When I was offered the chance to write a short story in the supernatural/horror vein, I jumped at it. Why? Well, first off, I’m a writer, and I jump at any chance to write something for publication. Adding to your body of work should be a natural impulse for a writer. And, of course, I enjoy writing. Any kind of writing. Short stories, novels, scripts, essays, even reports or business memos. I find satisfaction in arranging words the way I want them – to convey a specific message or to create a particular atmosphere or just the right tone. I enjoy the sense of competence, occasionally even mastery, that I feel when I’m able to transmit a message with precision or create the kind of scenario that a reader’s imagination can really run with.
Some writers have chosen genres to work in, and feel daunted being asked to write outside those genres. I understand this, and kudos to those who are willing to try. Regardless of the result, even the attempt to expand one’s horizons is inherently stimulating and educational. I myself have no chosen genre, and I don’t want one. If others want to pigeonhole me, I can’t do much about that. I just want to write. But writers can be typecast just like actors, and if you want to avoid this, the best thing you can do is show your ability in different areas.
I released my first novel last year. It’s a detective story (mystery, noir, hard-boiled – call it what you will) and I think it’s a good one. So, based on this one work, there are those who would naturally classify me as a mystery writer. And if they’re enjoying my work, I don’t mind so much. But if these same people come across my supernatural short story, it might mess them up, at least for a second. I kind of hope so. People rely way too much on quick, careless classification these days and it makes them lazy.
I’m a storyteller. I don’t write genres, I write stories. Some are easily classified, some are not. Categorize them as you will – if you’re enjoying them, I’ve done my job.