I read a blog post by another successful independent author today and once more he touted the importance of writing “one” type of story per name. The reasoning makes sense for those readers who primarily read in one genre. It makes sense for the idea of “branding” one’s name in the memories of those readers who like your stuff. It doesn’t make sense to me as a reader because I’ve never limited myself to one, or a dozen, genres. I guess it makes sense for authors who write almost entirely for business related reasons. Although I’d certainly like to sell more than what I do, I’m not one of those kinds of authors. I like to write just as widely as I like to read. That made me start thinking about the kind of stuff I’ve written and how it might be classified.
1. Swords of Talera, Wings Over Talera, Witch of Talera: A series, primarily sword and planet fiction with some elements of sword and sorcery mixed in. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Alan Burt Akers wrote similar kinds of things.
2. Cold in the Light: A standalone thriller with a lot of horror elements. Similar in some ways to Dean Koontz’s early thrillers like Midnight and Watchers.
3. Under the Ember Star: A space opera in the vein of Leigh Brackett and C. L. Moore.
4. Bitter Steel: A collection of sword and sorcery short stories, with the main emphasis on swords and less emphasis on sorcery. Most similar probably to Robert E. Howard’s work.
5. In the Language of Scorpions: A collection of horror stories, ranging from splatter punk type tales like “Razor White,” to twist endings like “I Can Spend You,” to flash fiction like “Roadkill.”
6. Midnight in Rosary: A collection of vampire and werewolf tales, with a ghost story thrown in. It’s got brutal vamps, romantic vamps, and lots of sex. That last is a bit strange on its own because most of my other fiction has no sex in it at all.
7. Killing Trail: A collection of traditional western short stories. Definitely most similar to Louis L’Amour’s work.
8. Harmland: A collection of noir/horror stories, with the emphasis on the noir.
9. Days of Beer: A memoir containing humorous anecdotes and tales about my life growing up as a beer drinker and a hell raiser.
10. Harvest of War: A standalone fantasy short story involving Orcs.
11. Micro Weird: A collection of flash fiction running the gamut from SF, to horror, to humor, to just plain strange.
12: Write With Fire: A nonfiction collection of articles and tips about writing.
13: Writing in Psychology: A textbook on writing for psychology majors.
And all with some variation of the name Charles Gramlich on it. Guess I’m not doing well at following the advice of one genre, one name.