I read across several different genres and sub-genres but when I write paranormal is home base. It's what I love, I think (hope) I'm good at it, and it's a comfortable fit for me. Sometimes writers have to step out of their comfort zones and find a way to challenge themselves. Trying your hand at a different genre is a good way to do that.
This week Samhain Publishing announced a new special call for submissions for a superhero romance anthology. They're looking for novellas submitted by September 1 for publication in the spring of 2012. Read more about it here.
This fired up my imagination like nothing in recent memory. I spent three hours crafting a skeletal outline for a science-based futuristic superhero and even have a small amount of word count. I've pulled my husband's copies of The Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, and Superman Birthright off the shelf to read and study. I'm not a comic reader but I love superhero stories and wish there was more of the genre in (non-comic) book form. Superhero movies run the gamut from amazing (Nolan's Batman movies) to really good (Iron Man) to stuff you only watch for a laugh (we made fun of Wolverine all through the movie). I've added a few superhero movies to the Netflix list too. What will probably wind up being my biggest guide is Joseph Campbell's model of the hero's journey. While its true that in a lot of ways every story is a hero's journey, the superhero genre let's you turn that journey into myth writ large. I'd like to try my hand at telling a story like that so I'm going to see what I can do with the outline I've got so far. Even if I don't make the word count or time restriction, stepping out of my usual genre and trying something new will be good for me as a writer, and it will be fun too.
Is the superhero genre something you'd want to write? If not, what genre outside what you normally write would you like to try?