The general consensus in publishing today is that writers should create a niche for themselves and stick to writing what they know. This has certainly worked well for authors such as Steven King, Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, and a long list of other bestselling authors. They are some of my favorite authors. But I am also a fan of Mark Bowden and Michael Crichton. Mark Bowden is the author of Black Hawk Down. He is also the author Killing Pablo, Guests of the Ayatollah and the upcoming book The Best Game Ever. The only thing these books have in common is that they are all nonfiction narratives. Some of Michael Crichton’s books include Jurassic Park, Congo, The Andromeda Strain, and Airframe. He has also written a number of screenplays. I don’t consider either of these two writers as niche writers.
Writers who stick to a niche often fall victim to repeating themselves and producing uninteresting books. To me, writing something to fit a perceived niche is like writing a story because some marketing guy says that’s what’s selling now. The end result is an uninspired, boring manuscript.
I don’t want to be pigeonholed into a niche. I want the freedom to pick and choose my projects based on how strongly I feel about the story. My latest project is a screenplay about patent medicine from the 1900s. It’s a comedy. It’s as far removed from a disaster story as you can get.
I used to describe myself in my bio as a professional pilot and aviation writer. My bio now says professional pilot and author. That’s how I want to be perceived.
Find out more about Emilio at his website.