What’s in a Name?
I’m trying out a pen name. Since I’m going to be writing nice, sweet, little Regency romances under this name, there’s no particular reason to keep it secret.
Some people do. They want to keep their politics separate from their writing life, genres apart from each other, or just for fun. All perfectly acceptable reasons, though I’ve never personally seen or heard a reader go, “Ew, this person writes fantasy AND sci-fi! Yuck; I’m never reading any of their stuff again,” as long as the writer and publisher are careful to indicate which book is which. However, if you’re writing ultra-conservative Christian fiction under one name, it might be advisable to put your super sexy erotica under a different name, because those genres aren’t even remotely related.
I’m trying out this pen name as an experiment. Don’t worry; readers of this book aren’t going to be kidnapped in the middle of the night, driven to a creepy-looking laboratory, and subjected to a battery of weird tests. The experiment is to see if the average reader of sweet Regency romance really does look at the author’s name, or not. I took a poll on the subject a few weeks ago, on a genre group that I belong to, and the results were somewhat inconclusive. This may have been operator error- I asked a bunch of questions in the poll, all related but they could have caused some confusion. I mostly got a lot of information about choosing a pen name- it should be memorable, in keeping with other authors in the genre, and have personal meaning so you don’t forget your own ‘name’.
And you may have noticed that I have a rather odd first name, to make up for my bog-standard last name. Mom thought that Blake was a girls’ only name, apparently; she could never understand why I didn’t like it. Having a unisex name causes a lot of minor confusion, which I usually don’t mind nowadays. But if it’s causing people to pass over my books, that’s a problem.
So, new name. I’ve always liked Anna, but my DH won’t let me use it for a kid, because one of his friends is called that. And Ferreira is Portuguese for Smith, which amuses me because it would have been DH’s middle name if not for a very strong-willed ancestress (not who you think; this lady was born in the late 1800s, IIRC) who wanted the kids to have HER name and no one else’s.
With any luck, it’ll help me rope in some new readers. If I’m really lucky, they’ll become fans; the few of you currently enjoying that status must get bored. And I know you guys. When you’re bored, the walls get painted in a pink camo pattern, suddenly there are baby alligators in the bathtub, nine thousand bottles of booze and ten thousand pieces of bacon, and a disco ball hanging in the living room.
Have a book, instead. Christmas at Blackheath is a sweet little romance, perfect for some light reading in between putting up the tree and baking a mountain of cookies. It’s on sale until Friday:
Agnes Rawlins would never dream of showing a melancholy face to her brother’s guests. She may be a spinster, and treated little better than any common housekeeper, but she is responsible for bringing Christmas cheer into the dark and rambling Blackheath Manor, and she does not shirk her duty, even when she has little reason to celebrate.
William Marlowe, Viscount Claridge, has reluctantly accepted an invitation to spend the Christmas season at Blackheath. It’s not his first choice- how anyone could wish to spend time in the gloomy manor house is beyond him- but when he meets the kind and gentle lady of the house, he find that Christmas at Blackheath might not be so bad after all.