I don’t write just for the sake of writing. I write because I have something to say that I may want to share with others, or which I do not want to forget. I write because I have stories I want to tell, and I want to tell them my way. In a certain sense, all my stories, that is novels, are exerimental.
This makes it difficult for me to get a traditional publisher. Most of the larger publishers want novels, or non-fiction, which is safe, that will almost certainly make back the expense of publication, if not a lot more. This makes perfectly good sense, from a certain point of view. But it means that any novel that isn’t instantly classifiable by the marketing department is difficult if not impossible to place. Marketing departments, after all, aren’t interested in literature. They’re interested in moving product.
Many writers, most published writers, have learned how to live and work with this situation, and produce good books, and sometimes excellent books. I have done it myself — well, the “good” part anyway. But it is becoming more important to me to write only the stories that I really want to read, stories which are truly my own even if they are outside the confines of marketability.
It’s not my intention to be deliberately experimental just for the sake of experiment. I just want to try new things, try better ways, learn what works and what doesn’t. And I don’t deliberately avoid marketability, they just come out that way. But neither do I make any effort to stay within the main stream of fantasy/science fiction/horror/weird. I go where I want to go, where my story takes me. And I give no consideration to strive to make my story fit a clear-cut genre, though I recognize that it can’t be easily classed as one thing or another.
When I have a story that I really want to tell, like Stroad’s Cross for example, I don’t want to force it into a mold created by salesmen. I want it to be my story, not theirs. And so once again I am limited to three choices. Not write it at all, write it and put it on a shelf, or write it and publish it myself. I’ll be doing a lot of that.