1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Separate identities for Children's versus adult works?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Steerpike, Oct 4, 2011.

    I'm preparing to publish my first book for young kids. It has some fantasy elements and maybe a "scary" scene or two, but is quite solidly in the realm of kids books.

    Most of the stories I write are for adults. They are usually science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Some of them certainly include material that is unsuitable for children. I am also working on a YA fantasy story that has some dark elements.

    For my works that are not for children, I use a pseudonym that I've used for a little while now. I'm trying to decide whether to use that same name for the children's book, or whether I am better off using a different name (my real name, for example) to provide some separation between the two.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I would recommend using a different name, to be honest. The problem is that with children's fiction, there tends to be a moralistic grandstanding (by my view, at least). It could potentially harm you as a writer of children's fiction if something "objectionable" were to feature in your adult fiction.

    It seems daft, but I wouldn't take the risk, especially when it's so easy to mitigate.
     
  3. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I would use the same name for both honestly.

    I don't understand what you are trying to avoid. I've run into the scenario as a teenager where I've read a book, and then happened to see a book by the same author that turned out to be a completely different genre. Sometimes I'll pick up the book, read a few pages and realize that it's not something that interests me and put it back down... but then sometimes the plot is somewhat interesting and I still give it a go even if it's not the type of book I usually read because I'm familiar with the author's writing style.

    I disagree. Usually what makes a kid's book a kid's book is just that it doesn't have swearing or suggestive themes or descriptions of violence or anything like that. I believe the Harry Potter series was considered "kid's books" for that reason.

    I suppose it really depends on how far to one side of the pendulum your "adult" books go vs how far on the other side of the pendulum the "kids" books go. I think the adult books would have to be considered really extreme to the point where a parent would go "I'm not going to buy this book because it's written by this author and I don't like how extreme his books are".
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @Banzai - that's the way I've been leaning, but I hadn't made a final decision yet.

    @agentkirb - some of the horror stories for adults contain fairly graphic material. I guess my main concern is that some kid reads the children's book, which is for first or second graders, and the kid or her parents like it enough to Google the author's name (which would be a nice situation to be in), and suddenly they come across some stories online that are not at all suitable for the same audience.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I agree with Banzai. Imagine how some people would react if, say, J.K. Rowling suddenly wrote a hardcore erotica book with lots of violence in it. There's nothing at all wrong with writing adult content, and most serious writers aren't just confined to one genre, but there's still often a standard that if you write for kids, you're expected to maintain a level of "appropriateness" (in the sense of being clean for kids) with your name in general.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, Mallory. I appreciate the feedback. I don't have anything that rises to the level of erotica, but some of the horror stories can get pretty nasty :)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, i agree it's best to not publish both types of books under the same name... for the reasons given...
     
  8. Tessadragon
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    Tessadragon Member

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    I must admit, when I go into the bookshop and see the name of an adult author in a children's section, it minorly annoys me, especially when I feel their stories are almost as mature as adult fiction, forcing the younger readers to act as mature as an adult. I see it as another symptom of making kids grow up faster, like making toddlers wear high heels.
     
  9. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    This is exactly why I'd use separate identities. I don't agree with the thinking myself (as a writer, I am perfectly capable of differentiating between pieces of my writing aimed at different target markets, and changing the content/style to be appropriate to that market), but people and public opinion tend to get funny where children are involved. Rowling took a fair bit of flack for the darker themes in Harry Potter, and yet I'm still mystified why parents seem vastly okay with the rampant misogyny of Twilight.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Twilight doesn't have rampant misogyny. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Perhaps rampant was a bit strong, but there are definitely worrying themes.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't agree, but that argument has been had over multiple threads.
     

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