This could wind up upsetting a few people.
I don’t like Fantasy. Never been a Tolkein fan. Don’t like world-building, dragons, elves, or other imaginary creatures. Something about it that I can’t relate to, not because I don’t have an imagination, but more like no sense of grounding in reality to me.
But…I do appreciate the moral codes, the notions of Good vs. Evil, Chaos vs. Order, and the fight to achieve a goal. These archetypes intrigue me far greater than a battle of huntsman.
I don’t like Romance. NEVER read a Harlequin book. Don’t like Fabio or the images drawn from his physique. Wild emotions, contrived plots, cavalier attitudes, they all seem unreal to me.
But…melodrama is a reality and the notion of romantic attitudes is necessary. They are Human emotions and if you have your heart set on writing about real types of people, emotion is a vital component.
I don’t like Sci-Fi. I grew up with a black rotary phone; now I have a Smartphone. Okay, so I’ve adapted to the techie world, but I don’t want to read about it. Most of it is like Fantasy with technology.
But…since I don’t write Historical Fiction where all technology is eliminated, I have to recognize the progress of the Modern World and use it sparingly within the context of my own writing.
Detractors will ask how many Fantasy or Romance or Sci-Fi books I have read, tell me I’m a fool because I haven’t read this classic or that one, advise me that my premise is unstable because of my lack of extensive reading. That argument holds no weight. Whether you are an avid reader or a writer, choices have to be made. There is only so much time for all the artistic components when you consider the rest of your daily obligations.
I have chosen to read certain genres or the specific books that I like that suit my needs as well as my pleasures. It is disingenuous to attempt to satisfy someone by implying that I will read a recommendation on their part if the genre doesn’t suit me. I would prefer suggestions to be based on their knowledge and understanding of my interests, not theirs. If I have read about a classic piece of Fantasy or Romance or Sci-Fi, I might suggest it to you. But I won’t turn around and suggest you read a good Chandler or Ellroy, knowing full well that your interests lay elsewhere.
Point me in the right direction and I promise not to lead you astray. We may be able to find common ground as writers or readers of different genres. If we do, all the better. If not, I’ve already got an extensive book list, so thank you just the same.