Monday, March 28, 2011

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

I make no secret of the fact that I write under a pseudonym. There were a few reasons I chose this route, but the largest one was I didn’t want my ultra!religious grandfather Googling his family for funsies and discovering that I write books with swearing, moral ambiguity, and, of course, explicit sex scenes. Granted, there are a few other perks. I love stories with romance, but should I ever decide to pen something more mainstream, I’ll likely do it under something closer resembling my actual name. This will avoid confusing my erotic romance readers, and turning off readers otherwise inclined to buy books in that market.

For many people, pennames are a part of the trade. A good friend and contributor of Romancing the Muses writers her urban fantasy under one name and her steamier stuff under another, but makes no secret of it. Were I ever to attempt a hand at writing something I don’t currently write—ménage, for instance—it likely wouldn’t be under this name.

Pennames go a long way in providing anonymity, and the good news is there are no rules. You can keep your identity a secret, as Stephen King attempted with Richard Bachman, or be open about it, like JA Saare. People have any number of reasons to write under a different name. Want to try something different? Now’s as good a time as any!


Wulfie said...

Thanks for this. I've been getting so many different opinions on this that I'm about to commit sepku. I feel more comfy with the idea of using a pen name - when I envisioned being a successful writer as a kid, it was with a pen name. Adds to the mystery of me. lol Plus, I write in several genres in fiction (horror, UF, gothic,) and in paranormal subjects and new agey stuff in nonfiction.

I think people would get confused by all that under one name and on one site. But every writer I've asked for the most part says it's unnecessary and will negatively reflect back on me later. The entire issue has effectively frozen me from writing at all.

But does that mean I have to brand two names and two sites?

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