Monday, April 11, 2011

Breaking Expectations...the Good, the Bad, & the Curly

See that pic over there?  --------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>

And more recently, this one

That's me with something God never gave me.  Straight hair.  Eventually, around 9 years ago, He did bless me with the tools to MAKE it straight.   Because we all know the Chi iron came straight from Heaven.  It has to, for what it costs. 

Well today, I did something I haven't done in years.  I went curly.  To work, even.  In public.

And everyone is in shock.  Because they've never seen me with curly hair.  I've stepped outside their expectations.

They expect STRAIGHT!

I've even had a few people just come in and smile and stare and not really know what to say.  I'm thinking...really?  I didn't dye it blue or anything, my gosh.

Even my hubby, who obviously has seen me at all levels, when I sent him this pic and said "I went curly today, what do you think?"

He said, "I love you." 

ROFL!!!  Well, I guess that answered my question!  But he likes straight.  And that's the expectation he has when he sees me.

We have that same thing as writers.  And as readers.  When we go to pick up our favorite author's new book, don't we have expectations?  Don't we assume that the genre and style and everything is going to be somewhat the same as what we're used to?  Are we disappointed if it isn't?

For instance, now that I'm looking at publication (eeek and squeeee!!!!! yeah, that still makes my stomach flip) I am told I need to be careful about branding myself.  For instance, I wrote this book with paranormal elements in it.  My next book needs to have that as well, because if I get a good following of readers (fingers crossed) then they will expect that.  The third, as well.  I have another book that has no paranormal element in it, and I'm considering after this one, going back and rewriting a paranormal element in it will be expected.  And may be the only way my editor will sell it!  LOL.

What are your thoughts on branding and expectations? 
(And my hair?  LOL)


Chadwick Scott said...

I vote for curly!

fOIS In The City said...

I don't like getting between you and the hubby, but the curly makes you look younger. And if that isn't an incentive for any of us ... I don't know.

Branding? Don't worry. You have a great agent and I don't think she'll expect you to "hack" at one-only genre.

Play with them all and have fun creating new characters and ideas. The more you do, the more you can do. And readers only expect you to be good, not be good at only one thing.

Sharla Scroggs said...

Actually my agent is the one that said we need to stay with the same general category...because when building a following you don't want readers to have to work too hard to find you. And publishers want you in a certain niche too, in the beginning at least. But I will probably try to stretch the borders a bit... ;)

Patricia said...

Personally, my hair guy likes to make my hair VERY straight by blow drying it with a diffuser and a huge brush and pulling and straightening and I love it that way. But I can't recreate it because it takes too much time and people also don't really recognize me. I'm more of a messy/curly type of a gal. I don't "go with the flow" when it comes to anything. And back to branding, I've written 2 women's fiction novels, but my third is in a male POV and it's my favorite. I'd hate it (when and if I get an agent) if s/he told tell me I'd have to change it to a female POV. Just my opinion.

Edie Ramer said...

You look cute with curly hair. And your husband knows how to give the right answer.

I know many writers who publish with the same name in more than one category. Some do use different names. I think readers who love an author's voice are very likely to follow her into different genres. If they aren't, they can read the blurb and decide to stay with their favorite genre. In the end, it's up to you whether to go curly or straight - or both!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I actually like your curly hair. Super cute! :)

As a reader, I must admit that I have certain expectations of my fave authors. I would probably be quite shocked if Neil Gaiman suddenly wrote historical fiction. Having said that, I don't think that Gaiman strictly sticks to specific themes. I think what I'm ultimately drawn to is his writing voice.