Q. Some authors who write in different genres use pseudonyms or pen names for each genre so as to not confuse the reader. Do you consider this a good idea?
A. If it suits the author, then I would not discourage it. I would consider what purpose does it serve? The author must consider how much additional time and planning would go into each aspect of marketing beyond the bookcovers. This would include multiple accounts on different social media platforms and distinguishing how you would present yourself in an author interview. It seems to be an additional burden on the author when presenting yourself as one is already an exhausting task.
Q. Is there a particular genre you prefer writing in and why?
A. I could easily say that I prefer sci-fi and fantasy is my preferred genre to write in,
but I think this also depends on my literary mood. In sci-fi and fantasy, I can just
release what flows from my mind onto paper. There does not have to be limits in
the world I create because it is not defined by the bounds and laws of physics as
some may understand it. Yet it is difficult to create names that seem feasible but
hopefully not resemble any name of any culture or language on earth, to speak of
thrones yet not be of the sort as we know it or tie in a similarity because you do not
wish to wholly alienate a potential reader. Despite this, sci-fi and fantasy are one
of my favourite genres to write in.
Q. Do you tend to write a few books in one genre, then switch to another once you
have your fill or do you write whatever just strikes you?
A. This has changed over time. I can remember switching back and forth from the
Silhouette Lost series to historical fiction, then writing at least two more sequels to
the series consecutively. Now I think I alternate a bit more frequently to so I can
shift my mind's creativity.
Q. Of all the books you have written over different genres, which book or book(s) are
A. Some of my favourite novels that I have written are from the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
A few are from the Silhouette Lost series and the first book of The Consecrated
Throne Duology, one of my favourites from historical fiction is Love Captured.
Q. What is one of your favourite passages from any of the novels you have written
A. There is one excerpt that I recall from my novel Rising Shadows. It is book two
in the Silhouette Lost series that is entirely different. It has a bit of suspense,
caring and death:
“Shhh, mi amoré.”
“Why the abruptly serious tone, are my stories that boring—”
Salvatore squeezed her right knee after reaching behind. Yamaria’s thoughts simply stopped upon his touch. Salvatore never did that to her, at least not in that way. Before she could claim foul, she realized that danger was imminent. They sat silent. The beast would not cooperate and began to growl. Yamaria patted it on one side, hoping to assuage its anger and fear.
“Take hold of the reigns, mi amoré,” he said as he placed the ropes into her delicate hands upon dismount.
“Salvatore, please do not dismount, you don’t know...”
He glanced at her once more. “This will not be the last time I gaze upon you my love,” he said. At least this was Salvatore’s desire. He never made a promise that he had no intent to fulfill. Yet, these circumstances were ethereally beyond his control and he knew it. One thing he knew more was that as long as breath flowed through his body, he would be with Yamaria. He would be her guide, protector, lover, companion, confidant. All this encompassed his
understanding of what she was to him—his soulmate and no danger on earth or otherworldly would alter that reality.
Salvatore then placed his right index finger to his lips and nodded once to her. She ceased all speech. He also patted the beast on his right side which appeared to help calm it. The beast was a sturdy barrier and veil to where Salvatore stood, just as that strange woman in the town square predicted. He slightly crouched with his balance no longer wavering. Salvatore reached for a medium sized dagger with his left hand from under his overcoat, careful not to cut himself nor injure their beast of burden. It was a refined weapon, of the rarest and finest metal. He brought it with him on the trip to Austrailia, it was only now that Yamaria knew that her husband had carried a weapon. She didn’t know what to think. Her eyes peeled for any sudden movement.
They heard fervent rustling in the brush. Yamaria’s heart sped to a beat she rarely experienced. She put on a brave smile in case Salvatore would look to her for reassurance. Some dead branches broke from a nearby tree and landed near them with barely a sound. Leaves flew waywardly obeying the wind as its master for direction. Salvatore’s temple became intense with a dull throbbing. He had no idea what they were to confront. Whatever it was he was ready. Nothing would harm his Yamaria and if he had to die in the fray to ensure such, he was all but willing. A few small animals emerged and scattered in every direction. The shadow was then no more. A young wide-eyed man appeared.
“Nohan!” Yamaria said. She immediately noticed one of his arms was hidden.
“So, this is the fair lady you vowed to protect. She would fair better than you for a nice ransom,” the stranger said appearing immediately behind. He was a haggered fellow with an unbridled chaos deeply embedded in his heart and a merciless hand towards his captor.
‘A lifetime of vagrancy, deceit and horror in whatever path he trampled on,’ Salvatore surmised. “I see before me a lowly vagrant who has held my friend captive hoping for some financial gain and to enjoy a little mayhem,” Salvatore said aloud. His tone was condemning, his voice filled with disdain and his mind stirring with determination. Salvatore possessed a calm, yet intense rage. Yamaria was unfamiliar with this side of Salvatore, nothing until this point had caused such a demeanor to emerge for her to witness. His eyes were piercing. The criminal was relentless and exposed what little teeth he had with a grimace. Danger was imminent. Yamaria fretted but was focused. She looked to her right, then turned to her left and saw her husband nod his head once more.
“Duck!” she yelled.
“She has to be a princess, she has never seen a bird of—” Nohan said. He immediately was on the ground. The vagrant leaped towards Salvatore with such savagery that he nearly had no time to calculate a response. Yet, he did. Salvatore wielded the dagger with such dashing earnest into the criminal’s thick, sunburned neck. Nohan could hear the knife breaching the man’s juggular vein, but Salvatore could not yield. He stayed his hand and with his other hand to support it, pushed the dagger further in, cracking his neck bone and nearly reaching his brain stem. It was a most graphic sight for Yamaria to behold. She could not look away. It was fascinating. Besides, Yamaria had to make sure that alvatore was able to leave the fight unscathed.
As soon as Salvatore removed the dagger, a flow of deep red blood squirted onto the man’s face, with the rest warmly seeping downwards along the front of his garb and trickling into the disturbed soil which surrounded him. A white film oozed from the corners of his dry mouth. Yamaria watched the vagabond’s body struggle for life. His left leg jerked a couple of times as he gasped for what would be his last breath. His eyes had rolled into his head, his arms became limp, his hands stiff. The offender was now dead. Her husband killed him.
Q. How do you adjust from the strictures of defined culture and hierarchy in writing
historical fiction in contrast to having to rely primarily on your imagination for
world-building in writing sci-fi/fantasy novels?
A. When I am ready to write in a different genre, I try to remember the benefit or what I liked before. What is referred to as strictures, I can consider as parameters that guide me in defining the dress, dance, food and culture of the country the characters I create are now in. In a way, it relieves the author of the burden of having to create all aspects of the setting and plot from scratch. Though I have yet to write about a real figure in my historical romance novels, I would consider that this too would actually provide an outline in which the author can focus on the expanding the plot through his or her imagination. In contrast, writing sci-fi/fantasy allows the author more freedom to delve into matters that they may have not known before. Science has a lot of trial and error to it. What we may not know we may discover by guess or even allowing our imagination to exceed the limits of the expected. In a sense, sci-fi/fantasy can become less fiction if a newly discovered truth embedded within the author's understanding of how the characters interact with their world is allowed to be written, expanded upon and explored through the literary world.
Q. Of all the novels you have written, which titles do you think would be best adapted
A. This is a tough question. I considered that a good screenplay based on a well-written book regardless of genre could successfully be made into a movie adaptation.
Q. Multi-genre authors are sometimes referred to hybrid authors, do you agree with
A. The term may seem confusing. Hybrid usually means a blend of two things. Often, multi-genre authors write in more than just two subjects. Maybe this is the sci-fi/fantasy writer in me responding but it reminds me The word 'hybrid' seems limiting while 'multi-genre' appears more accurate.
Q. Do you think authors who write in different genres should have separate dedicated
contact forms on their website?
A. I think this question is similar to the one concerning whether an author should use pen names for the different genres they write in. Although this advice has been given to assist authors flesh out their 'brand', it seems that it would only cause more confusion to the average reader unless they are already familiar with the author's work and style. Yet, this seems like a question better suited for the marketing experts. Authors are expected to do most of their own marketing regardless of whether they are indie or traditionally published. So the only way an author would know if this works for them is to experiment with it.
Q. Is there a genre you have not written in that you would consider writing in the
A. I have thought about it. Since as of late I have been reading magical realism
novels for leisure, I am considering writing a novel in this genre.
Q. Do you think you would write a multi-genre novel in the near future?
A. That seems like such a daunting task. That is challenging the author to mesh possibly genres that usually are considered separate and distinct into a cohesive narrative. The author has to be not only talented, but well-versed in what are the defined boundaries of the genres they seek to meld in order to take and mould the storyline to make it appear seamless. So far, I have only read one novel which accomplished this successfully and that was The Wayward Haunt. Other than this, anything is possible.
About Patricia: Patricia is an American multi-genre fiction author who has written in science-fiction/fantasy, fantasy, contemporary crossover romance, historical romance and mystery/detective romance genres. She has written 20 books. Patricia is currently based in the United States.
Connect with Patricia:
Social media: @pmmuhammadbooks
Press: [email protected]