If you happen to have visited this blog before, you may be aware that I write three kinds of fiction – dark crime (Perfect Day and Perfect Peace and the Crime-Mystery-Suspense Short Story Collection), light crime (The Queen of Hearts), and horror (Comeback and the Horror Short Story Collection). In my writer’s mind all these genres are one and the same. To me it’s all the same world, only slightly different aspects of it and viewed from a slightly different point-of-view.
But recently I have been made aware that readers may not altogether share my opinion on this matter, that from a readers POV it may be better – commercially and in other ways – to be known for one genre only, at least until I become successful enough for it not to matter (which won’t be anytime soon, unfortunately).
Now, although I’m not entirely convinced that readers are so easily confused by such things, I decided that it might be worth trying the experiment. To be honest, it sounded like it might be fun. Now I know better. I meddled in things that man must leave alone, and I got a boot in my arse for my troubles.
After much deliberation, I decided to keep my crime fiction under my real name, and to pass the horror baton into the grubby, slimy hand of a creature entirely of my own creation. I busily cobbled together a new name and character from the materials I had to hand, taking them from my own life and family, I made new covers for the two horror books published so far and I slapped his name on them, and then I set him up with his own blog, his own author’s page on Amazon, and his own email address… Thus I breathed life into the child of my mind, a veritable literary Prometheus.
His name is Jim Mullaney. I ushered him into the world, saw his eyes open for the first time on this brave new world, heard his initial formless cries, guided him with a kind paternal hand to his first stumbling steps… and then guess what?
That’s right, the son of a bitch turned on me.
He used the bio section of his very first blog to have a pop at me – me, who had given him life! Actually tearing me a new one over my decision to keep my own name attached to crime instead of to horror, and accusing me of not wanting to get my hands dirty with the bloody business of the genre. Telling his readers that they could forget about “that other guy”, as if I was nothing at all to him.
I have to admit, I was completely sucker-punched by this attack, and, as the possibility of trapping him in a burning windmill doesn’t seem to be a realistic option, I still haven’t been able to come up with any suitable kind of response. Hence this post. How do I deal with this problem? How do I deal with this ungrateful child, this monster of my own making?
If you’d like to read the creature’s unkind comments on his unfortunate father, visit:
I am open to advice on this matter.
Wait…. I have an idea. I think I may begin writing a series of romance stories, and then attribute them to a female pseudonym. Yes, that’s it. I think I’ll give my monster a bride, a little bit of the old trouble and strife, and then we’ll see what the bastard is really made of.