I had an interesting conversation with another writer recently. We got to talking about the common themes/characteristics that run through the books we've each written. Over the course of my twenty-plus years as a published romance writer, I've written in four different sub-genres.
My first complete manuscript, which never sold, was a western with aliens. Strange, but true. Unfortunately, back then there was no market for a cross-genre book like that one, but it did contain elements of books that have been successful for me. My first two published books were short contemporary romances, which were followed by a several year gap before I sold another new book.
By that point, I knew I needed to change directions and wrote my first American West historical. When it sold, I was ecstatic! By the time I'd written nine more in that genre, the market for paranormal stories was growing like crazy, while the one for westerns remained fairly small. I wrote two different paranormal series with human heroes that had special powers as well as a vampire series (gotta love those fangs!)
My newest release, Her Knight's Quest, is the second book in a fantasy romance series called the Warriors of the Mist, another new direction for me. It's about five warriors who have been cursed to serve as the avatars of their gods in order to redeem their lost honor. It's set in a medieval type of world complete with magic and even a gargoyle!
And starting this summer, I will see the release of my first contemporary romances in nearly twenty years. This series is called Snowberry Creek and takes place in a fictional small town located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. In the first book, A Time for Home, the hero is a soldier back from deployment.
As scattered as all of that might seem, in truth nearly of my books have one thing in common: a strong hero with a warrior's heart. My heroines all have strengths of their own, but as a writer I usually come at a story from the hero's perspective first. If you look a close look at my heroes, they all have a powerful sense of duty and a driving need to protect those they care about. That's true whether he's a lawman, a paranormal hero who defends the world from invasion, a knight who serves his gods, or a soldier fresh from the battle.
Over the course of my career, the underlying themes of honor, loyalty, and duty have tied all of my books together in an important way. And when I've changed directions, I've always tried to make sure that I'm doing so with purpose.
Regardless of the diverse settings I've chosen for the stories I've told, I've worked hard to make sure that I stay true my voice as a writer. I think the catch phrase on my website says it all: Alexis Morgan . . . Where heroes hold back the darkness.