Okay, so maybe I don’t… But that’s because there’s a second pen name so many authors are hiding behind when they choose to write something racy, highly erotic, taboo, filthy, etc… Why?
To be fair, I’ve been putting serious thought for about a year into adding a new pen name. Either for all my paranormal stuff or for some dirty romance I want to write. Because the last thing authors want to do is alienate readers.
At the same time, authors don’t want to generally be pigeonholed or typecast or stifled.
The case for pen names having a finite shelf life? I’ve heard it. The case for if you write so many different things, Amazon doesn’t really know what to do with you and your ‘Also boughts’. I’ve heard it. The case of a new pen name may add life to the new genre you’re trying to write in as opposed to using your usual pen name. I’ve heard it too.
No, I don’t want to alienate you guys. I don’t want to lose any of you, but given the content of some of the stuff I’m writing to release later this year, I likely will. Because I’m doing it under Lissa Matthews. It’s possible it won’t sell. It’s possible it will damage the Lissa Matthews name/brand, whatever that means. It’s possible. All things are possible. But I’m going to do it anyway. If it starts having adverse effects, I’ll play around with some new pen names.
I guess what started this is… I’ve read a number of books the last year or so where the authors were New York Times Best Selling authors who liked writing taboo and dirty stories. Maybe they didn’t want anyone to know it was them? Maybe they’re big publishing house published and the didn’t want the publisher to know. Maybe they’re afraid of alienating readers if they don’t use a new name. I don’t know. I would ask if I knew what name they normally write under.
A friend of mine wrote a series outside her normal style and the books didn’t do well until she changed the name on them to something completely different than her usual pen name and they sold like hot cakes. I’ve watched several authors do this. Then, I’ve watched others write everything under one name and it work, whether they walk the taboo edges or the paranormal romance lines. The readers will lap it up.
I started in this business writing bad boys with tattoos and lots of sex. I had grand ideas. I was quickly tossed off the roof and I’ve been roaming around in the bushes ever since. Before I sent anything to a publisher, I used to publish erotica on a free story/pic site. I wrote exhibitionist erotica, taboo erotica, bdsm erotica, painful emotional erotica, and erotic. I was exploring my own depths and I got incredible feedback. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the transition to the rules of publishing. I did, to a point. But to be honest, something has been missing for a long time. Fire. Passion. Pushing boundaries.
So, maybe you’ll like what I’m working on. Maybe you won’t. But, I won’t hide behind a mask. It’ll have my name. Lissa Matthews on the cover. It’ll be my own interpretation, my own vision of what I want to write. After all, that’s what indie publishing is all about, that’s what being a writer is all about.
I hope you’ll stick around…