Under Construction: Crossing Genre Boundaries

This year is a construction zone in the world of Sharon Hughson the author.


You know, the multi-genre author who had FIFTEEN titles in various genres published until October 1, 2018. What genres? There was sweet romance, fantasy romance, young adult fantasy, historical fiction, Bible studies and a devotional as well as Christian romance.

Oh, so she’s basically a romance writer.

Except reviewers will say things like, “There needs to be more romance.” Or “Her stories explore in some gritty issues.”

Well…life.

Not that I want my fiction to read like a soap opera. Or a crazy police scanner.

I am not a drama llama.

But I write stories for real people about people with real problems. And even though I give them a happy ending (because that’s what fiction should ALWAYS promise as a pay off), they fight their personal demons and work through real-to-the-world problems along the way.

Yes, there will be cancer diagnoses and assaults and family tension and runaways and foster families. Maybe these aren’t your problems, but I hope they’ll help you understand those who face those issues. Our world could use a little more compassion.

When I entered the world of Christian romance, I hoped to interest my sweet romance readers in crossing over to read the Christian. After all, it’s not preachy or overtly religious because…no thanks.

I invested tons of time and effort in the Christian romances (there are FIVE of those babies in the First Street Church World), so I hoped THOSE readers would follow me into the sweet romance genre.
Then all my sweet romances disappeared overnight. (This is old news.)

So I was left with my Christian romances, the young adult fantasy short story (a biblical retelling in a dark, futuristic setting), two Bible studies and my indie title.

Enter the curse of the Muse! Two new stories that would work as a series with my indie title (REFLECTIONS FROM A PONDERING HEART) would not leave me alone.

This happened while I was writing the first drafts of the two Christian romances I’m adding to the First Street Church world in 2019. I expect to write two more books for that series in 2020, and then I’ll either be done with that, or have fans clamoring for MORE…and I’ll be happy to oblige them because I have tons of story ideas.

The thing about the indie title is that it’s a biblical fictionalization. It’s a first-person account from the perspective of Mary the mother of Jesus. I promoted it all December long because…Mary has a heart for Christmas. She was a major participant in that first Christmas after all.

Since my Muse will not give up on the idea for this series, I’m writing it. I’m working on completing the first draft of the first two books between now and the time MOMMY LOVES THE BANKER releases in April.


Later this year, I’ll be offering glimpses into these books and trying to tempt you to sign up for my Advance Reader Team (more on that later).

Recently, I surveyed my newsletter subscribers. About ten percent of them responded, and of those, only about ten percent said they would NOT be willing to try the biblical fictionalizations I described. So if that percentage carries true, I might have an audience for my new genre experiment. YES!

Do you read romance? Would you try a biblical fictionalization written by a romance writer you loved? Or is that too much of a stretch for your reading preferences?

2 comments

  1. I enjoy reading romance BUT I prefer women’s fiction. I enjoy the real life problems of women, their families, their friendships, romance can be a secondary part of the story. I like some nitty gritty problems, not the roll my eyes, oh brother, just talk to each other kind. I am looking forward to your Biblical fictionalizations as I truly enjoyed Reflections, the first, second and third time that I read it. It must be about time to enjoy it again! Keep your spirits up,, stay positive, keep writing and follow that muse!

    • I have gained a couple more reviews on REFLECTIONS and I like that the story drove people to their Bibles to check out what I used as a “jumping off” point. I got some disappointing news about the new series today, and I just didn’t need that on top of SAD and other things. I also prefer romance as the B story which is why I read mostly fantasy 🙂

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