Okay, so I've long been a proponent of writing what I want to write. I'm published in YA/NA science fiction, YA contemporary romance, and most recently I've branched out into adult romance, both contemporary, paranormal, and inspirational.
I've also written YA fantasy (which I hope will be published one day), and I continue to want to write what I want to write.
I think there are some good things about this, but there's also a downside. For the most part, I think traditional publishers want to fit their authors into certain molds, and that seems to work well. For example, when I pick up a Brandon Sanderson novel, I know what kind of novel I'm going to get, in both genre and writing. I think that's a very good thing. It's a branding thing.
But I don't want to only write and publish YA science fiction. So I've struggled over the past couple of years. Should I write under pen names? Why can't I write adult romance and YA science fiction? Can't readers look at covers and back cover copy and know what kind of book they're going to get?
I've never really been sure what the right answer is. Do you have any ideas? Do you typically write in the same genre, or have you been exploring in different genres?