By this point, most of you know I’m intending on finishing Resurrection and Stronger than the Night and submitting both this year. Hopefully I can have Resurrection in the mail by May. (Perhaps sooner, but I’m not going to hedge any bets on that, what with my health and all.)
This has gotten me thinking about pen names. When I very first started writing, I intended to publish under my legal name, Heidi Elizabeth Smith. My loathing for that name has grown over the years, though, and I’ve since instead used H. E. Smith.
However, I’ve been considering changing my name. At this point, what I’m leaning towards the most is Elisabeth Nonny Morgan, when my male and I are handfasted, married, or whatever we decide to do. If I change my name to that, I’d use it as either Elisabeth Morgan or Elisabeth N. Morgan. Which I like — it looks and sounds very elegant.
There’s other names I’ve considered using for pseuds at various points, but that’s not quite the dilemma I’m running into.
The other day, I found some old notes regarding the world setting for Resurrection. I’d forgotten that I’d connected it with the world for Stronger. Not directly — multiple worlds are connected by portals which powerful mages/shamans/etc can open. There’s a subplot in the book I had plotted involving the MC and a character from the vampire homeworld.
So… Stronger is fantasy/romance crossover. Resurrection and the rest of the books set on the Shifter World will be erotic romance. But they’re both set in the same universe. Do I use the same pseudonym for them, or different ones?
To make it even more complicated… I have an epic fantasy trilogy, Shadow’s Blade, that takes place in the distant past of the vampire homeworld. As in, thousands of years ago. I have another book plotted, A Cry For Elaine, that is set in the same world, about 500 years behind present day, which is fantasy/romance a la Jacqueline Carey. (And this isn’t counting books I have in other unconnected settings.)
So I have three, perhaps four, different classes of fiction all set in the same universe. Do I use the same name for all of them? Do I use different names per series / obvious setting? Like, use one for Stronger and the other books in that series, a different one for Shadow’s and A Cry For Elaine and other books, etc?
Should I use one for the stuff in that particular connected setting and use pseuds for other work? Or should I just give it all up and use one name for everything?
I really don’t know. I’ve heard from writers who span genres that it’s best to use pseudonyms, even if you’re open about them on your website and in author bios in the books. On the other hand, with so much connected, it might make more sense to write them under one name.