Thursday, December 8, 2011

different genres, different pen names?

Ok. Here's what I like to read and, therefore, write:

-Urban Fantasy
-Paranormal Romance, especially shifters and less common ideas
-a blend of the two genres above
-Cowboys!!! Hot, hot, hot. Rowr. ;) Contemporaries and paranormals.
-YA Paranormal question is, same name for them all?
Or different names for some? The break-downs I see are as such: Paranormal; Cowboy; YA. Each one seems rather distinct from the others, although as said I could blend shifters and cowboys quite easily. (In fact, I already have. Hopefully to be self-pubbed soon-ish.)

The thought of managing names, websites, twitter, and facebook for three diff names makes me sob, however. Some writers just do it all together, such as Rachel Vincent with her adult and young adult series. Some use completely different pen names specifically because they want to attract readers to each genre, and not potentially repel the other (especially if they write erotic or at least hot).

To top it all off, I have my "real world" persona, which writes and blogs and tweets on totally unrelated topics that have nothing to do with hot romance books. So now I'm looking at a plethora of names and pen names and selves, and it's starting to feel very insanely split-personality like. Um...eek?

Why am I worrying about this now? Because branding oneself as a writer is very, very important, and I want to start right away.

As an aside, I'm considering using a new pen name. This one (Jesi O'Connell) is old for me, and I just grabbed it when I first started getting serious about writing romance because it was easy. The name I'm leaning toward at the moment is J.K. Harper. For young adult, I'm thinking about J.K. Travers or Julie Travers.

Ah...sigh. Thoughts, comments, your own stories? Anyone?


Widow Dyer said...

IMO, it depends on the writer. Let's say, you publish an urban fantasy novel first, a contemporary cowboy second, and follow those up with a paranormal YA third. I say keep just the one name. This gives your growing fan base a chance to get used to all of the different genres you write in. This is what I plan to do.

I've heard that this method may work against you, especially if readers come to hate, let's say, your contemporary cowboy books.

Personally, I can't grasp why a writer would need a bunch of pen names. Readers are savvy when it comes to learning more about the author. They're going to find out Jane Doe who writes those horrible sci-fi romances is the same Jennifer Doe who writes those bestselling paranormal cowboy books.

Plus, as a writer, it's tough enough to maintain a blog, a Twitter account, a FaceBook page, Google+ page, every other social media platform, answering reader emails, oh, and let's not forget, WRITING THE BOOKS.

I'd rather spend my time writing and maintaining one of each than one set for three or four pen names. But this is just my opinion and plan for my own writing career. It all boils down to you doing what you think is best for the direction you wish to take your own writing career.

BTW, great topic, Jesi! :)

Jesi O'Connell said...

One reason I know many writers want/need different pen names is the radically differing natures of what they write. Especially those who split their time between erotic romance and YA stuff. A lot of writers don't want the younger readers (or their parents with the pocketbooks) to discover their more adult writing.

And agree, plenty of readers are definitely savvy enough to find out authors' different pen names if they really want to.

In my case, I definitely will not be writing romance, paranormal, or YA under my real name, mostly because I've already got a (very small) following for my nonfiction and literary writing in a totally different subject area. That would be very confusing for readers of very different subjects tracking my name online and finding works so different from one another! Although maybe it would open some people to new literary vistas, who knows.

But you have a real point about not wanting to juggle all the different websites, blogs, social media, etc., of having two more pen names. Blargghhhh. So maybe I will just stick with one for the genre fiction--all of it, the paranormal, hot cowboy lovin' ;), and YA. And just make the demarcations between all that writing very clear.

Oh, and I love the thought of a "growing fan base." That just makes me smile and be excited to get those fans reading me! (Oh, right, gotta publish But it's a super positive way to look at it. Thanks!

Widow Dyer said...

You know, Jesi, thanks for reminding me about having separate pen names when writing both YA and erotica. I didn't even think about erotica. *smacks hand* Bad me! I don't even want to imagine my Mini-Me (16yo) reading erotica. *shudders*

Jesi O'Connell said...

Yeah, I think that's the reaction of most parents! I don't specifically write erotica, but I do not shy away from very explicit sex scenes in my writing. And oddly enough, I only somewhat recently considered writing YA. I read it, I like it, it's a fun way to tell stories, so I really want to pursue it too. to think more about the names thing. Aack! Lol.

Widow Dyer said...

Yeah, I don't write erotica and am not a big reader of it. Like you, I'm not a prude about it in the least. I love a good, steamy scene. ;)

The novella I'm working on is YA. And you're right, the genre is fun. I love it, although I remember wishing there were more humorous YA books out there. So I decided to put up or shut up.

And don't drive yourself crazy about coming up with a new pen name. I have a feeling the name will come to YOU. :)