What Inspired Your Niche?
I have received questions from otherwise well-meaning people who either want to know what it is that attracts me to horror, science fiction, and the supernatural or whether I'm naturally imbalanced, morbid, hateful, weird, depressed, pessimistic, sadistic, or all of the above and therefore attracted to writing about subjects that are, well, all of those things.
To answer that question, I'll start by saying that I think we're all a little imbalanced. It's just that your imbalance might tip you in a different direction than mine. And yeah, I am a little morbid and weird. I can also be cynical (though I think this is improving with age and with the influence of being married to a very calm and peaceful man), and I can have a fiery temper and am prone to occasional bouts of mild depression. I guess all of those things influence the color and tone of my writing. My imagination's palette tends to reside in grays, blacks, and blues, accented by the saturated streaky pinks, oranges, yellows, and reds that color a sunset. The one aspect of my personality that pulls my compass needle in the direction of the "otherwordly" is my sense of wonderment about the things we can't see and can't understand, and my desire to fill those blanks in my own way.
I've been obsessed with astronomy since I was a kid and my jaw still drops in awe as I try to comprehend the sheer scale, beauty, and mystery of the universe. I've also always questioned society's established rules, and I want to know what happens when those rules and routines are tested or obliterated. I believe that fiction is the only place where we can search for truth without real consequences, and that some truths require us to reach far beyond our current limitations in order to gain real understanding.
Lately, I have noticed environmental or ecological themes in my writing and in my ideas for future work. I feel very drawn to this topic, either intentionally or unintentionally (after all, it wasn't really intentional that I was heading in this direction in the first place; I believe writers and artists in general operate frequently from subconscious drives). The environment isn't always literal, though. In my story Archer's Velvet, I am dealing with the peril of a whole other ecosystem--the human imagination.
Anyway, what drives you as a writer? Why do you write young adult books or literary stories or horror stories or urban fantasy or werewolves or superheroes? As you were beginning your career as an artist, what was it about your particular niche that just spoke to you above all others?
Or do you have a niche at all?