Why do I write what I write?

This is a follow-up post to What made me decide to write a book?

I think I did a fairly good job of explaining why I started writing children's fiction in the other post.  But I didn't go too much into why I write in the other genres or the themes I explore.  So, let's get into that.

"The Journey": Illustration depicts ...
"The Journey": Illustration depicts a young boy absorbed in watching the scenery from his seat in a railway car for a series of poems by Josephine Preston Peabody entitled "The Little Past." The poems relate experiences of childhood from a child's perspective. Published in: "The Little Past : the Journey" by Josephine Preston Peabody, Harper's magazine, 108:95 (Dec. 1903). 1 painting : oil. Digital file from original. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I write genre fiction under the pen name D Lee Warren.  I write stores that include supernatural and horror elements.  So, why do I write about that and not, say, science fiction or romance?  I might write in some other genre(s) later on.  But my project lineup is currently composed of horror and supernatural, so for the foreseeable future, that's what's I'll be producing.  The reason I write those kinds of stories are because those are the kind of stories I like to read.  Those are the stories I know.  Those are the stories I've thought up.  Pretty simple, yeah?  However, some of the themes I like to explore perhaps deserve more explanation.

I like stories with a theme or a lesson so long as they're done well.  I don't want to be hit over the head with it or preached at.  I like the ones that sneak up on me and challenge the way I look at the world.  Sometimes it's good to just read a story that's pure entertainment, but I think the more valuable stories entertain and enlighten or prompt introspection.  So, that's what I try to do.

For my children's stories, I like to occasionally slip in a life lesson.  I try to be subtle about it and not preachy, and I won't do it in every story.  These are the kind of lessons and moral standpoints we try to teach in our household.  They may not be good choices for yours.  That's okay.  There are plenty of options out there in children's literature that may be a better fit for your children and your family.

I have a number of themes running through my adult stories:  right and wrong, life and death, evil and good (and all those shades of grey in between), theology and the afterlife.  These are the things I think about.  These are the themes I like to explore.  Some may not enjoy my treatment of the concepts they hold as holy or profane.  Some may not enjoy the questions I raise or the points of view I explore.  I'm sure I will offend some people.  I think that's okay.  If it was so tame as to not offend anybody, it probably wouldn't be very entertaining.  And, as with the children's literature, there are plenty of other choices out there that might be a better fit for you.  I'm not trying to be controversial.  I just want to write good stories and share the sorts of things I think about with my readers.  Maybe even connect with like-minded people who are contemplating the same ideas.

So, that's why I write what I write.  Someday, I may write about other things.  Things usually change.  Readers, why do you read what you read (of if that's too broad, why did you decide to read that last book you picked up)?  Writers, why do you write what you write?

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