A few semesters ago, I was getting to know two writers from my workshop and we started talking about whether we thought someone in our workshop would write the kind of story we thought they would. At the time, it had been halfway through the semester, so we had read a piece from every person and therefore knew what kind of fiction they wrote.
Of course, writers don't always stick to one genre. My two novels are very different -- one alternative history murder mystery, the other YA fantasy. But based on what we had read in class and based on the person's personality, age, etc., we talked about if we had expected them to write in that particular genre or subject.
We had guessed correctly on most people, but not all. Fantasy for this girl? Yes. Family drama for this man? Yes. Magical realism for this woman? Yes. Literary prose for this man? Nope.
Curious about what they would say about me writing a murder mystery on a tough subject, I asked, "What about me?"
"You surprised me," one of them said.
That made me smile. It equally caught me off guard and made me happy. It was like I was hiding a little secret about myself and I liked it. I liked that it was unexpected. I guess it's nice to shock people a little bit. Now when I tell people what I'm writing about, it's interesting to see if it surprises them. I get a kick out of it.
Have you ever told someone something about yourself that surprised them?
Care to share what it was?