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Author S.J. Rozan spoke at Seton Hill University on Tuesday, January 12, addressing the topic “Your Place in the Literary Universe.”

“Any athlete needs speed, agility, strength, and intelligence. Beyond that he needs particular skills for the particular sport he plays,” said Rozan. “This same principal applies to genre writing. You need the basic building blocks, character, setting, theme, plot, and use of language. Then you must apply the principals that relate to your genre.”

Rozan, an award winning author of eleven novels, noted that genre writing is a type of writing that satisfies mysteries that began early in our life.

“All genres speak to your inner child and appeal to the mystery, magic, and sense of reality that you had as a child,” said Rozan. “Genre writers want to re-create those feelings while genre readers want to experience those feelings again.”

According to Rozan, each genre tells its own “ur story,” which is the overarching story that leads an individual to read the book.

“The ur story tells the bigger, general story. There is a theme in each genre. Publishers know readers will buy the books for the ur story alone. Individuals read the same ur story time and time again in each genre, yet they are still drawn to it,” said Rozan.

Rozan visited Seton Hill at the invitation of the Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, and many students of the program attended her lecture. She encouraged the writers in the audience to stay true to the ur story that called them to write.

“If you love the ur story that originally appealed to you, write in that genre. Follow the ur story and write good books,” said Rozan.