Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

What’s your favourite genre?


Do you have a favourite genre? A favourite author? Or do you like to browse the bookshelves and try something different each time you buy a new book? Maybe go for the latest thing?

My first favourite genre was fantasy, although I don’t think it was called that then. I spent many pleasurable hours reading Enid Blyton’s tales of the Magic Faraway Tree and I think this evolved into an interest in all things English. I loved to read books about girls in boarding schools when I was a bit older and perhaps my love of historical fiction, which was usually based in the UK, had its origins there. It’s hard to remember all the writers whose works I loved although I do recall looking for more by Anya Seton and Victoria Holt. I always thought I would never want to write historical fiction because there’s too much research involved and that, I assumed, was work, while the writing was … something else?

When I went to university (as a mature age student) I found out that actually research was the best part! Getting my hands on the original records–reading letters written a hundred years ago–was fascinating! I’m still a fan of fiction rather than non-fiction but I do love history and I like to know what parts are true if I’m reading historical fiction. My own historical novel, ‘Her Flesh and Blood’, is a mix of fact and fiction, being inspired by a murder trial in Australia, in 1910. It’s free for two days this week, 17th and 18th March.

I still read historical fiction but I find it harder now to find something I really enjoy. I tend to get a stack of books from the library and a couple will be what I think are safe options, either favourite authors or some kind of historical fiction I’m pretty sure I’ll like. I also like to try new authors and different types of stories. This has led me to such gems as Chasm, by Stephen Laws, The Watchers by Charles Maclean and my latest find, Home Front, by Kristin Hannah. I’d not heard of Kristin before and clearly she’s sold a lot of books, so I probably should have, but I will be certainly looking for more.

My childhood love of fantasy evolved into a love of science fiction and I did read adult fantasy as well, although I haven’t for a while. I’m always looking for something different–something I can’t guess the ending to, which is why, as much as I loved Enid Blyton books about the Five Find-outers, I’ve never been a fan of adult detective stories. We know how it’s going to end, don’t we?

My writing has been as varied as my reading and the most fun I’ve had writing was my children’s fantasy, Beast of War, which is free at Amazon from the 16th to the 18th March. I grew to like the characters so much I was quite sad when it ended and I had to say goodbye to them!

I’m currently writing something that may be a novella or may be a longish short story. It’s about a séance and is set in a mythical town, but it’s very much the town I grew up in, in the era I grew up, so I’m using a lot of teenage memories of my own, which is fun. I’ve written about ghosts before, in my novel Inheritance, but this is a more contemporary ghost. Maybe. I’ll find out soon and also find out just how much damage she can do.

For UK readers the links to this week’s freebies — Beast of War        Her Flesh and Blood


Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at Most are also with D2D as ebooks.

15 thoughts on “What’s your favourite genre?

  1. My favorite genre/author depends on the mood I’m in. I love Goodreads, because I now have several friends on there and I like to see what they’re reading. I often peruse Amazon to see what’s new, and sometimes will download the first chapter of a book to see if I like it. I have also become ‘hooked’ on some authors after reading a free offering and loving it so much that I download the rest of the series.

  2. My favorite genre is romance. 🙂 I do also enjoy mystery, but a splash of romance added in never hurts the story for me. I do sometimes veer off into non-fiction, but that’s very rare and random.

  3. I love science fiction, also fantasty, mysteries, historical fiction, westerns, and romance–but not bodice rippers.

  4. Hmm, think I’ve written all those except westerns! Even co-authored a couple of bodice rippers, which made me more money than anything else ever will!

  5. Interesting stuff I always enjoy finding out about the reading habits of others. I grew up with the Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkein, P G Wodehouse and a whole bunch of historical novels most of which were written in the late 1800s and were part of the library from an old family house and ended up lying around ours. I also watched TV after children’s programmes were finished – because I had to do my home work first and it took me ages – and so watched a lot of 1960s sci-fi programmes like StarTrek, Get Smart, The Men from U.N.C.L.E. The Saint et al. Looking at what I write, I can really see the influences there.

    When I’m looking for new books, I still love just going to a library or a book shop and browsing. I buy whatever looks interesting. I’ve read a ridiculously wide variety of genres as a result. A lot depends on the voice of the author, if it annoys me, I put the book back, no matter how interesting the blurb. It’s all about the look inside for me I guess 😉



    • Old books always remind me of my grandparents. I was raised in a country town where there was no TV reception and when we went to my grandparents’ in Sydney I always associated the musty smell with the TV set (the only thing I could see different to our house!). So I quite liked that smell and it wasn’t until years later when I started reading those books that I realised what that smell was! Great books anyway–one of my all-time favourites was ‘The Cry and the Covenant’ by Morton Thompson.

  6. It is tough to choose a favorite genre. I likes fantasy/scifi when I was younger. But then fantasy worlds are in many ways similar to the worlds in historical fiction. I tend to write historical fiction and action/adventure in unique settings like Guatemala or the Navajo Reservation. The truth is I enjoy all kinds of books as long as they are WELL WRITTEN! Isn’t that one of the major factors in making a book readable!?

    • You’re right Karen. One of my favourite fantasy authors was Sara Douglass, who was a lecturer in medieval history, and I believe there are similarities between her worlds and the medieval. I tend to like that journey to other worlds, whether fantasy, sci-fi or historical, but I do appreciate a well-written contemporary novel as well.

  7. My favorite genre is comedy. I like to make people laugh. All but one of the plays I’ve written have been comedies. It’s so much fun to see them produced. When I am fortunate enough to be able to attend a performance of one of my plays, it is a thrill to hear the audience laughing!

  8. I did tape one of them, Kitty. And then lent it my son who promptly lost it!

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