Sunday, 15 January 2017

Why I don't (and probably won't) use pen names

2017 is going to be my writing year. I decided that in December when I published my first self-published book, What Lies Beneath the Mask. It's also the year I'm going to get serious about it all, and so far I've finished one draft this year, and have planned out what may turn into a grueling publishing schedule.

But the thing is, I want my writing to work for me. I want to enjoy it, and I want it to sell, because at the end of the day, that is what it'll take to make this work.

Now there seems to be a lot of advise around the internet on what authors should or shouldn't do to make the most of it, and pen names really seem to be an interesting one, often dividing decisions.

So first thing's first; I don't use a pen name. And the main reason (other than the fact I have a comfortably common name when all is said and done) is that I can't be bothered with a pen name and all that comes with it. It'd mean a new twitter feed, facebook, blog, google+ etc, all on top of my own personal ones, and quite frankly who has time for that!

Thing is, theoretically, I probably should have one. Especially because of my planned publishing schedule. As it stands I have two fantasy fairy tale novellas (plus one short story), and one romance currently out there. Plus a fantasy flash fiction story and a space opera short story, in anthologies.





And then...in the next three months, I have two Paranormal romances, and one paranormal/urban fantasy Shakespeare Retelling coming out.



Already that's three distinct genres, even if you group the paranormal, urban fantasy and fairy tales together. People have several different pen names for less, and that doesn't even cover the things that are on my to-write list (a sticky note on my computer!) To give you an idea, more PNR books are on there, as well as more space opera and (eventually) the next book in the Alventia series (fantasy fairy tale). I already have a cover for a historical (ish) book, and I have plans for time travel, dystopia and two different sword and sorcery fantasy books...don't think I've missed any there! 

So with all that, if I'm generous in my groupings, I end up with 4 genres (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance & Historical), except that most people would separate some of the others too. Now honestly, the idea of writing under two names makes me feel jittery! So four...well that's just not going to happen! Think of all the admin! 

At the end of the day, I'm writing for me and not for anyone else, and it's not like I'm writing anything to be ashamed of (a few tame sex scenes really aren't much to worry about!) so why wouldn't I want it under my name. Which is basically the deal maker for me; I can look at my covers and see my name. I can prove to all those people who didn't think I'd get very far in life, that actually I can. And I'm going to do it in multiple genres, because that's what I want to write! 

Plus, if by some miracle I do get a serious fan base, it'd be great for them to find new genres just from me! 

Oh and if you'd like to see the cover I have for my historical book, it's here!