Versatility and writing different genres - Rebecca Thorne

6 Jun 2023

Let’s talk about versatility—and how authors manage to write vastly different genres under the same pen names.

I’ve genre hopped a lot. I dabbled in Middle Grade straight through YA, New Adult, and Adult fiction. Inside those umbrellas, I’ve managed to tackle every subgenre from romance to sci-fi to mystery and everything in between. I love experimenting, and fully reject the idea that an author has to write one thing once they’re big.

Despite a decade in traditional publishing, my self-published cozy fantasy novel, Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea, was my first true bestseller. In just under a year, I’ve managed to snag a coveted spot in one of the industry’s hottest new genres. Cozy fantasy is emphasized as low stakes, high comfort—think quiet fireside chats, establishing a mundane shop, and the found family you might find during those cottagecore dreams.

Rebecca's cozy fantasies were her first best-sellers

And wow, after two of those books, I was bored.

I already pushed the envelope with my cozy fantasies—both main characters skirt death at some point, and a dragon attack on the village gets fairly intense. But I’m a high-stakes kind of reader—and while I want the quiet comfort of cozy, I prefer it interspersed with more dramatic scenes. Writing what I wanted to read was only natural.

And moving on from cozy after a couple novels was also natural, to me. I got my start writing intense novels with world-ending stakes—and missed it. And more than that, I was terrified that two cozy fantasies would box me in as a writer. “That’s Rebecca Thorne. She writes cozy fantasy,” is far more restricting than, “That’s Rebecca Thorne. She writes badass lesbians.”

So, I pivoted. I plotted a horror novel that’s been described as a fantasy, a science fiction, a mystery, a thriller, a romance, and everything in between. This Gilded Abyss is all over the map compared to my “usual” cozy fantasies—and I loved it. And what’s even stranger is that my readers love it too.

This Gilded Abyss is Rebecca's new book, a genre-blending novel

Which begs the question… why? What about these two novels pulls the same reader base.

The lesbian answer is obvious. The LGBT+ community is a dedicated bunch, and are typically willing to read anything because there’s so few options out there for us. If someone liked the lesbians in my cozies, they’ll like the lesbians in my horror.

But I think it goes deeper. I suspect it has to do with the writing style of the author, and the common tropes or themes prevalent in our books. My novels typically include a fantasy world that’s accepting of same sex marriages, trans folk, and skin color. In fact, in most of my novels, these are staples in the world—it’s so widely accepted that I don’t ever apply labels to it, not even “lesbians” outside of my branding. My writing style is fast-paced, with a heavy emphasis on banter and action. My settings are vivid but secondary to the characters and their journeys, so I never bog the novels down with intense description.

All of these things tie my books together, no matter the genre. And I believe that’s the reason I’m finding the same readership as excited for This Gilded Abyss as they were for the Tomes & Tea series. The books couldn’t be more polar opposites—but readers don’t often want the same genre over and over. Sometimes, it’s nice to switch it up.

And even nicer to test a new genre with an author who’s already made you feel safe somewhere else.

I won’t stop at cozy fantasy, or horror, or romance, or anything else. I have so many books planned, and all of them will share the elements above—which means I can reliably assume my readers will follow. Several have called me an auto-buy author, which is the biggest compliment I could receive.

I’ll keep writing badass lesbians. But I’m happy to write all kinds of genres, because I want every readers reflected in my characters. Some people don’t live cozy lives. Some people don’t vibe with horror. That’s okay. Check out the next book, and you’ll find something to love!

And no matter what… thanks for reading!! <3

About the author


  Rebecca Thorne is an author of all things fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic. She thrives on deadlines, averages 2,700 words a day, and tries to write at least 2 books a year. (She also might be a little hyper-focused ADHD.)

After years of operating in the traditional publishing space, Rebecca has pivoted into self-publishing. She is now a hybrid author, versed in both paths of publishing. She's also obsessed with TikTok, and will happily spend all day scrolling through videos.

When she’s not writing or avoiding writing, Rebecca can be found traveling the country as a flight attendant, or doing her best impression of a granola-girl hermit with her two dogs.