I’ve been thinking a lot lately about author brand. It’s all well and good that I love to write across genres. I’ve written paranormal YA, romance, horror/romance, women’s fiction, and a sci-fi/historical romance à la Gabaldon’s Outlander. But if I ever want to sell books, I’ll need to find an author brand and settle on it. I fully appreciate the need to know what the heck you’re getting into if you were to pick up a Joy Jarrett book. And I think I’m starting to realize what gets me excited.
I enjoy love stories, but I’m bored with reading more than the occasional romance.
I love books that are scary and suspenseful. Not usually horror. I don’t like staying in that icky place of psychological nastiness found in some horror books. Not necessarily paranormal either. I don’t want to read much urban fantasy with vampires and werewolves and angels and demons. But I love suspense with a supernatural twist and it’s so hard to find.
I love animals. From my own pets to visiting the zoo to watching Animal Planet, I’m fascinated by animals. My degree is in Zoology, after all. I’ve been reading De Waal’s Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? and loving every page of it. It got me thinking how I’d love to write a romance story with scientists studying animals. Yes! And also, maybe there’s something scary going on and then–bam! It hit me.
Love stories + supernatural element + animals = Joy Jarrett author brand!
Most of my books I’ve written and my book ideas include a love story with a supernatural/paranormal aspect and animals in the cast–often critically necessary.
Can that be an author brand? I sure hope so. My novel Old Cravings features a vet and her ex-husband on a ranch facing down a supernatural terror with horses as the backdrop. My book Wild Zoo Yonder is set on a safari park in England with plenty of romance and a ghost story. I’m mid-way through writing a romance between two battling cable TV stars–one with a ghost hunting show and the other a vet with an animal show. They’re forced by their network to team up for a mini-series about animal hauntings. And I have several ideas in the works that all involve romance, supernatural elements, and animals.
Now how exactly to brand that has me regretting my Zoology degree.
Should’ve done Marketing instead.