Have you ever tried to compare two similar but different things? I don't mean like a red BMW or a blue BMW. I am thinking more like a four story home to a double-wide trailer. They are both places to live. They both have a kitchen, a closet and a toilet. However in many ways they can be so very different. The other snag I find is that there may be decisions affecting your choice that run deeper than which one has the nicest carpet.
All of that to say ... who can I compare myself to?
When you travel down the crowded path to finding an agent and eventually a publisher you have to tell them who you compare to. Am I a writer more like Karen Kingsbury or Janette Oke?
I write like . . . me. Maybe to a more discerning (or less emotionally involved) eye there are characteristics about my writing that resembles another author. To me it seems more a matter of likes. Do I want a home with a wall of solid oak cabinets or a wall of laminated fibreboard?
So in my attempt to find similar authors I have found out a lot about me.
1. I don't write what I prefer to read. Isn't that strange? I like to read western/historical books, however I write in present day. Opps? Does that mean I wouldn't buy my own books?
2. I have chosen a style that is not the most popular. The majority of books are written by what we, in 'the biz' (lol), call third person omniscient. That means the author can act like God in knowing what is happening inside the heads of whatever characters he/she wants to.
For example, the narrative voice can tell you what the rodeo princess thinks when she sees the gorgeous (and famous) cowboy walks by her. Then a page over while the cowboy is psyching himself to crawl onto the bull in the pen, the narrative voice will tell you what he thinks of the cute little red-head he just past by a moment ago. The author can let you into any characters thoughts.
Me? I prefer first person point of view. I like to read it and I definitely like to write it. That feels real to me.
If I was the red-head (which I am not) and you were the hot rodeo cowboy ( maybe?) all I could know is what I am thinking. As far as how you feel I have to rely on your facial and body cues. Or if you happen to whistle at me or give me the 'not-in-your-wildest-dreams' look, I could take a pretty good guess about what you might be thinking.
3. I have included many different 'genres' in my writing, which makes it hard to answer the question "where would you find my book in a bookstore?" Let's take the example of my third manuscript, That's Enough! It is about a soldier who is rescuing a hostage. (Not really typical women's fiction.) Then he discovers the woman he is rescuing is the woman he loves and has been searching for for seven years. (Love story?) Only then he discovers that someone has been lying to him and misleading him for seven years to keep her away from him. But who? (Mystery? Intrigue?) Finally, he is forced to fight the terrorists who held her captive in the beginning only to discover how much he can handle losing. (Espionage? Terrorism?)
Have I lost you? I hope not because that story is good!
Here's what I came up with. None of that matters. What counts is that I write stories that are ultimately about a powerful, awesome God that loves us and that He will do anything to help us see that. So where can you find my book? (Nowhere yet. It isn't published. Tee hee hee!)
Anyway ... although I do not know who I write like I can tell you which books out there are 'similar' to mine. The few I have researched are these:
Susan May Warren
Jenny B Jones (not her YA novels)
Who do you like to read? Why?