Towards the end of last year, I read South African author, Melissa Delport’s book Rainfall, and I loved it so much, I reviewed it here on my blog, you can read the Rainfall review here: Rainfall Made Me Do The Ugly Cry!
So when Melissa’s publisher contacted me about participating in a virtual book tour for her trilogy, The Legacy, I jumped at the opportunity. I will not lie, I have not read any of the books from the trilogy but I know many who are raving about them. The Legacy trilogy are futuristic books of the dystopian fiction genre and this really isn’t my kind of reading. Although, after reading all the rave reviews, I am going to give these books a go!
But I was interested to find out how, in the midst of writing a trilogy of books like The Legacy, Melissa was able to write a book like Rainfall? So completely and utterly different in genre, writing style and imagination! This is what she had to say:
I find that many people are surprised when they read The Legacy Trilogy after reading Rainfall, given that the two genres are so different. As a writer, there is always the concern when shifting the proverbial “genre-gear” that your latest offering may fall short of what your readers have come to expect.
As authors, we have to live up to a lot of expectation from our readers, and we love to rise to the challenge. The only point of contention that I have with expectation is what I like to call “genre-specifics” – a trend where readers seem to prefer books written by a single author to be in the same genre. Of course, it is also often the case that readers simply have their own preferred genre and if a book does not fit this criterion, they are not going to be predisposed to reading it.
The Legacy Trilogy is a dystopian action adventure series, whereas Rainfall is a contemporary romance with a psychological twist. The Traveler, on the other hand, is a paranormal romance. Although the genres are very different, there are certain elements that are consistent throughout: romance, intrigue and a story that moves fairly quickly. My writing style is mine alone – as is any author’s. Take J.K. Rowling, for example. It didn’t take long for people to recognise her flair and call her bluff on the Robert Galbraith pseudonym.
Even broad-based fiction readers, who read across a broad spectrum of genres, are often hesitant to purchase books by an author they love if the new release is not the genre they have come to expect from that author. Take ‘The Casual Vacancy’ released in 2012, which was J.K. Rowling’s first release since the ‘Harry Potter’ series and her first novel aimed at an adult readership. Rowling took a lot of criticism from people who were expecting another ‘Harry Potter’. In 2013, Rowling’s latest offering, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ was released under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. After being discovered, Rowling stated: “Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience… It has been wonderful to publish without hype and expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
Romance novelist Nora Roberts has also found a solution that works well for her: she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb for the “In Death” series, allowing her to distance this project from her traditional romance books.
Writer’s write, it’s what we do and any writer worth their salt can write anything. Journalists are proof of this – a journalist writes about a diverse array of subjects, but their creative talent shines through in each piece – if they are any good at it.
Novelists are not so fortunate – writing full-length novels is time-consuming and a massive investment. We need to make sure that we have a readership, and that we retain that readership, but every so often we like to challenge ourselves. I think that “genre-shifting” is much like taking your inner writer and giving him/her a good shake – dusting off the cobwebs and the literary stagnation – and energising your creative mind.
I have been very fortunate in that my books have been well-received, regardless of where the genre falls. Then again, I am not quite as “high-profile” as J.K. Rowling, and thus not yet so harshly judged.
At the end of the day, I love what I do. And it is a story that inspires me – not the genre it may fall into. I write the stories that are, to my mind, exceptional, and let them fall where they may, genre be damned. And as long as there is a single reader out there who is anxiously awaiting another book from me, I will continue to do my utmost to impress them.
The Legacy – MELISSA DELPORT
One man obsessed with power.
One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him.
One war that changed the world.
“World War Three lasted twelve days. Twelve days was all it took for mankind to devastate the planet and almost eradicate the human race. No victor emerged from the ashes and billions lost their lives.
We survivors lived through the bleakest of winters. A primal existence became the new order, and the little that remained of our humanity hung in the balance.
Then one man stood up and changed the world. I believed, as did everyone else, that he was the hero of our time, the man who had saved us from our own demise. His name is Eric Dane and he is the President of the New United States of America.
He is also my husband, and my greatest enemy.
I grew up oblivious to the truth, until my father found me when I was nineteen years old. He told me about the many horrifying facts that our new leader kept hidden from us. And he told me that beyond the borders the Resistance grew and fought for freedom from the oppression that Eric Dane had imposed on us.
My name is Rebecca Davis. I am twenty-six years old, and in me the Resistance has found the ultimate weapon.”
A narrative of good and evil, love and passion, right and wrong – and at the centre of the story a strong woman who is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause she believes in.
The Legacy is an action-packed, adrenalin-inducing thrill ride which will leave you riveted long after you have turned the last page.
e.BOOK BUY LINKS
PRINTED BOOK BUY LINKS
The Legacy is available at most bookshops in South Africa, or you can order it online:
You can also find Melissa here:
Twitter: Melissa Delport
Face Book: The Legacy Book Club