Multi-Genre Author DonnaRae Menard Prefers “Jumping the Rails”

I’m so delighted to welcome DonnaRae Menard back to my blog today. DonnaRae has two very different new books out this year. In her guest essay, she explains why the advice to find your writing niche and stick to it has never worked for her!


By DonnaRae Menard

Years ago, when I first started putting words on paper, I wrote any story that was happening in my mind. I never considered the idea of genres; it was just the flow. As I got more serious, maybe when I told somebody what I was doing, the question came up. I remember giving a friend a typed copy of PATTERNS. She gave it back to saying she hadn’t gotten to chapter three, and it wasn’t a suspense. Okay, so maybe a thriller was a better slot.

One of the first live lectures I attended was at Crime Wave. The gentleman explained about being a niche writer. Being very green, I took that to mean if you wrote cozy, that was all you wrote. If you wrote horror, there you were, stalking people in the night. While taking classes, the instructor assigned us to write a short story for middle grade students. Well, that didn’t work. I think she might have told me I’d be tarred and feathered by the PTA. Even today, I’ll read anything, at least once. All the while, my logical brain is trying to decipher why, if I don’t write in that genre, I read it. The creative side says; shut up and enjoy the story.   

This same issue was brought up when I jumped the rails from cozy suspense, to historical fiction, to children’s, to murder suspense, to thriller. How can that be? How is it in my mind I can write a body hanging out in the wind before breakfast, and little red riding hood meets Pac-man after lunch? I haven’t got the foggiest notion. But it happens.

Currently, I have three POV on the boards, three different genres. Working this way has its own quirks. The big sticking point is that I can’t close one document and open the next one ready to jump into that storyline. I can spend a couple of hours in a friendly hamlet with the murmur of evil in the wings, clean the bathroom, and come back to face a serial killer dropping bodies off of rooftops. No problem. My only hope is that ability doesn’t classify me as a sicko, as one family member describes me.

This year, I was lucky enough to have two books come out, both with publishing houses; MURDER IN THE VILLAGE PROPER, Book 3 of the An It’s Never Too Late series, with Level Best Books. And THE WAIF AND THE WARLORD, with Of Metal and Magic Publishing. See that? A cozy on the edge and a fantasy. As a hybrid author, this was a huge success for me. I can’t thank these people enough for believing in me. Nor can I tell the authors, bloggers, and readers how humble I feel when someone remarks on something I have done.   

Thank you, Lynn, for having me here with you. You’ve always been a great supporter of so many. Be safe, you all, and I hope your words flow. (Don’t worry about the genre!)


DonnaRae Menard started her writing career in seventh grade with a back-firing slanderous account of the jet set kids. Even though it took a while to develop the nerve to try again, she is out there plying her trade. With the support of Verena Rose and Level Best Books, she is pleased to announce the second book in the It’s Never Too Late series, Murder on Eagle Drop Ridge, will be released in mid-June. Also available on Amazon is In the Shadow of Pharaoh, and It Takes Guts.

DonnaRae has found a niche in cozy/suspense, historical fiction, and is now dappling in a bit of fantasy. A first, second, and always New Englander, with a house filled with family and cats, she would like to write about somewhere else, but there are just too many places to hide a body close to home.


Katelyn Took came home to settle her grandmother’s estate, only to discover that not only did Gram have seventeen cats, but Ruth Beauregard, a childhood chum, had moved in. Ruth was confused, penniless, and abandoned by her in-laws because they believed she had murdered her husband. Ruth had improved, physically and mentally, but she still lived under the stigma of the Beauregard family’s accusations. Katie wanted her adopted aunt to be happy, but to make it so, she’d have to look for dirt under a lot of rocks, and it was looking like someone was going to throw those same rocks back. Hard. She could duck and weave, but could Katie find the truth without getting stoned to death?


A foreign-born orphan child, Rhys, is presented to the Warlord Most High as tribute. Her people are savages exhibiting fearful traits. It is the Warlord’s plan to train Rhys as a child gladiator for his blood sport. But the wizard living in the castle believes Rhys has a different destiny. Custom dictates every man stand alone and call forth a dragon. Only such a pair can rule. The Warlord’s dragon is the most vicious ever seen. Never has a girl been granted such a prize.

Through trickery, the wizard takes Rhys from the Warlord. She daydreams of a kind dragon. Suddenly, one appears. Rhys tries to hide him but uncovers another secret. The Warlord has a son born without the use of his legs, whom he ordered destroyed. The wizard hid the boy, but now, as a man, PETETRICH seeks revenge. Rhys and her dragon befriend Petetrich. But when the day comes that battle will ensue, who will face the Warlord? And who man, girl or cripple will win?


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Twitter – @DonnaRaeMenard

Author Photo credits – Klementovich Photography, North Conway, New Hampshire

An Its Never Too Late Mystery series:

Murder in the Meadow

ISBN – 9781953789884

Murder on Eagle Drop Ridge

ISBN – 9781681521488

The Woman Warriors series:

Strength of the Mayan Leopard

ISBN – 9781500128906

In the Shadow of Pharaoh

ISBN – 9781500131531


ISBN – 9781530815753

The Detective Carmine Mansuer series:


ISBN – 9781516940400


ISBN – 9781549810305

Stand Alones:

Dreams of a Mad Woman

ISBN – 9781500191955

It takes Guts

ISBN – 9798441576628


Willa the Wisp

ISBN – 9781498246094


The Waif and the Warlord

coming soon with Of Metal and Magic Publishing




  1. Pamela Ruth Meyer on July 14, 2023 at 11:25 am

    WOW, DonnaRae, you have a foot in so many different worlds you must be secretly part spider. Well, at least the thriller-writer part of you. ( ;
    I have only written one manuscript, but my back-burner brain keeps luring me towards magic in my stories. You’ve got me thinking it may be fruitful to do a better job of listening to it. Thanks for opening my eyes and my mind to the multiple-genre possibilities and best of luck with MURDER IN THE VILLAGE PROPER and THE WAIF AND THE WARLORD.

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