Today's guest is Glenda Young
Why your comfort zone is bigger than you think
Hi everyone, I’m Glenda and I’m a womag writer and bestselling author published by Headline. My novels are set across two genres which are 1) gritty sagas set in a northeast mining village in 1919 and 2) cosy crimes set in modern-day Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast. I’ve also written TV tie-in books for ITV’s Coronation Street, I run a Coronation Street fan blog and am an award-winning short story writer. I’ve also got a unique claim to fame as the writer of Riverside, the first ever weekly soap opera published in The People's Friend magazine.
That’s quite a lot of different genres to write in. And as if that wasn’t enough, whenever I get time, I love to pen short stories for women’s magazines. Over the last few years, I’ve had hundreds of womag stories published. And as all womag writers know, each story was tailored to the magazine it was submitted to, because knowing your market is key. However, not all of my stories were in the same genre. For instance for women’s magazines, I’ve had stories published about a cowboy searching for his father, horror stories, cosy crime, mysteries and plenty of comic short stories. I even wrote the first same-sex romance to be published in My Weekly magazine. As I'm not gay it's further proof that the margins of what you are capable of writing about can - and should - expand to the market's requirements.
But even though all of these short stories, and my novels, may appear at first glance to be in different genres, what I’d like to remind anyone reading this is that they were all written for the same market. As womag writers know, we tend to write for women. And that’s exactly who I keep in mind whether my story is about cowboys or comedy, whether my novels are sagas or cosy crime. I slant each story or novel to fit the market and have fun with what with I’m doing.
What I’m trying to say in a roundabout way (sorry Patsy, I’ll get to the point, promise!) is that just because we’re writing for women’s magazines, doesn’t mean you can’t try something new and surprising, as long as it fits the magazine’s specifications. And if you want to write a cowboy story, for instance, it doesn’t mean you have to leave your comfort zone. Think of it more as expanding your comfort zone around you, pushing it a little to give you more room to breathe.
Because after all, when we’re writing for women’s magazines or any particular market, writing something that might at first appear difficult and daunting, as long as you tailor it to the market you’re writing for, it isn’t that different at all. You’re simply playing with the genre and having a great deal of fun at the same time. And when you have fun in your writing, I truly believe your reader will find it fun to read too.
From Patsy – With the reduction in markets for womag fiction, many of us are considering other types of writing. That might seem daunting but, as Glenda says, new doesn’t need to be completely different. If we think of subjects we’ve used in our stories, and know something about, we may come up with ideas for articles too and could attempt those with the same readership in mind.
Glenda has kindly said that she'll give a signed paperback copy of any one of her books, plus some bookmarks, to one person who comments on this blog. (The books are stand alone, so you don't need to worry about picking the right one to start with.) Anyone may enter the draw, but the book can only be sent to a UK address. To be in with a chance, leave a comment on this post by midnight UK time on 16th August, making it clear that you'd like to take part. Of course comments from those not entering the draw are equally welcome.