You know what should be a simple question to ask a writer? "What genre do you write in?" I don't think the answer should be "I don't know," but I'm having a hard time answering that question.
I write contemporary fantasy, mostly, except when I don't. Sometimes I try to write straight contemporary, but it tends to make me feel like I'm missing a plot. I love to write contemporary settings, though. I read a lot of historical fiction, and I would like to try to write more of it someday, but it's easy for me to let an unfamiliar setting overwhelm the characters and plot. This is something I need to work on: seamless explanations of strange customs.
Some of the books that have influenced me the most are LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeiffer and THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson. These are science fiction books that totally focus on contemporary teen characters, what they want, and how they act. Despite being science fiction, they're not plot based or world based novels: they're character based novels. I want to write a book like those novels.
So I've written contemporary horror, paranormal, and soft science fiction. I just tried writing a contemporary mystery, but I wasn't very good at following the mystery structure, and I wanted things to happen to the characters that just weren't all that believable outside of a fantasy setting. I don't read a lot of mysteries. I read contemporary novels and light fantasy/sci fi, so it's natural that I want to write both those genres.
Any book recommendations for me that qualify as contemporary speculative?
-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages