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On Writing: Pulp Fiction or Literary Fiction?

I cranked out three 60,000+ word novels in the space of 10 months. I started writing Relic in mid-June of 2014 and published it in early November (the 9th). After Relic came Busy Bees. It was published in late February of 2015. Busy Bees was a bit of a struggle because it picked up where Relic left off but it was a completely stand-alone story. Dana’s Dilemma was published almost exactly two months after that. Its story is different and it too can stand alone but many of its major ideas and plot points came from things that I intentionally left open ended in Busy Bees.

Are my novels great works of art? No, not by a long shot. Are they entertaining? My readers seem to think so. I’m not the fastest pulp fiction writer of full length novels by any means but I’m getting faster and, I hope, better as I go too. It’s great fun to figure out the story that you want to tell and then just get it written and out there and let the readers decide if it has merit or not.

I’ve enjoyed some literary fiction in my well over 40+ years on this earth. Along with tons of great classics like Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) and so many more, I’ve also enjoyed more modern literary works like A Painted House (John Grisham) and A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) and many more. The writing is deep and thought provoking and, often, life changing. I love reading it. That said, I can’t write it. It’s just not my voice.

I cut my teeth reading pulp style novels about characters like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and Mike Hammer and then later about Stephanie Plum, Kinsey Milhone, Jane Lawless and V.I. Warshawski. That’s the type of stuff I write because that’s the type of stuff I’ve devoured all my reading life. That’s the area of the mystery fiction genre where I’ve found my own voice. You know what? I’m happy there. If that means I’m publishing a novel every couple of months that isn’t high art but that tells a great and satisfying story then I’m okay with that.