I have a lot of things I want to do after AWAKEN is finally released to the wild. I want to finish up my financial thriller. I want to co-write a book, tentatively titled SOLVERS, with a pretty cool person. I want to finish my Dante Devotional (book one is written, about 1/3rd typed).
I’m trying to figure out what my “platform” is, too. Remember that? Back before digital publishing, this was kind of important. A publisher wouldn’t pick you up unless you had a unique platform that defined who you were as an author and why only you could fill that position in the literary world. Does this still exist?
I honestly don’t think it’s really important anymore. Sure, there are authors like John Grisham (who I love), that write the same type of story over and over. Legal thrillers are a great genre, and Grisham is one of the best here. Harlan Coben (another author that I adore), writes thrillers with tons of twists and turns that are impossible to predict–another platform that he fills best. There are tons of examples that I could give, and you would probably recognize every name I threw out.
But for set platform, there are a few authors that don’t fit. The biggest name is James Patterson. He made his name writing thrillers, but now he writes young adult, historical fiction, tons of stuff. Neil Gaiman is another big name. Comic books, horror, fantasy, young adult, children’s books. And they’re all good.
Maybe today’s platform is that you can write whatever you want thanks to the increased ease of getting it into your readers’ hands? But do you have to be a big name to pull this off? I don’t see why you would need to. A “nobody” like John Locke can go from obscurity to one of the best selling independent authors ever in a few years. Does it matter what he wrote? What things have turned out differently for him if he wrote a few science fiction novels mixed in with his suspense? It’s impossible to say for sure, but I don’t think so. If anything, his audience would have increased in size.
So, no, I do not have a problem switching gears from Science Fiction to a financial thriller. I know both genres well, and I am going to use it to my advantage. This will be a fun experiment.