick a genre and stick to it in order to build a brand of sorts. I have always struggled to do that, and the intriguing and diverse anthology calls from SMP have definitely encouraged me to explore different themes and genres to my imagination's content. If I look at the list of my publications, I find it quite amusing that literally no two stories belong to the same genre; and that, in fact, most stories don't even fit squarely in one defined genre, but rather mix and match elements of different ones.

For example, I have a fantasy shifter one with a historical-esque setting (The Ronin and the Fox), a Western + gun kink (Bounty Hunter, whose two sequels are almost ready – not one, two!), an urban fantasy (City of Foxes), an odd cross between urban thriller setting / literary /bittersweet in the form of Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time... and then there's steampunk fantasy, paranormal, humor... what a mixed bag! I don't know whether the advice articles are right and readers might in fact prefer authors to stick to one genre only: but I for sure had a lot of fun exploring all these different genres and playing with the different tropes and narrative elements! I'm truly grateful that my readers seem content enough to never know what I'm going to pull out of my hat next. :) I have occasionally had readers tell me that, even though they were not usually fond of a particular genre I had tackled in a story, they gave it a try because they liked my previous works, and ended up liking it. I can't describe how I beam with happiness when I hear something like that! :)

I'm also really grateful that the editors at SMP not only never tried to restrict me to a genre or the other, but in fact always fully encouraged me to push my boundaries and explore whatever crazy idea tickled my fancy. It's incredibly reassuring to be so fully supported by a publisher, and it truly gives the confidence to try new things and stray out of one's comfort zone.

The latest story I have with SMP is, in fact, another odd mix: gun kink + a bit of exhibitionism, set in a Victorian-esque circus with steampunk overtones. The title is Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders (I know, I know... a bit of a mouthful? ;) ) and it was originally released in SMP's second gun kink anthology, Weight of a Gun 2. I had wanted to work on a story set in a circus for a long while and, since I had so much fun playing with the colourful and odd cast of characters – especially with the two protagonists, circus newbie Benjamin and Cole, the handsome pistoleer – I'm happy to announce that the story will be expanded with more scenes and should be released on its own very soon!

I am very fond of this work, and I'm glad to have the chance to expand on it since I wasn't quite done telling the story of these characters. I'm incredibly grateful to SMP for supporting me in this project, and I truly hope readers will enjoy this extra peek in Benjamin's world, too... :)!


This post is part of Storm Moon Press' 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!


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