Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: The Creep Factor


For more information

How important is it to you that a writer's blog/website match the genre he or she writes in?

As you can see, my blog is not creepy or dark or edgy. It's relatively pleasant in terms of colors and pics and overall content. 

Now, if you had read my published stories or my flash fiction collections then paid a visit to the blog, how would you feel? Deceived? Disappointed? Would you wonder if you were in the right place? Would you be expecting darker colors, more horror-related posts? Would you wonder if this was really the online home of the person who wrote about ghost children and spiders as man's best friend? 

Or does it not matter at all? Would you just be relieved to know that some light does manage to get through all my mind shadows? Would you enjoy the photos of the beach and the palm trees and the tortoises? (Who, let's face it, are really in charge here, and I'll need to run any blog changes by them first anyway....) 

I'm not trying to promote stereotypes or anything like that. For me, it's more about expectations. And what I really don't want to do is let my readers down.

*****

With the tortoises' approval, I'm taking a brief blogging break (go ahead, say that five times fast.) I'll pop in and out but won't post anything new until Monday, the 18th. 

67 comments:

  1. I've never thought about it, but I think it's fun to see glimpses of the "real" person behind the stories. I don't think I would be disappointed at all if I just came here after discovering your books. And of course who could be disappointed in Larry and the Mrs? They run an amazing blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about seeing the person behind the stories - I enjoy that, too.

      The tortoises really do a good job here, don't they? Although they would prefer more pics of basil and banana. :)

      Delete
  2. Well, I guess I might be disappointed if the author wrote dark and I went to his web site and found pink flowers and unicorns. I don't necessarily want to see dark, creepy scenes, but I'd like some inkling of the genre even if it's just in the header or font.

    I'm taking an unexpected break too today. My back went out--and didn't take me with it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The header on my blog is pretty direct so maybe that's good? I try to keep the colors, etc a little more muted, too.

      Yikes, Maria! Hang in there!

      Delete
  3. That's a valid argument. I've been thinking about redoing my website to reflect more of my writing (MG mysteries). Thanks for the push!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome for the push. Good luck on your site's re-do!

      Delete
  4. I agree with Maria that as long as it's not a complete 180 from your genre, it's probably fine.

    I've also been thinking about content - like, maybe in 2018 I'll try to work in some romancy/chick-litty type of posts along with my authory posts. I'd be interested in hearing about some of the things that inspire your horror plots & characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicki! I think doing some more horror-related posts - like you mentioned about the inspiration behind some of the stories - would work well even with the blog as is.

      Delete
  5. As an author, I want to see the person behind the stories. So a site being different than the genre doesn't bother me. Yet as a reader, I do wonder why a writer doesn't add some aspects of their genre to their site. I'm happy as long as it's easy to navigate and easy to read.

    Enjoy your break! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm totally with you on the site being easy to navigate and read. I hope I accomplish that here!

      Delete
  6. I don't think a website has to reflect a writer's genre. It CAN, but I actually think it's more interesting to see a more personal-type blog that gives readers a glimpse of the person behind the pen. (or keyboard...) Here, you can be YOU, whereas in your writing, you have to take a backseat to the story.

    Enjoy your break!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, that's an excellent point about the author taking a backseat to the story whereas on the blog or website, the author is more in the driver's seat. (Or, in this case, the passenger seat since the tortoises are driving this bus.) :)

      Delete
  7. I like your blog a lot just the way it is! I think that the way you lead into your story writing - always telling your blog readers beforehand that it's grim or horror - works with the lighter theme.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't know that I've ever thought about an author's website matching their chosen genres. So I guess that means it wouldn't bother me either way.

    Enjoy your blogging break!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny because I'm not sure I ever really thought much about it before either. Lately though, all the talk about branding and marketing, etc, made me take a step back and consider it from that angle.

      Delete
  9. That's a hard question. I guess if the feedback from your commentters is good and your getting the visits, don't change a thing. If it isn't working for you any more then change it.

    I see you as more than a writer. Hope that's not a bad thing. Your soul is not dark even if your writing is. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna, how nice! Thank you!

      I'm pretty sure my soul isn't dark. It's my imagination that needs the nightlight. :)

      Delete
  10. When I was helping my friend this past week, she had the same dilemma. She wanted imagery for her brand that represented her writing, but she didn't feel it was a good fit for her blog. I say they don't need to match. You are you. Your stories are something else. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this, Loni - "You are you. Your stories are something else. :)"

      Delete
  11. Enjoy your break!
    I did try to make my site look science fiction. Maybe you could fake a death scene with Larry? Make it look like Mrs. Larry did it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha ha! I know just how she'd do it, too - she'd have Larry slip on a banana peel....

      Delete
  12. Hi,
    I like the way you have your blog set up. It has light. I don't have to strain my eyes to read it and if I were you, I wouldn't change it.
    Relax during your break.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia Everything Must Change

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia! I'm glad my blog works for you. :)

      Relax? I might get my body to do that but my mind? Not so much.

      Delete
  13. Not remotely important to me. I look at blogs as sort of a friendship thing. I don't want creepy friends. But I prefer my fiction a little creepy. If a blog has creepy content, I prefer it is delivered with humor. I just really don't care for a deep scary vibe in something like a blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duly noted re creepy friends and a deep scary vibe. :)

      Thankfully, the tortoises keep things light around here.

      Delete
  14. My mother always swore that I needed to keep the blog personal, to not worry about genre and what-not, but let it be the place people can make a personal connection with me. She's probably right. Personal posts always get the highest amounts of hits.

    Enjoy your break!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely agree about the personal connection! Like Julie mentioned in her comment, it's fun reading about the real person behind the stories.

      Delete
  15. This is such a good question. So I write dark thrillers, and if you look at my website, it's very clean. One of the reasons for this, is that I find clean websites provide a more user-friendly experience. I find that graphics clutter the experience, and the eye has to work harder to navigate. This said, there are benefits to matching your website brand to your genre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like a clean site as well so I definitely aim for that anyway. I like graphics but only so many. Pop-ups and the like drive me nuts. :o

      Delete
  16. I love your blog design. And seriously, how could you do this without Mr. and Mrs. Larry? My vote is for doing what YOU want to do - it's your space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee!

      I really couldn't do any of this without the tortoises. I mean, I do all the typing sure but Mrs. L is the beauty while Larry is the brawn. I guess that makes me the brains. Hmm....

      Delete
  17. Good question. My writing is also dark, but as my stories are set in different time periods (1980s, Victorian era), I use this to help lighten it up a bit, both in my posts and how it looks. As others have said, it gives the reader a glimpse into my personality. Enjoy the break!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The glimpse into an author's personality seems to be important and definitely something to keep in mind.

      Delete
  18. i agree with most of the other comments - 1) your blog is great the way it is and 2) as long as it isn't a striking difference from the genre, your blog is more about you - now if i had an author website separate from my blog, i would consider designing it with my brand as an author in mind... great question!

    i also like your encouraging posts, don't change those!

    happy sept!
    Tara Tyler Talks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Tara! I'm glad you like those encouraging posts. I enjoy writing them. I always hope they help you all the way they usually help me. :)

      Delete
  19. I think it's neat when a blog/website matches the author's book/genre as part of their brand with colors and content...that's something I discussed with Evan ;) but I think all authors can do what they want. A blog has a more personal feel, and yours accomplishes this. A website is a little different, if you get one separate from your blog, and for that I'd suggest making it match your brand/books/genre. But I think your blog is great as is. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chrys! Interesting point re the look and feel of a blog vs that of a website. And I remember you talking about a lot of this kind of thing with Evan - great interview, by the way. :)

      Delete
  20. LOL. It's funny how we expect writers of horror or 'creepy' fiction to be dark characters themselves. But now you have me thinking maybe I should look for a better background for my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't trying to cause trouble, Susan, I promise! :)

      Delete
  21. Yeah, I'd probably be expecting something a bit darker, something that matches your writing. But, if you write a variety of things, it shouldn't be so catered. And besides, who doesn't like pictures of tortoises?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, maybe the tortoises could go all dark and goth....

      Delete
  22. You raise a good point. Come to think of it, my blog also doesn't match my preferred genre of fantasy. Maybe a change is in order...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See now, I really didn't mean to cause trouble and give you all more work to do. Sigh.

      Delete
  23. I thought your words almost poetic and definitely created a feeling. I agree with Chrys about your blog. Hugs Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
  24. Huh. I'd never thought about it, but you did hit on something. Still, by keeping your blog 'open', you don't pin yourself down to one genre. . .which is good too. Fans might be surprised but I don't think uncreepy or light turns anyone off either. We're all people too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My work does tend to be darker, but I have written some lighter things in the past so I guess we just never know what will happen, where our imagination will take us. :)

      Delete
  25. Your blog is one of my favorites. I think your flash fiction is great too, and I'm not a horror girl. I'll make an exception though, for great writing, which I find here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liza, thanks so much! I really appreciate your comment. And I'm so glad you enjoy my writing. :)

      Delete
  26. I've never thought about it. I usually just look for a blog to be easy to read and navigate over matching the genre the author writes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Easy to read and navigate are definitely things I aim for here at TSR. :)

      Delete
  27. Hi Madeline, I don't think it matters that a writer's blog matches the genre they write. I write middle grade but there is nothing of that kind on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I see what you mean but that said, I like the look of your blog. Sometimes scary things can still lurk behind what appears to be pleasant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I've been told I have a nice smile yet all of us around here already know what lurks behind that...mwhahaha! :)

      Delete
  29. I think it's a nice idea for a blog to give some flavour of the author's writing - I recently gave my blog a redesign with that in mind, but it was needing it anyway so thought I'd give it a shot - but it's by no means essential. Ultimately the writing on the blog is what's important, and regular readers get to know you and what you write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the content being what's most important, and I will continue to keep working on that, making it as interesting as I can. :)

      Delete
  30. I guess it depends on the purpose of your blog. If the main goal is to sell your books here, then yes, you might want the look and content to reflect the genre of your books.

    If you want this to be a place to write a blog about whatever, then I wouldn't worry about it.

    Perhaps you could "gussy-up" the published works pages if you haven't already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess the purpose of my blog is to have one online home - I'm not on other social media besides Goodreads - so it's about my published works, about me as an author, etc.

      Delete
  31. Such an interesting blog post and comments! I never really thought about blogs matching up to the author's writing style. I'll have to pay more attention to this when I visit writers' blogs. Enjoy your blogging break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really enjoying reading all of the comments here - you all are great!

      Thanks re my blogging break. Irma put a bit of a damper on my plans, but hopefully I'll get back on track soon.

      Delete
  32. I'm late to the party here, but I'm thinking that having the blog be lighter than your writing is probably okay. If there is an issue, I'd say it would be the opposite of the one you mention--I'd worry that people who find your blog might be surprised by the horror aspect of your writing. And yet...the blog is about YOU, so other than not posting things that would attract children, I don't see why it should match the stories completely.

    I do work on keeping my blog in keeping with my books to some degree (I write children's books and cozy mysteries), so I keep everything clean. But I do experiment with genres in my flash fiction, and I review some books that are well out of my own area and it seems to be okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I, too, was a little worried about the blog seeming too light for the heavier story subjects, but I think stating in the header that I write dark fiction and horror is a good heads-up. I also don't think most of my stuff goes too far - too gory, too gross, etc. - so even if people stumble across something that's not their thing, they - hopefully! - won't be too traumatized. :)

      Delete
  33. I'm not sure if you know this, but my blog used to inspirational. All about leading your best life, achieving your goals, rainbows and sunbeams. I met a NYT-bestselling author, who took one look at my profile and said, "I didn't know you wrote horror. It doesn't look like you write horror."

    That one comment inspired me to change my brand, and to use my blog to reflect what I write. And that's when things really took off for me. It changed everything.

    I think glimpses of your life are just fine (who doesn't like tortoises and the beach?) but you have the opportunity to showcase your writing chops for people who might love the kind of things you write. If you build it, as they say, the readers will come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know that! Wow! Not that you can't be all smiles, like that pic on your blog of you at your signing. :)

      Thanks so much for sharing this, JH. Definitely something for me to consider.

      Delete