Hello from sunny Timișoara! Those of you who follow me know that six months ago my husband and I moved into another beautiful city. Timișoara is one of the most stunning cities in Romania, and has been appointed the European Capital of Culture in 2021. Old aristocratic buildings dating from three hundred years and more carry not only the history of the city, but the legacy of our country. Each stone-paved road and each intricate balcony tell a story, in this poetic new home of ours.
In fact, Romania is such a beautiful country it has inspired many authors to place their stories here. I was fortunate enough to meet one of these authors, bestselling novelist Carmen DeSousa, who’s writing an entire series that features a Romanian family.
And as we both are great chatters, one of the subjects that we debated is the pros and cons of being a multi-genre author. Since Carmen is a bestselling author and her sales are more than impressive, she has actively proven that an author can be successful and accomplished by writing in several genres.
On the other hand, I’ve heard about many narrow-minded people who label writers after reading a single book, and never pick up another book by that author. For instance, I know people who have read a simple romance written by Sandra Brown thirty or so years ago, when she was a simpleton newbie, and labeled her books as cheap and cheesy literature for housewives. They never even learned how much her writing style has changed, what amazing thrillers she writes and why her suspense romances are constantly on the New York Times bestsellers list.
Unfortunately, some readers don’t understand that authors grow, change, experiment, that it takes time and many tries to improve oneself as an author. They label you from a single book. This kind of mentality is wrong, but so common it often made me wonder if I should stick to a single genre, if I should un-publish my older books, if-if-if…
If readers knew how much effort, sweat, soul and tears an author pours into a book, even if it’s a bad book, I think they would have more respect for our craft. They wouldn’t be so quick to give bad reviews. Everyone can be a critic, but not everyone can be a fair critic. Are you taking your responsibility as a critic/reviewer seriously?