Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why Writing Both Fiction and Non-Fiction is Awesome - with the Fabulous Christine Fonseca

I first met Christine almost 2 years ago through our mutual friend and CP, Elana Johnson. We quickly discovered we were total soul-twins. I have been extremely lucky to not only get to be friends, crit partners, and agent sisters with this fabulous lady, but I also share with her the strange and awesome distinction of being a multi-genre writer - we both write fiction and non-fiction.  

I asked Christine if she'd stop by today and share with us why she thinks navigating both these worlds is so awesome.

Writing in Multiple Genres – Why I LOVE it!

First off, I’d like to thank Michelle and the fabulous peeps at OPERATION AWESOME for having me here today. When Michelle first approached me about writing a guest post and we talked about a topic, she said she wanted to talk about why those of us who write both fiction AND nonfiction do it. I thought, Sweet! A chance to talk about writing in both domains. Awesome.

Writing both fiction and nonfiction is an interesting endeavor. For me, it is a way to meet two very distinct and separate creative needs – the need to help people related to my work as a school psychologist, and the need to create stories that hopefully help in a completely different way.

As you can imagine, writing nonfiction and fiction requires different skill sets entirely – both with their own rewards and challenges. For me, this means that I get to engage more aspects of my creative mind, and meet more needs internally. All pretty amazing things!

The nonfiction side of my writerly life pulls on the more logical aspects of my brain. I research heavily for my books, doing traditional types of research, as well as focus groups and interviews related to the specific topic of my book. The voice of my works is my own, so in many respects it is like the presentations I prepare, the classes I teach and the counseling I do. It all originates directly from me.

The fiction is different. It appeals and draws on the creative side of my brain. The research I do doesn’t feel like I am conducting research for a doctoral thesis, the way it does with nonfiction. This research usually involves things like using to “visit” my setting, researching the meanings of names or certain symbology, and studying legends that will come into play in the stories. When I sit to craft a story, I get to lose myself in some other character’s voice. I get to disappear and “be” my characters, functioning as their storyteller.

Both are awesome endeavors. Both deeply satisfy a part of me. Both work to define different aspects of who I am.

I will say that it is hard, at times, working in both fields – like having two distinct careers in addition to the actual jobs I have. But the payoff is worth it as I feel more than a little blessed to be able to write in two specific genres and fulfill two distinct parts of who I am.

It is AWESOMENESS defined, I feel so fortunate to be part of both worlds.

What about you? Have you ever tried writing in such different genres? What do you like about it?
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll stop by to answer.

Christine Fonseca is the author of EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS (Prufrock Press, 10/1/2010) and 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS (Prufrock Press, May 1, 2011). In addition to writing books related to giftedness, she writes fantasy and contemporary novels for teens. If you would like to learn more about Christine, please visit:


Website (you can find info on her fiction here as well)
Find me on Facebook or Twitter
Order Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children here.
Read the first chapter here.
Preorder 101 Success Secrets here.


Unknown said...

I've never written non-fiction but I'm still young, someday I'll do it. I'm going to go check out the books now.


Christine Fonseca said...

Thanks for letting me hang-out over here guys! Operation Awesome is just...well....AWESOME!

Rachel Harris said...

Thank you for sharing and for following your passion for both. Your non-fiction is a blessing--this from a mom of an emotionally intense homeschooled gifted student.
Have a wonderful holiday

Michelle McLean said...

thanks for hanging with us today, Christine! Your books really are amazing and I can't wait to read the ones you've got coming up, both non-fiction and fiction! :D

Christine Fonseca said...

Thanks everyone. I am thrilled to be able to share with you guys. And Clarissa and Rachel - thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the books.

Cinette said...

Glad to see you're satisfied in finding your path. Good luck with your books!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Christine, thank you for bringing your awesomeness over to OA! It's so cool that you've found your calling in TWO genres!

I'm a non-fiction reader, so I appreciate talented writers like you who bring great voice to the topics most important to me: psychology and family. I bet the two branches of your writing experience lend both genres more depth.

My hope is to write books for every age group between picture books and adult. :)