Yes, it did hurt a little, in case you were wondering.
However, it is quite an important musing for me to be making. One I can’t really ignore. And one I need to be figuring out pretty sharpish.
Pen Names: Yay or nay?
I ask simply because I am seriously considering writing a YA novel. I’ve had the story rolling around in my head for a couple of months and the ideas have been slowly evolving and expanding and improving and I’m actually getting pretty excited about what it could turn into.
BUT … I only write (normally) adult paranormal romance or urban fantasy–under my own name.
Now, that’s not to say that I can’t break from my mould. But my adult PNR/UF is what I’m slowly becoming known for. And that worries me should I cross over into the realm of YA.
It doesn’t concern me where my adult readers are concerned, however. A whole HEAP of adults who love PNR/UF also love the same genre in YA.
What does concern me is any YA readers of my YA work hunting and finding my not-so-YA stuff. Not that I write anything particularly bad. I’m certainly no erotica writer. But there are scenes of intimacy in pretty much every adult work I write/have written.
So I’m confused and unsure about what to do for the best. Particularly when some authors have novels in both the adult and YA categories and seem to have managed the cross over very well.
Like Rachel Vincent or Kelley Armstrong, for instance. Both had an adult series out (an ongoing one in Kelley’s case) when they had YA works published. When I Tweeted Rachel with: @rachelkvincent You mind me asking what made you decide to write under the same name for your YA as you did your adult novels? #justcurious, she kindly responded with: @JABelfield The fact that I had an already-established audience that might also like YA in the same genre**. as well as pointed out that many authors have gone this route, naming Richelle Mead and Jenna Black as a further two.
To be honest, I was unsurprised by her reasoning.
In fact, I figured it a pretty shrewd move that these authors kept their pen names the same: in the cases of Rachel and Kelley, both had a readymade adult audience who would either trust them enough as a writer to follow along into their YA realms, or who would have younger (ie: YA) members in their families who they could perhaps encourage to read these new younger themed titles coming out. Surely it must have beat beginning from scratch as a ‘never-heard-of’ author?
Do the majority of authors who cross over keep the same name whether they write YA or adult?
Or do the majority of them go to great lengths to keep those identities separate to protect their younger audiences from their adult titles?
What would be the benefits of using separate pseudonyms (other than that already mentioned)?
Let’s hear your thoughts on this? To split personality or not split personality, that is the question.
(**Many thanks to Rachel Vincent for allowing permission to quote her)