Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Inspired to read across genres

By Pamela Moeng

Check the Sunday Independent Book Review section (Sunday, 29 January) to read about locally written and published crime novels with female protagonists.

I was surprised at the number of local writers writing crime thrillers, a genre out of my normal choice range for a number of reasons. What I read made me think I need to read more widely across genres I have never thought of tackling (reading or writing) before.

My thing, from the impressionable teen years, was romance novels. I read them voraciously through my teens, twenties and even, secretly like a dirty little vice, into my thirties. Now I (try to) write them, while harbouring the ambition to be the next Barbara Cartland.

Romance is good for the soul, I say, despite the arguments that the happily-ever-after endings give our daughters and possibly sons the wrong idea about relationships, not to mention marriage. Chick lit is another favourite of mine – I love the wit and humour of them.

But crime thrillers just never crossed my mind as a possible genre. A friend who lived with me for a while and I had an addiction to Crime and Investigation on DSTV, but after a time I realised I was seeing psychopaths and serial killers around every corner. Dinner party conversation so often focuses on crime these days and reading about it just seems like overkill, no pun intended.

Nevertheless, given the apparent popularity of female protagonists in local crime thrillers, I’m going to read a few to support local writers and publishers and to see what I may be missing in a brand new genre.
I think I will also research which successful authors cross genres and are successful in more than one.

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