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When I was in graduate school studying English Literature, the literary canon—books considered serious enough to be taught in college, and by extension, in high school—was changing. But only a little. The old joke about the canon was that it consisted of ten dead white guys and Emily Dickinson. A joke, true, but not too far off the mark. If you grew up in the U.S.

I started my perilous and miraculous journey into the world of self-publishing in August 2014. Since then I have published eight novels. Looking back on the past three years there are a few valuable lessons I learned along the way that I wish someone had shared with me.

At first glance, Fantasy and Science Fiction couldn’t be more opposite genres. One is set in the past (ancient, medieval, or recent) while the other is set in the future (near, distant, or even alternate universe). And yet, if you take a closer look, you'll realize they have a lot more in common with each other than any other genre.

Sometimes a simple question leads you down a rabbit hole. That was the case when I puzzled over which historical genre categories I should assign to the books in my new series. It started as a binary choice: Victorian or Regency? Alas! Stories set in the 1830s fit in neither category—if I pay attention to actual history—should I? It depends on your point of view.

Recently, I strayed from my genre of Romantic Comedy to take a stab at writing in the Western arena. It may seem like a huge leap…except that I, like so many others, was raised on John Wayne, Bonanza, The Virginian, The Rifleman, and such. If Dad was watching the television…chances are it was a Western.

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