William Manchee

Novelist

Why I Write in Different Genres

I'm often asked why after writing nine legal thrillers I suddenly turned to science fiction.

When I started writing I was a lawyer and I'd heard you should write about what you know, so it only seemed natural to write about the law. This also made sense since time was at a premium with practicing law full time and raising a big family. I didn't have a lot of time to do research, so writing mysteries and legal thrillers came easily and naturally.

But I'm not the kind of person who likes routine. I get bored easily and enjoy doing a variety of things. So, each of the first six volumes Stan Turner Mysteries had as much adventure, romance and political intrigue as they did mystery. But, even with this variety, after ten mysteries I was burnt out and needed something dramatically different. I'd always loved science fiction, but didn't know if I could write that genre since it required much more creativity and time consuming research.

In order test my abilities in the science fiction arena I decided to do a cross genre. This was Cactus Island where Stan is asked to defend a teenager who things he saw an alien spacecraft. In order to prove him innocent of negligent homicide, he had to prove alien life existed. This turned out so well, I continued the experiment with Act Normal. Act Normal turned out even better and even was written up in a feature article in Library Journal.

This was all I needed to give me the courage to start the Tarizon Trilogies. Writing science fiction is very different than writing mysteries and much more challenging, but I'm glad I took the plunge and plan to write more in this genre, but I'm not giving up mysteries. I just needed a break. Now that I'm almost done with the Tarizon Trilogies, my next project will be most likely be a mystery.

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