Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

4 Ways Being a Multi-Genre Author Made Me a Better Writer

6 min read

By following your gut, reading avidly, making your success, and trusting the reader will find you, you will be a great author.

When someone begins their writing journey, they naturally gravitate towards a genre that interests them.

Why? Because it’s much easier to create an interesting story in a genre you already love. And it shows to both the author and their audience.

Not only this, but many writers have seen success when they have written numerous books in one genre.

This is because once a reader reads one of your books, they will naturally jump into the next one if it’s available to them. Because many readers only read one genre. Once a reader finds an author they enjoy in their favorite genre, they will likely read through all their books.

However, a small selection of writers fall into the category of multi-genre authors.

At the beginning of my writing career, I knew two things:

  1. I was an avid reader and wanted more books to enjoy.

  2. I wanted to write a book.

So, when I began writing at 16, I wrote a young adult book about a girl who had divorced parents and a beloved group of teenage friends. I didn’t have a computer at home so I wrote it all in lined notebooks until I gained access to the school library’s computer and typed it out there. But admittedly, I’m not sure it was any good.

Fast forward to 20 years old, I began writing a young adult dystopian novel called Kale Stone: An Outliers Tale.

The book took me four years to write, mainly because I knew little about writing a book.

But, I continued to write it. I asked family members and friends to read it, who gave me constructive feedback. And when I finished it at 24, I didn’t know what to do with it.

That was when my husband found me a service called CreateSpace (now owned by Amazon’s KDP), and I paid three thousand dollars to publish it. (I know, too much money.)

After I published Kale Stone, I honestly didn’t think I’d write another book. Mainly because I didn’t have any other ideas in the genre I began my writing career in.

Fast forwarding to age 27, I continued to be an avid reader, reading all different types of genres.

I knew I wanted to get Kale Stone more attention as things had become stagnant, yet I knew nothing about how to make that happen. So I turned to try to grow my social media audience, which took a long time.

During this time, I also happened to try growing a newsletter and my husband built me a website.

While all this was occurring, I began writing a short story called The Backup Superhero, because I loved superheroes and wanted to try my hand at it. And lo and behold, I managed to do it well and grew a following for it which I then turned into a series of novellas.

Shortly after The Backup Superhero, I pivoted back to young adult and came up with the book Anywhere Else, a contemporary romance.

And I was shocked that this book also did well and received glowing reviews.

After 10 years of building my author career, I have written in:

  • Young adult — dystopian, contemporary romance, horror, and family drama

  • Superhero fiction

  • Children’s picture book

Needless to say, having written in all of these genres, I have learned these four important things.

Follow Your Gut

I have heard too many people tell me I should have stuck to one genre.

Yes, by this point in my career, with having 14 books under my name, I probably would be further than I am now. But in reality, I don’t think I’d be happy with my writing, nor would I have as many books.

I knew that if I tried to stick to one genre, I would be bored and my writing wouldn’t be as good. And this made me a better writer.

Despite what people say about the path you take in your author career, follow your gut. It’s usually right.

Read Anything and Everything

The reason that I am a multi-genre author and that I write in the genres that I write in is because they interest me.

I read every genre that I write in. And as such, when I read these other books, it’s only going to strengthen my writing by:

  • Teaching me different writing styles

  • Teaching me different tones of voice

  • Teaching me new perspectives

By reading in different genres I am able to learn so much more from a variety of writers than if I were to read one genre alone.

Success Is What You Make It

Everyone has a different definition of success.

Some measure it in sales, some in social media followers, and some in goals achieved. However, I believe that success is in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I never in a million years thought I’d write a book. Yet so far, I’ve written 14. And I did it despite all the obstacles placed in my way (rough upbringing, poverty, lack of support).

To me, to have made it this far and to have something to show for it is a success.

Your Readers Will Find You

Despite being a multi-genre author, I was blown away by how many of my readers continued to follow me through the genres.

I’ve had more readers than I expected to email me, reach out on social media, or leave book reviews stating that they had never read the genre my new book was in, but because they loved my writing, they tried it and loved it.

Being a multi-genre author has shown me that despite never being able to stick to one genre, I have made an impact on my readers.

Know that in time, your writing will eventually connect you with your readers.

See these for more helpful information:

Connecting with Readers

The Importance of Authors Writing for Themselves