The question of how we end up writing the kinds of books we write came up in one of my writer’s groups and I thought it potentially of interest to share my response on my author page (this is an an “author page,” by the way):
Over 17 years, I wrote a bizarre literary fantasy novel, originally inspired by George Bush and the Iraq War, about an alternative America coexisting with the present one as a kind of Eden, but frozen in time and filled with New England Puritans and complex supernatural interrelationships between humans and animals, and historically accurate discourse over rum between villagers about the history of science vs. religion, sprinkled by remarkable symbolic emblems such as giant apples and talking mice, all of this set inside a run-of-the-mill family drama that echoed anodyne American television shows from the seventies, like Little House on the Prairie. While well-reviewed (Kirkus reviews called it “a well-written tour de force”), for many readers, for some reason, it was difficult to understand (one reviewer commenced with the words “what the fuck is this shit?!”).
So, being pathetically desperate for social approval, I decided for my second novel to write a standard mystery-thriller (but still a touch “literary” and “upmarket”) and that one fared much much better, so, for my third, I wrote a follow-up mystery-thriller with the same MC, and am now writing a third entry into the series.
That’s how I accidentally became a mystery-thriller writer even though I’m more inspired by bizarre, experimental literary fantasies.