Hi! waves to all the nice people What was that? The title of this post makes no sense? Ah. Stay with me here. I can’t promise to make sense, but I will explain. (Giveaway spoiler: And if you do stay with me, you get a chance to pick from my menu “) )
See, a writer and his or her body of work in the beginning is like a mom-and-pop restaurant. We’ll call it Aunt Bee’s. Aunt Bee starts out making one fabulous thing in her kitchen, her incredible chicken and dumplings. People ask for them all the time. Eventually, she starts to sell them from her house. It occurs to Aunt Bee that maybe she can make a second thing people might like, so she starts selling her pulled pork sandwiches, too. When enough people are buying Aunt Bee’s chicken and dumplings and pulled pork, she decides to open a restaurant. The menu expands.
Writers’ careers aren’t much different. We start out with one product to offer, which we might shop around until someone picks it up, or we might have a homegrown following that encourages a buyer. If readers like the first product, they ask for another. If the writer’s lucky, they want more. If we work diligently and persistently, we eventually have menus full of options for the lovely readers who stop by our word restaurants.
Some writers, like J. K. Rowling, started out as pizzerias. The really good kind that has goat cheese, feta, and fresh mozzarella, that offers lovely vegetarian options as well as meat lovers’ wet dreams. But still a pizzeria – the menu offers a series of one type of product. Lately, she’s decided to add chicken and fish to her menu. I’m not sure that’s the best idea, but time will tell.
Other writers, like Tanya Huff, develop into more of a specialty restaurant, say Asian-Fusion or upscale Italian. You know the type of food offered. You walk in there knowing what kinds of selections will be on hand. But it’s a nice, thick menu with lots of pages and a wide variety of choices.
Then you have the full service diner writers, the ones who want to offer you a bit of everything—chicken pot pie? Got that. Gyros? Got those. Steak and potatoes? Yep. Lemon meringue pie? Oh, heck yes. Sometimes everything works and all the readers leave feeling full and happy. Sometimes it’s not such a good idea and while the tuna melt was fabulous, the crab cake sandwich was a little nauseating.
We can see where a writer is in his or her career by where they are in the restaurant metaphor. Are they at the stage where they only have that one product, that lone novel? Do they have a nice little starter menu with a few solid items? Or are they at the point where you’ll be handed the faux-leather bound menu with the twenty pages of offerings?
Appetizers = Short stories
Primo/ Soups and Salad = Novellas
Main course = Novels (If it’s a series, you may be offered several courses.)
Dessert = Free Reads and extra material
My restaurant? Definitely a specialty restaurant. You’ll find a full menu but it’s all of the M/M Science Fiction and Fantasy persuasion. I do a lot of fusion cuisine—Science Fiction Humor, Contemporary Fairytale, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction Fairytale—but it’s all in the same family of literary food.
Do all my readers leave full and happy? I can’t say I please everyone, but people do seem to keep coming back.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Hoping to see everyone soon at GRL—I’ll be the little person with the long, scraggly white hair and the watchful expression that people misinterpret as deep thought. I’m really just trying to figure out what’s going on.
Angel Martinez: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind – go here to browse the menu
About Angel: Angel Martinez is that rare breed—a Delaware author. (“Look, Mommy! It’s so cute! Can we feed it?” “No, dear. I hear they bite.”) Her books currently live at Amber Allure, Total E Bound, Mischief Corner Books and Silver Publishing.