Okay, that may be a wee bit of an exaggeration*.
It got your attention, though, right.
I was having a ‘discussion’** with a friend yesterday about the latest wankfest to come to light in the m/m romance community***.
‘He’**** and I agreed it was absolutely fine and dandy for an author to have a pseud; however, our opinions differed about how many names someone should write under, particularly if it was in the same genre and/or sub-genre.
‘He’ thought more than one was just pretentious and could cast doubt upon an author’s reputation*****.
Whereas I reckon three pseuds seems to be a nice round number.
But what do you think? Do you agree with my friend******? Or do you have some other figure in mind?
* Okay, a lie. Let’s put it this way… do you really want to go on my shit list?? Yeah, didn’t think so. Answer the damned poll.
** The quotation marks mean it was somewhat heated.
*** Like anyone is shocked. *rolls eyes*
**** You can just never be too sure these days.
***** Actually that wasn’t what ‘he’ said, but let’s be civil, shall we.
****** So there wasn’t any friend. I bet it made you wonder who I was talking about though.*******
******* Also, I didn’t want anyone to think I was having conversations with myself, especially arguments********. I’m not that crazy.
******** I won, btw.
It's not just the MM world. Major wankfest going on on Goodreads that started with Becca Fitzpatrick writing a blog post he also posted on Goodreads telling aspiring authors who blog, that if you give a bad review of her book or any other author's book, don't expect to get a blurb an in some instance an agent or to get published at all.
When are authors going to learn that arguing in public with a reviewer who even says you write total crap and our book should be burned because it sucks so much is not the way to go.
SCK remember if you say anything bad about my work, the wrath of my demon sheep will come down on your head! Muah.
First of all, KB/KT, I think we need some linkage so we can all continue to revel in the insanity. I've been seriously enjoying the stuff on Erastes blog. In fact, I've been trying to figure out just how many evil commenters there actually are, and just how many of them are authors.
If an author wants to write under multiple names in the same genre, then I think there should be a good reason, like one pseud is for hardcore bdsm and another for sweet and light comedy. And, I would try to keep it limited because honestly, the more you have the more likely you are to develop split personality disorder, or just go plain batsh**t, as we can also see has happened on Erastes' blog.
Difficult question. I can see a different pseuds for different genres. If you write for the kindergarten set you don't want to have some parent flipping out because you write the hot buttsecks.
So I'm saying one for each genre (I'm sure most people don't write in more than a couple unless you are EXTREMELY prolific.
So in any one genre, I think two is plenty. I even think one is fine. LOL I don't have a problem with an author who generally writes m/m mysteries, suddenly writing a sci-fi or a romantic comedy. I'm not going to go “ewwww, they write mysteries, I'm not going to read their sci-fi”. If I like your style and think you can tell a good story in a mystery, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you can write good sci-fi or comedy. I know there are certain authors who write in a sub-genre or even in a specific “world” and that is the only thing you'll ever find by that author, but I find that kind of weird, but I'm saying 2 per sub-genre, 3 with a very good justification.
It looks to me that in this case there is one for each voice in your head. But I am still researching this.
I'm not smart enough to keep track of a bunch of names. That's why I only write under one. So what you see is what you get 🙂
Although….Bimbo Bambi Boom-Boom has a nice ring to it. Maybe I'll start writing under that.
Now I know why a certain mutual friend wanted a sock puppet yesterday!
I don't mind different pseudonyms for different genres. Honestly, if an author rights erotica and young adult, it's probably a good idea to have two different names.
Now, in the same genre? Why not just use one? I guess I can see using one for BDSM, one for cowboy books, etc. to address the sub-genre issue, but I don't see being secretive about it. Really, how many personae can a person keep up before he/she/whatever starts getting his/her autobiographies and supposed lives confused?
I still don't get why authors ever think it helps them look better to make negative comments on reviews. Honestly, it just makes them look bitter.
I don't really care how many names or personae or whatever an author chooses, cuz seriously? I just read their books. You know? They aren't destroying my life by using a name that suggests a different gender or whatever. ~shrugs~ They aren't cheating on me with a different set of fans down the street…
If their goal in using a different name is positive, like selling books, hiding from a stalker, forgetting a past lover, living out a dream of being a third world dictator with a penchant for web-toed women….or just thoughtof a cool name they wanted to try out then more power to ya!
If the goal is to hide behind an alias so it looks like someone agrees with their maniacal machinations which in turn affects the happiness of our little group, then…
I say stab them. A lot.
oh…and I love you!
Jason no fraternization with the writers.
I know a man from New York City and I will turn you in to the reviewing police who will confiscate all your words and stuff.
Can I just agree with whatever it is you want me to – even though I love you madly, I'm just a wee bit scared of you still.
Juni, it is always best to approach Kris with a certain amount of fear and caution.
*runs and hides*
KBC: I remember you giving me the linkity to that other stuff. Bloody hell, although I have to admit I'm intrigued by the notion of a YA mafia. I need to know more about that.
Alaina: “If an author wants to write under multiple names in the same genre, then I think there should be a good reason…”
Maybe the good reason is that the author had a split personality to begin with. 😛
Tam: “I can see a different pseuds for different genres. If you write for the kindergarten set you don't want to have some parent flipping out because you write the hot buttsecks.”
I reckon that's totally understandable, but I don't get why you would write under different names in the same genre. I think most readers are like you and I and wouldn't give a toss whether an author decided to try their hand at fantasy mpreg as opposed to contemporary thrillers. Scratch our heads maybe, but that's it.
Ask an ye shall receive!
Teddy: but…I like my words and stuff. 😦
Teddy Pig: “It looks to me that in this case there is one for each voice in your head.”
That would explain a lot, especially if some of those voices happen to be gay men who like lots of different initials.
BTW, I hope you're not researching me cos that would be plain rude.
Stephani; 'I'm not smart enough to keep track of a bunch of names.”
I'd say there's probably a good argument for having the smarts to stick with one name. ;P
Eyre: “I guess I can see using one for BDSM, one for cowboy books, etc. to address the sub-genre issue, but I don't see being secretive about it.”
I don't really get it myself. I think it's limiting. It also makes me wonder if the author is trying to protect their readership base. That makes it seem as if they are in it purely for the money.
Bitter and petty are the words that immediately spring to my mind too.
I don't understand why an author would need more than 1 pseud in the same genre. If the argument is that they need a different name for each subgenre (cowboys, bdsm, etc) they write about so readers don't get confused, I don't buy it. Many authors write in diff subgenres under one name. JL Langley writes cowboys, shifters, and sci-regency under the same name and readers are smart enough to figure out which books are which. (And yes I know she uses a slightly diff name for het, but that's a diff genre.)
I just find the use of multiple names annoying. If I like your book, I want to be easily able to find other books by you. And conversely, if I don't like your writing style, I don't want to be tricked into buying other books by you because I think it's a diff author.
Now there is a poll!
How many gay men actually go by the first two letters of there name.
Because I don't know if I ever met any that did.
I mean you got Jason and I go by Dick and even Josh and well I know a lot of steve's and jason's and I have known my fair share of Dick's but not many A.J. Or R.T. Or you know the alphabet that is in my TBR pile.
Jase: “If the goal is to hide behind an alias so it looks like someone agrees with their maniacal machinations which in turn affects the happiness of our little group, then…
I say stab them. A lot.”
*clutches pearls* zOMG, Jase! Are you implying that an author might create a second persona in order to jump to the defense of the first?!
Oh, lawdy me. Why that's…
completely fucked beyond all possibly recognition. *smiles sweetly*
Oh, and I love you too. *smooches*
Juni (& Eyre): Wusses. Even though of course you should always agree with me.
Richelle: “I just find the use of multiple names annoying. If I like your book, I want to be easily able to find other books by you. And conversely, if I don't like your writing style, I don't want to be tricked into buying other books by you because I think it's a diff author.”
Word. That is one of the major criticisms of the Torquere Press writerly crew.
There is also the issue of misrepresentation, especially if the first persona fucked up somehow (for eg, by creating a wankfest) and then creates a second in order to escape his/her murky past. That's not very cool.
Teddy Pig: What about B.J.??
Oh, c'mon! You all know I had to go there.
Why do I get the impression that Jase would autobuy an author who had the initials B.J.??
*ponders* I wonder what would happen if B.J.'s surname was Bear??
Teddy and I would both be checking him out. 🙂
Wowza– that Becca Fitzpatrick post is a minefield of nastiness! But, now I understand so much more about what prompted GR to try and institute that author warning system, which in itself seemed to ratchet up emotions to a boiling point (mine included, I'm sorry to say).
As I was trolling through the comments to Fitzpatrick's post, I ran across a link to a post on the topic by Ilona Andrews (whose books I have tried and not enjoyed, but supposedly they get better than the one I didn't care for). Anyway, I realize even her sound advice won't get through to the crazies, but I thought it was well-done all the same:
Jase: Ree-hee-eel-lee. The things you learn…
Alaina: It's a hot mess, isn't it. And on both sides. Not pretty at all.
But I can't believe you don't like Ilona Andrews?? Are you mental?! Or do you need new glasses that will actually connect your taste back to your brain instead of out of your arse.
So, how was that?
I think I have a natural talent for this rabid fan stuff.
Actually I knew a kid (younger than me) that was called BJ. Not sure if he's gay now. But it was Billy Jr. so his family referred to him as BJ. And who can forget BJ and the Bear?
I think a lot of guys with Jr. use it, but I don't know any personally, gay or straight. Maybe it's not a Canadian thing?
So where's the poll? It took me 15 minutes* to figure out what you were asking, and then I realized that there is no actual poll**!
Do you think it's possible some authors/friends of authors are doing all this wanking just to stir up some business? Maybe it's all a big conspiracy!
I wish I'd known about the initial thing earlier. I could've been I. M. Hawt.
*might be a slight exaggeration.
** you know, the kind with answer choices and little buttons to click on.
Wren, if I ever write anything, my pseudonyms are going to be Glory Hole, Ima Slutt, and Ophelia Ball.
You should have just stuck with R.N. Wren?
We should all have a try of this pseudonym thing – such fun we could have.
LOL, Wren! 🙂
Teddy makes an excellent point about the two initials being generally female peeps. I have a lot of respect for TA Chase for ending the ambiguity and 'fessing up. I think very, very, very poorly of anyone who feels the need to hire an actor for author photos and appearances – that smacks of fraud. I'm perfectly ok with authors simply being ambiguous, too.
I think having multiple pseuds would be way too complicated to maintain, personally.
Eyre: Remember that old joke? Seymore Butts?
Juni: RN Wren? So could I also be Nurse Wren?
Chris: I think those of us with weak minds could easily slip into schizophrenia if we had too many a.k.a.'s!
I do remember Seymore Butts, but I'm better acquainted with his cousin Harry. 😉
Kris I love your blog. I'm really laughing at this one too. I don't Jason or Teddypig but I love your comments too.
I saw the review on Erastes blog and I felt like Will Ferrrel in Zoolander. It's the same person… reader/ author/reader/author etc. When you start agreeing with yourself on these blogs it's just makes a reader never want top pick up one of your books.
I believe a person can have a pseud if they want to protect their identity.
Let's just not create fantasyland where you have ten different egos, change your sex and start talking about your fictional dating life…
Did I just say that;)
I don't really care. I figure most authors have multiple identities for publishing in different houses… happens with Het authors, as well as MM authors.
I figured I better weigh in, I already have so many strikes against me 🙂
There should have been a comma after R.N., Wren so that it would be R.N. Boudreau (say it quickly).
How about the old school favorite- Max E. Pad?
Ok I have a question… can pointing out the writer knows how to properly spell their fictious last name count as one nice thing in a review?
Someday I wants ta be a professional review like person and all that. So I thought I would ask first.
TP: The spelling thing could've been an editorial save…
Maybe with other authors Teddypig but not the author your talking about….You'll have a bunch of zombie reviewers from the same head, writing at you…ONE NICE THING…ONE NICE THING LOL
Ok then I will go back to Kris' need for a author name with B.J.
Billy Jack Offonu
What hell are we talking about again?
Wren: Just because there aren't any buttons doesn't meant that it isn't a poll. It's like guys being het even though they have a prostate. 😛
Chris: “I have a lot of respect for TA Chase for ending the ambiguity and 'fessing up.”
Agreed. She – forgive the pun – had the balls to reveal herself before it was found at by all. You gotta respect that.
JJ: “When you start agreeing with yourself on these blogs it's just makes a reader never want top pick up one of your books.”
HEY! I do that all the time. You trying to tell me something or what?!
PS: “Let's just not create fantasyland where you have ten different egos, change your sex and start talking about your fictional dating life…
Did I just say that;)”
*taps nose and winks* We definitely need to get drunk together in New Orleans.
Mariana: Oh, you're so racking them up.
*whispers* Which het authors? Email me!
Teddy Pig: I think so, but you have to use big words to point out the nice thing.
Kris you're on…I'll buy the first round…
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Let's try this again.
It seems counterproductive for an author to dick with a bunch of pseuds, unless (as some people have said) s/he writes in two “clashing” genres. Why make it unnecessarily difficult for readers to keep track of your work?
BTW, I never gave any thought to the initials thing. Don't gay men have initials? Or do they have a particular aversion to them, because something of anatomical value falls off if they use initials in their names?
On a related note, there are quite a few female authors in this genre who don't use initials but do have androgynous names that could be construed as masculine: James Buchanan, Erastes, Alex Beecroft, Chris Owen, etc. None of them is actively trying to deceive readers about her gender.
I guess what I'm saying is, the nature of an author's name isn't a valid indicator of that author's gender or orientation — or level of honesty.
Hell, I have no clue what's going on here, so I'm not going to make any assumptions or jump to any conclusions. I do know rabid fans exist and sometimes take it upon themselves to behave like flying monkeys. However, that doesn't mean the authors they're defending are encouraging their behavior. Or actually ARE those monkeys.
(Boy, I sure managed to cram a lot of editorializing into my “poll” answer, didn't I? *g*)
That Sean Kennedy sure is faboo.
Aww, thanks, Maisy!
I just spewed diet coke on the computer screen, not that I don't think you're fabulous Sean. You are. LMAO!
Hi, Maisy! 😉
You're all full of doo. (And I don't mean the “didgeri-” variety.)