I recall a dear friend of getting some hard times for using a pen name, especially one that is different to sex, but this is hardly a new thing, and I can understand why some people want to use a name that is sexually ambiguous, or flat out different, because certain genres people seem to like a certain sex to be writing them. (Because as we know the public at large can often be picky, shallow and just flat out stupid at times.)
For myself I change my mind often about what I am going to do. Currently as you know I have a pen name, one that isn’t so different from my real name and just to really separate my personal life from my writing life just a bit. I don’t think there is any right or wrong to it, and I have contemplated a different pen name if I branch out into different genres.
I recall reading somewhere that people used pen names when they were writing multiple books a year in different genres because people tended to not want to fork out money for the same author too quickly but would happily buy a book by another person. Which sounds logical if a little strange…
And then it brings the thought….what about the fan base you have on your first name, how do you make sure they all know that it is you, or should you be happy that new people who might be biased against the original work not being up their alley can find your new stuff and like it without that stigma….okay I’m rambling now but it made me think…again….about the topic.
I’ve recently run up against quite a lot of articles and persons who seem dead-set on authors finding a genre they’re good at and then sticking to it. As far as I can tell, this is partly because it’s hard to be good at disparate genres and partly because it’s hard to convince the reading public that you’re good at disparate genres.
I have no idea whether I’m good at disparate genres (yet), but I have no intention of limiting myself to one. Anyone who’s been to my About page knows that I putter around on a couple of different blogs, Always 1895 and my new Lost Knowledge blog, and those clearly represent very different interests. I mean, I know that people have pasted Sherlock Holmes and fantasy together before, but it’s still an unusual combination, and I have no intention of messing with both in one book. Even if…
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