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So Far Genre Fusion is Working for Me – a NaNoWriMo Tale of Success in Progress

Writing a story and touching on so many different genres has been both surprising and intoxicating as I’ve learned just how much I am capable of achieving when I put all my energy and skills into making it work. Drawing in romance while so much horror is taking place, then interlacing it with sci-fi and urban fantasy, adventure, thrills and action, has been such fun, and continues to be as I rapidly reach the halfway mark of Avalin: A Vampyric Legend.

Having a week off (due to work) didn’t, thanks goodness, block my creative flow or ideas, and the story is, in fact, more powerful than it was when I put down my first 11 000 words. It continues to flow and weave and expand as I write every scene and every charged conversation, and all the fears I had about having enough to write has slowly dissipated as the word count grows.

My characters have come to life as I’ve created them one word, one conversation, and one scene at a time, and now they are truly alive within my mind and heart so that as soon as I sit down and write they grow and evolve effortlessly and powerfully. My vampyres are strong, wicked, and brutal, and along with these traits my two main characters also have a passion (some of their kind would call it a weakness) for human females, particularly for the main character, a beautiful, intoxicating woman called Avalin whom they discover holds the key to their race’s salvation. When they find her they are hypnotised by not only her physical beauty, but also by her humility, kindness, and insatiable passion, which the two main characters are only too happy to share with her. She teaches them about love and the fierce courage and determination of the human spirit and that vampyres don’t have to destroy humans in order to survive.

As the story progresses the reader discovers a place where great darkness, mystery, and fear exists on earth, where vampyres have been living for centuries, hidden and ever watchful for the answers they seek. They live out of sight, traversing our planet, looking for a way to make right the wrongs their kind has suffered for over a thousand years. Some of these vampyres are not capable of any form of passion and compassion because they believe all humans weak and pathetic and only good for breeding and feeding on. They don’t care who they destroy along the way, how many women they ravish and slay while they try to solve the riddle of their race’s gradual and inevitable demise – unless a miracle occurs, that is. But, fortunately, not all the vampyres are this cold and cruel; the two main male characters are considered mere youths by the elders (although they are both over nine hundred human years old) and incapable of having any kind of success in their search. But because of their willingness to be open to understanding humans, to listen and take the time to painstakingly research and follow their instincts, they soon discover everything they need to save their world from extinction.

Politics, scheming, vengeance, revenge, murder, lust, greed, the hunger for power and control – all of these traits are present in this predatory race, and so as it turns out vampyres are not so different to humans in this regard.

And in the centre of it all is a woman who has lost everything, who only wants to her life to end because her grief has become too much for her to bear, but then suddenly finds a reason for living again when two mysterious strangers enter her world of despair, bringing with them an insatiable hunger and a tale beyond her imagining.

As I said, so far I’ve managed to combine all these aspects smoothly with no hitches, so my conclusion, therefore, has to be that genre fusion does indeed work, and personally I find it makes for a much fuller, more intense story, and nigh impossible for the reader to become bored.

Now I do realise that most stories have a ‘main’ genre thread throughout the tale, but my experiment is to not focus on just one but give each genre equal time throughout. One or two themes might dominate a few pages or chapter, sure, but overall I don’t want the reader able to explain the genre of the book in less than twenty to thirty words.

Image courtesy of Emil Bacik

As of this morning I’m at 20 399 words (and hoping to be at 25 000 by day’s end), and by the end of this week I will be well on my way to the finish line. I’m super excited about this book because I’ve been working on The Sword Bearers series for so long it felt welcome albeit extremely bizarre to suddenly shift focus and pace and genres to do Avalin: A Vampyric Legend. I’m loving every minute of writing, and I can’t wait to have a completed novel in my hands by the 30th of November.

If you have any thoughts on this, and if you’d like to share your NaNo progress, I’d love to hear from you.


‘Smoke Dog’ image courtesy of Darren Foster


Does Genre Fusion Work – and is it Wise?

I’m finally done with my week-long dance show and now I can get stuck into my writing again and catch up for NaNoWriMo. I’m excited about this novel because it’s new territory for me.

“Write what you know,” I’ve heard countless times in my short writing career, and I believe I’ve stuck to that good advice. I’ve also interpreted it to mea, write what you’re passionate about, what you spend most your time reading and watching on the big screen. The thing is, I love so many genres and I read them all, too. I am as passionate about fantasy as I am about sci-fi, action, adventure, thrillers, horrors, and even some romance.

When I decided to embark on NaNoWriMo I made up my mind to try something new. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am most probably nuts trying to do this for a time-sensitive writing challenge when I don’t have a lot of time to think things through first and investigate and research it for too long. But if you knew me better you’d understand my love for new challenges and how comfortable I am working under pressure. I thrive under pressure; I’ve always had the knack to perform better and deliver and accomplish that which I set out to. Also, I’ve had this idea in my head for quite a while, since I had an awesome dream one night, the kind of dream that sends my imagination into overdrive and I think, Dang, that would make an awesome movie! Now when I write I’m imagining what my story would look like on the big screen because I am a very visual person, coming from a world where everything relies on aesthetics – dance, drama, and art, i.e. the performing arts. Therefore I see my story and then put it down on paper. The moods, the colours, the way the characters look, the environment – it all has to come together visually first and then I begin to create with words.

Image courtesy of Emil Bacik

Let me tell you about Avalin: A Vampyric Legend, my novel for NaNo.

You need to know from the start that the Twilight films made me cringe at anything vampire because of the poorly written books and the awful execution and acting in the films. I roll my eyes whenever I hear someone rave about the films, especially about the glittering vamps! I mean, seriously!! I cannot conceive of vampires being pretty in any shape or form, no matter how “kind” their personalities appear. They are all killers, just shy of animals – capable of love and passion, sure, but killers nonetheless. So when I decided to write my story I knew it needed to be serious, to have gravitas, for the characters to be true to themselves, and for the situations and emotions and circumstances to be as close to real as possible within the fantastical story.


“In the era of the gunslinger, dangerous creatures of the night roam free and undetected.

A beautiful woman, once wealthy and respected and married to a man of great influence, is forced, out of great personal loss and desperation, to become a prostitute. Working in a high-class brothel, she catches the eye of two mysterious men and ends up spending a night with them, only to discover, in the heat of passion, that they are vampyres.

In what she thinks are her final moments, she begs them to end her life of suffering and grief. But these are no ordinary vampyres: they have searched for Avalin for many years, they reveal to her, and now that they have found her they have no intention of ending her life. She has something they desperately need. She is unique, they tell her – one of a kind.

Fascinated, yet sad that her suffering will not end that night, she agrees to remain exclusively theirs, and so the extraordinary legend of Avalin begins. As she gets to know more about her mysterious benefactors and protectors the more frightened she becomes.

These are no ordinary creatures of the night; they have a terrifying secret, a secret that could mean the end of all humankind!”

My story has a fusion of the following: fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, adventure, mystery, thriller, and, I say this hoping not to reveal too much, a little sci-fi.

Image courtesy of boogy_man

Those who have come to know me and my books know that I am a Fantasy author with two Epic Fantasy novels under my belt and another two in the current series to come. For Christmas I will soon be publishing a sci-fi short story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords titled ‘The Door’. Now, fantasy and sci-fi can sometimes be quite similar in my experience, so creating stories in both genres isn’t that hard for me. The story of Sword Bearer’s Journey – Book 2 in my Sword Bearers tetralogy – moves into deep space and immediately involves some sci-fi elements along with the strictly epic fantasy style. For me, mixing the two isn’t hard; I’ve read enough of both genres to know how to write both with comfort (not that my research ever stops if I want to make things convincing).

Personally I think bringing different genres together isn’t a problem. One, two, and even three work quite nicely if done well, but here’s my real question: Can fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, adventure, mystery, thriller, and sci-fi work together?

This is what I am attempting to do. I have taken all the above genres and put them into one pot, and I am attempting to make an awesome stew!! This is an experiment in more than just a genre change for me; it is a combination of every style that I love to read and see in movies, and by the end of the month I’ll see if I’ve been successful.

And then, dear reader/author/reviewer, you can judge it for yourself, for I have every intention of publishing it!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. Have you fused genres in your writing? Does it work for you? Have you tried it or even considered trying it? Let’s get a discussion going.


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NaNoWriMo and Other Scary Events

So, I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo . . . well, I’ll try to do it, anyway, while I’m also doing rehearsals for a HUGE dance show from 5th to 10th November with shows on the 10th and 11th on a fully professional stage (this means, absolutely no computer time except maybe a couple of hours in the very early mornings before I leave for the theatre). While NaNo and the show are happening I’ll be trying to find the time to continue editing my third novel in The Sword Bearer’s series – The Sword Bearer’s Awakening – which I’m hoping to get published around February next year! AND I have a sci-fi short story – The Door – coming out before Christmas!

Think I’m nuts?? I do!! Dang it, but I love giving myself a lot to do – fortunately it’s everything I love doing. Whether my love is big enough to get it all done in time remains to be seen! After a reading another blogger’s post on why she’s terrified of NaNo, I have to wonder why I don’t feel the same kind of terror. Perhaps it’s because I have absolutely no idea what I’ve let myself in for.

Someone I connected with on the NaNo site gave me some great advice, which will take all my self-control to achieve: DO NOT EDIT while you’re writing. JUST WRITE and worry about the editing after November. Me, a perfectionist of note, not fixing and changing and rewriting what I’ve written?? Aaarrrrgh! Is this possible??

Smiley from the sMirC-series. dunno

Dunno . . .

Another thing that makes me think I’ve truly gone off my rocker is that I will be writing in another genre – Urban Fantasy/Horror/Supernatural – all them things combined! Yup, I’ve decided to try my hand at another kind of Fantasy, and although I was always planning on writing in these genres at some point I’ve decided to do it for NaNoWriMo! Yup, yup, I can already see you shaking your heads and mumbling how unwise it is, but, hey, where’s the fun in doing the same ol’, same ol’? “Yes, Monique, but is now the time?” you’re asking me.

Dunno . . .

What I do know is that I certainly have the ability and the imagination to create a great story. It has enough Fantasy elements in it to keep me comfortable, and I’ve already done the outline – which makes it so much easier, by the way. I have my characters sorted, my timeline, my environment, the antagonist and protagonist, and the huge “OMG!” moment!! It’s gonna be great . . . I hope 🙂

Image courtesy of: sofamonkez (

So, who’s with me? Come on, we can be scared together. It’ll be fun!

Please let me know if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, too! Share your fears and your expectations so I can feel better that I’m not the only nutter out there!!!

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