Monday, May 20, 2013

Stepping Outside of My Writing Comfort Zone

“Stepping outside of your comfort zone,” I heard that phrase a lot growing up. It what people say to challenge others to try something they wouldn’t normally do in order to learn and grow. For me, applying that to writing involves putting on paper stories my brain comes up with even if I’m not comfortable with them to learn and grow. It’s being honest with myself and putting my stories out there, letting the readers judge for themselves, no matter how uncomfortable I might be.

Now that’s not to say I’m going to publish garbage I don’t like, but stories that stretch my imagination into areas that may be dark, exploring the uglier side of humanity. Recently, I did just that. I wrote something that was completely unlike anything I’ve written before. Basement Games is a serial killer short story that had been rattling around in my head for awhile, but I didn’t want to write it. It was dark and used words I wasn’t comfortable writing. But the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, so I wrote it, intending to keep it to myself because it was dark, ugly and downright creepy.

I told a few trusted friends who offered to read it, but I was hesitant. I finally relented, and they were kind enough to encourage me to publish it, and to let the readers know that it was not my usual HEA romance story.

There is a lot of advice out there to stick to a certain genre or closely related genres, so that readers know what to expect from you. There are a few writers out there who like to mix it up, so I decided to take a chance and publish Basement Games.


Hiding behind a VPN, he could mask his IP address and no one could find him. It was harder to hide on the Internet these days, but not impossible for someone who knew what he was doing. And John knew what he was doing.

The ding of the microwave pulled his thoughts back to the tiny kitchen. He pulled the steaming tortilla-filled goodness out onto a paper plate, grabbed a cold beer, and headed to his room.

He smiled as he fired up his computer and connected to the VPN. After he knew his IP address could not be traced, he signed on to his favorite dating site where all his little piggies went to market.

You can get a copy of Basement Games on

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