Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Unexpected Question

I actually meant to publish this Tuesday, but my older brother got hitched.  I'm still kind of boggled, if truth be told.  It was a very secretive, shotgun wedding, but I think they'll be happy together, and that's what matters.


New Year Day was my family party.  Word had gotten out that I’d self-published a novella under a pseudonym.  I’d expected to get asked a lot of questions about it, which I did, but there was one that took me kind of by surprise.

“Why didn't you publish it under your real name?”

Err…I’ll admit to being a little gobsmacked.  I mean, I’d published a regency romance, and most romance writers publish under a pen name.  It seemed so natural, so reasonable, that it took me a second to gather my scattered thoughts.  Cause I really did have a reason for publishing under a pseudonym.

I still want to publish my urban fantasies.  More, I want to publish them through a more traditional means (agent -> editor -> pub house -> bookstore) and I’d like to do that under my real name.  Although maybe not.  I still can’t imagine seeing Jennifer Milligan emblazoned on a cover with a kick ass heroine with titles like Lightning Strike or Blood and Dust.  Still, I’d like that option available.

And it’s not that I’m ashamed of self-pubbing.  I’m not.  I’m actually quite pleased with myself.  I’ve made no secret about being Diana Connell.  The other big consideration is separation of genre.  

There are a lot of authors out there who writer in multiple genres.  Some of them do it all under one name.  Mostly those that have well established, well known names.  Some write in genres that are similar enough to be shelved next to each other.  Others write in genres so different that in order to avoid the possibility to disappointing reader expectations, they writer under a pen name.

Hell, I know a couple authors that write in the same genre under two or three different pen names.

There’s a lot of reasons for publishing under a pseudonym, and my family accepted my reasons.  This whole publishing is a bit of a mystery to them, but that’s all right.  They support me, encourage me, and are glad to listen to me attempt to explain the complexities of seeking publication without really understanding any of it.

Because, you know, that’s what families are for.

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