This is the least comfortable part of the series for me because here, shy or no, I need to confess my past ignorance and mistakes. I will only post about this here, this one time, and then move forward.
My name is Barbara Keltz. I am an intensely private person, and yet my initial foray into the world of the internet was under my own name, B J Keltz. When I renewed my commitment to publishing (about a year after I had to shut down my web site), I made the decision to come back to the internet with two pen names, Hannah Scott and Robyn LaRue. Let me explain this as quickly as I can.
I write mainstream and literary stuff: coming of age stories, romantic suspense, O. Henry style shorts. I write dark stuff: a horror novella, a flash fiction piece about a serial killer in the making, dark characters who are not redeemed (and sometimes win).
I write “sweet” stuff for general audiences and I write “adult” stuff with subjects that are not appropriate for younger readers. I wanted to keep these two things separate. My intentions were good, but the work involved in launching two author careers almost simultaneously is just too much, and they will dilute the effort.
My concern is that I may not have the freedom to write what comes to me. I don’t like the idea of having to concentrate on one genre to the exclusion of others. So my mentor and I made a list of current finished projects, WiPs, and projects in pre-write. Though it is close, adult contemporary in several forms is more prominent, and Recompense, my one solid finished YA, is a crossover.
I don’t want to be pigeon-holed. Given the time to write, I am capable of producing at least four drafts a year. If I concentrated, I might polish two manuscripts a year for publication. Maybe I’ll have to carefully chose the ones I polish and leave the other drafts for a bit, because the reality is this: concentrating your efforts in one area has a bigger pay off. Do I like it? No. Do I have to work with it? Of course.
So, going forward, one pen name appears on all my social media: Robyn LaRue. If I am fortunate enough to be interviewed one day, I’ll make jokes about Light Robyn and Dark Robyn. J And going forward, I will concentrate adult contemporary and romantic suspense to publishers and the other pieces to independent publishing. I would be thrilled if my future publisher wanted those pieces as well, but if not, there is a plan for them.
The Rest of the Series
Part One: Where I Am – Starting at the (almost) beginning.
Part Two: Pie in the Sky – what do I really hope for by publishing? What is realistic?
Part Three: Creating a Plan – defining the steps to get from here to there.
Part Five: Gathering Support – putting together a personal support network from family, friends, and mentors.
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This is something I’ve been thinking about as well. I’m now writing in a variety of genres, and an upcoming novella will be pretty spicy, whereas my other books are PG. I read of one author who quite successfully just branded himself with his real name, even though he wrote in multiple genres. People figured out from the book covers and descriptions what was what. So why is the idea so scary for me?
Pingback: Where Am I Going? Part Five: Gathering Support | The Sarcastic Muse
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a
daily basis. It’s always helpful to read through articles from other authors and practice something from other sites.