Growing up I primarily read fantasy novels. There was some science fiction thrown in there like Asimov and lots of Russian authors like Tolstoy and that time I snuck the whole Clan of the Cave Bear series behind my mom’s back. But, really, fantasy was what I loved and read.
My mom, on the other hand, was always a romance reader. Her shelves were full of novels about women who fall in love with fierce but tender long-haired Native Americans. (Or maybe it just seemed that way to me?)
She still primarily reads romance novels to this day. But what’s interesting is that she read Twilight because I told her she might like it. And then she read the Hunger Games. And then Divergent. And then, believe it or not, Game of Thrones!
She never used to be open to reading science fiction or fantasy, but now I can hand her one of my fantasy novels and she’ll actually give it a try. Many times she’ll even like it.
Which is not to say that I’ve converted her into a fantasy reader. She bounces right off of Juliet Marillier, for example, because the Celtic world-building is too much for her. But Mercedes Lackey’s elements books? Loves ’em. Robin Hobb? She ended up giving me the last eight books by Hobb instead of the other way around.
So, if you are someone who likes to read a lot, but you find yourself locked into one genre or another (especially romance, mystery, or thriller), try expanding your repertoire a bit. I’ve seen romance, mystery, and thriller all incorporated into a fantasy or sci-fi setting and done well enough that the book should’ve appealed to readers of both genres.
And if you do bounce off of one book, don’t write them all of. Give another one a try. You just might be surprised what you find. Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m always open to finding another reader who writes so well I devour their book in a matter of days, and there really aren’t enough of them out there.
(And since this is my blog and I guess I should plug my book a bit, I will say that Rider’s Revenge does have a fairly strong romantic sub-plot in there although the focus of the book is on the main character’s “hero’s journey.”)