When I started writing, must have been six years ago, one thing I've always thought about was Author Branding...what kind of image do I portray in my writing? What is it about my stories that's different that I can help with marketing myself?
I tend to write fiction with an Urban edge.
What exactly is Urban??
Is it street fights, fast cars, and drugs?
haha. Not all the time.
urban (relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area)
urban (located in or characteristic of a city or city life)
It's life in a populated area.
Graffiti Girl may have taken place in a small town, but Graffiti is very much part of the Urban lifestyle.
And now I've written Invisible Touch, a story of girl with a peculiar psychic ability, still with that Urban lifestyle in a town setting instead of the city, but it's there. I don't know if it's all because of growing up in a small town that has outgrown its limits or being raised ten years in the California Bay Area that makes me write about it. But it's behind my eyes as I write. It's probably all those 80s - 90's movies I watched in big cities with cops and bad guys. haha.
And as I stray a little into Sci-fi, it's still there. Real problems with character journeys taking place much of the time on the streets. My characters have homes, and they are young, just trying to live with the life that surrounds them. The life that sometimes isn't so wonderful and can throw obstacles in your way before you know it.
I came across this description of my writing for Graffiti Girl @ RomanceWiki:
Graffiti Girl stands out from other contemporary Young Adult fiction due to its unusual setting and subject matter. While certain aspects of teenage life cross all boundaries, it's refreshing to see a novel set outside the white urban teenager world. Graffiti artists are often demonized in our culture, yet Parra's exploration of this world reveals the human aspect of this world.
I'm glad someone else sees that I try to bring real life issues to my fiction.
Trying to put my finger on the kind of fiction I write has always been tough. Because branding yourself one way which readers may not understand, can detour readers sometimes.
So I don't know if author branding works with marketing, but it makes it easier to tell people the kind of fiction I write. Can you brand your writing?