Rocky start this year with the Merry-Go-Round Tour. I missed the first couple of months completely, and I’m a day late with this one. Such is life.
Today, I’m supposed to talk about what, in marketing speak, would be my USP: unique selling point (or unique selling proposition). Yeah, I hate marketing speak.
Now, obviously, no two stories (barring plagiarism) are identical, so it stands to reason that by definition my stories are unique. On the other hand, everything fits into a genre and has relationships with other things in that genre. My cozy mysteries take place in a small town, the murders are solved by an amateur rather than the chief of police, and the cast of characters is full of quirks. My science fiction has spaceflight or aliens (or both); my fantasy uses magic and beings that don’t exist in our world.
So what would make someone who doesn’t know me pick up one of my stories rather than somebody else’s? What is it that I bring to the table?
The sum total of my experiences: no one else has the exact same cluster of influences as I do, although there is obviously overlap. From the Reno Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra concerts I went to in elementary school to seeing Stomp and Alvin Ailey’s Dance Theatre and Wynton Marsalis when I was in grad school, from the rabbit brush and sage of Nevada to falling in love with onion domes in Russia, from worrying about seven-transmembrane domain proteins and conserved structures from olfactory receptor proteins to rhodopsin to proofreading yet another travel book about France or Costa Rica or Alaska, from hours lost in Georgette Heyer’s books to thousands of comics read over decades — everything I have seen and heard and done affects the way I look at the world, gives me ideas to throw together, colors my personal kaleidoscope.
I don’t usually think of it as anything special. I live with me, and this is just the way it is. I wouldn’t know how to be anyone else.
It has its perqs; I’m probably the only person with a kraken inside my head urging me to write specific books. (Sometimes, he argues with my muse. Doesn’t matter which one of them wins. I’m the one doing the work.)
What about you? Do you know what makes you unique? Or do you have any thoughts about what makes me different as a writer? Share in the comments!
Today’s post was inspired by the topic “What makes you a unique writer?” — March’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the next posts in the series, by Sandra Barret and D. M. Bonanno.
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on first stories, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!