Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Branching Out

There are times in our lives when we all do things, whether on purpose or not, that limit us. "I only eat" this or "I only wear" that brand, that type of thing. When we label ourselves, we limit ourselves. And, in doing so, we don't grow as human beings, or as artists. Imagine, if you can, being handed the variety pack of breakfast cereals and being told that, whichever one you choose, it's the only one you can have for the rest of your life. Bummer.

This past weekend at StokerCon (in Long Beach California), I met with my agent who did what she is supposed to do... She told me a harsh truth. The markets for horror are flooded. My work, she says, is good, but people just aren't buying it at this time. Horror's not dead, but it is in a state of overexposure. There are seasoned pros out there who haven't sold a book in a long time (me being one of those) because, well, people just aren't buying. I didn't want to admit it, but it's true.  And so the time has come.

See, for the longest time, a horror writer was all I was and all I wanted to be. I've only been good at a few things, and scaring the shit out of people is one of them, so I embraced it and ran with it. Hell, my website URL was AmericanHorrorWriter (both .com and .net because reasons). But back in the day, I had an inkling this might happen. So I registered a new domain name: It still sounds like horror, but there's now wiggle room as to what I actually write. Which brings me to the point of this blog:  What do I write?

Horror is still my first love, and I'm never stepping away from it. That's a fact. I will write horror until the day I'm dead, and probably even after that because that would be really creepy and awesome. But now, I'm branching out into four categories. The first two should surprise no one: Science Fiction and Dark Urban Fantasy.  The Stanley Cooper Chronicles, as you may know, is not straight horror. I've always billed it as "Dark Urban Noir Fantasy," so that's no real big stretch. Science Fiction has long time been a love of mine ever since I picked up the works of Phillip K Dick and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I was a kid. So those really aren't the ones that are scaring the hell out of me right now.

See, I'm of the belief that we should always do things that frighten us. We grow that we, gain new skills and confidence, and we experience new and amazing things. So I'm doing just that. I'm going to be writing a novel in a genre that scares the ever-loving hell out of me under a pen-name.


You read that correctly. Young Adult. I will be writing a YA-horror-dark-urban-fantasy very soon under the name William Strange. Go ahead. Get your giggles out now, but I'm going to do it.

"But wait," I hear you saying. "You said four genres. That's only three. What's the fourth?"

You really want to know? Okay.

Poetry. I'm coming for you, Wytovich.

I'll keep you informed of the latest.

Until next time...