1. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Sufficiently different to employ a pseudonym...?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Noya Desherbanté, Nov 25, 2010.

    They say, in Their infinite wisdom (;)), that if you write in wildly different genres you should assume a pseudonym for one or both so that a) your present name, if it's particularly suited to one (e.g. Buck McGrowlerson for westerns), won't look wildly out of place on the other, and b) you don't lose potential readers, who look at your book and say: "This Victorian love story looks good - oh, it's by Buck McGrowlerson. I bet it's full of target practise and desert plains."

    Would anyone be able to tell me if my two styles are different enough to warrant another name?

    On the one hand, my main output I've discovered is humorous fantasy, with a historical and rural flavour. Nothing saccharine - it can often be very black, gallows humour, and I'm not afraid of slinging in some gore. For example I've been writing an epic fairytale, in the style of Grimm, and a story about a young woman finding her feet in a village, and a story about a group of girls who reignite their neglected friendship and take down a mafia don who threatens their (again rural) village. They all go together pretty well, I think.

    Then I've just had an idea involving fictional politicians, set in a very fantastical, graphic-novel-esque world, and while lots of things remain similar - black humour, fantastical elements - I want to execute it in a much more metropolitan, cut-throat way than my usual rosy villages, and I'd use mostly male characters, where in my other books women were always in the lead.

    So - what are your thoughts? Would it be advisable to assume a male name? Or even just a different female one? I reckon so, but in your opinion, would a reader look at my fairytale and my political thriller-fantasy and go, 'well I've heard her romantic stuff's good, but I don't fancy her take on Westminster'? Any thoughts vastly, vastly appreciated. :D

    P.S. I do not intend in any way to use the name Buck McGrowlerson. It was purely for illustrative purposes, and I realise I might be exaggerating somewhat.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Orson Scott Card and Iain (M) Banks come to mind both write in different genres without pseudonyms (Iain Banks adds the M for scifi) - I actually read their women of the bible and detective stories first - and I went and read their scifi as a result.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's writing in different genres that would dictate taking a nom de plume, more than styles, imo...

    ...it would certainly be advisable to not use the same name for pb romances and a political thriller... but you're putting the cart before the horse, aren't you?... what books do you have completed right now that are ready to offer agents?... i suggest you get one book published before worrying about what name to use for future ones...
     
  4. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Gah - I meant to put genre for style, sorry. Genre is what I meant. My style would obviously change a little with different genres.

    And yes, I am rather putting the cart before the horse, but I love planning and find pseudonyms fascinating anyway. I've completed the aforementioned fairytale: the others are work in progress.

    And I'm not planning to pitch to agents, at least straightaway - I'm planning to soon embark on publishing with Kindle. I didn't mention that because I thought readers would have the same opinions on names associated with a particular genre, but if it is different, even a little, I'd love to hear some thoughts. :)
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure lol but I have my pen name ready for if I ever get a book published :)

    I think to be honest it is personal preference not sure readers are as stupid as writers and publishers make them out to be.

    I loved reading Eleanor Hibbert and to be honest it was obvious Victoria Holt/Philippa Carr and Jean Plaidy were the same author. Had she put Eleanor Hibbert on all her books it would have attracted me no matter what the genre.
     
  6. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if Buck is a real person or not, but either way you slice it, that's the best damn name for a Western author I've ever seen. Man, I may have to use him as a character for a future story one of these days.
     
  7. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Take him, you're more than welcome! I'm afraid I have no use for him, and he's only cluttering up the place, leaning against posts smoking and polishing his gun... :D
     

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