Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can't I Just Be Myself?

All these people keep telling me, “Writers need to be brands,” “You need to be your brand,” and “You are not just selling books, you are selling your brand.”
So, now that I'm a published author, I need to have a brand? When I think of my favorite authors, the last thing I think about is a brand.
Brands are for potato chips. Or purses. Or the initials ranchers burn into the flesh of cattle. And the last time I checked, I don’t have anything tattooed on my ass.
But supposedly, this isn’t negotiable. To be a successful author, I have to come up with a BRAND (capital letters because it’s so important). 
Hmm… I write in almost every genre. I can’t help it. I read in all of them, am inspired by all of them, so it is only natural that I write in all of them. Urban Fantasy, paranormal romance, mystery, comedy, women’s literature. 
Dang it, I don’t think it will work. Wait, I feel an inspiration coming on…wait for it…hang on…a little longer…okay, this might take a while so go get something to snack on while you wait…
I GOT IT!!! I’ve been inspired by my favorite brand of chips!
 I am going to be like Doritos. Everyone likes Doritos, right?

First there was only nacho cheese flavored. Then they branched out with spicy nacho cheese, really spicy nacho cheese, and burn-your-face-off nacho cheese. And then they started getting really creative—guacamole-flavored and sour cream flavored chips to ease your palate, or for those who don’t like too much heat. But the piece de resistance—the scoop shape, marketed as the best way to avoid double-dipping in the salsa bowl. Make your friends like you again by scooping one enormous pile of diced tomato, jalapeno, onion and cilantro into your very own little corn bowl you can shove in your pie-hole. Brilliant.
So here goes: Lauren Stewart is a Dorito. She started by releasing a spicy paranormal romance, then the first book in a burn-your-eyes-out dark urban fantasy series. But to ease the palate, or for those readers whose tastes don’t run quite that hot, the next project will be a comedic mystery. Mix in a few variations like YA fantasy and women’s lit in the form of free short stories.
But my piece de resistance is that all of my work is scoopable! While it may not make you more likeable to your friends, everything you read by me is cross-genre. Why not, right? Why not have a little bit of everything in every bite—I mean, in every story. Elements of comedy, satire, romance, suspense, mystery, paranormal, women’s issues.

Go on, taste it. You might just love it. You might even discover your new favorite brand.

Oh, and feel free to double-dip as much as you’d like, I won’t mind a bit.