The other day, my editor sent me the galley for my paranormal romantic suspense, A Hunter’s Angel, which will be released sometime this year by The Wild Rose Press under my pen name—Cera duBois. In my excitement at seeing my first soon-to-be published book for the first time in any professional form, I showed my husband. First let me say, he is very supportive of my writing career, and I can even *get* where he’s coming from with some of what he’s saying. However, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, even though he thinks he does.
The moment he saw the title page and my pen name there big as you please, he started arguing with me about my reasons for using a pen name. In his way of thinking, it isn’t the same as the book being in my name. He had tons of reason why I shouldn’t use a pen name—everything from it will screw up the taxes to no one will be able to find my book to it would be easier for someone to steal the idea of the book or claim it as their own.
He actually doesn’t even like Sara Walter Ellwood, because that too really is a pen name. My maiden name isn’t my real middle name—but he can accept it over Cera duBois. He purposely mispronounces the last name all the time when he talks to people about my writing. Even though I tell him if he doesn’t want to say the French pronunciation, to just say “Du-Boys” like the Western Pennsylvania town of Dubois. I know he’s proud of me, if he wasn’t he wouldn’t be telling people I’m soon to be a published author. I think this is why my using a pen name is so upsetting to him. He doesn’t consider a pen name as a real thing. To him it’s fake, and therefore, maybe people will think the book is too.
He just doesn’t understand that very few authors actually use their real names. Unlike actors or singers, we authors seem to value our privacy more. Or if that’s not the reason for choosing one, it’s that our real names don’t fit the genre we write or is already in use by someone famous. Nor does he get that authors often have more than one pen name to separate the different genres in which they write.
Hence, the reason I chose one for my paranormals, which was a business decision. I know marketing two names won’t be easy, but I like the way I can market each genre differently under different names—with different branding and websites to match the diverseness of the genres.
Let’s face it… Contemporary Westerns are very different from paranormals with vampires, werewolves, fallen angels and demons… But then, I do have a vampire masquerading as a cowboy in A Hunter’s Blade which is set in a mountain town in Colorado. Maybe… No, I still can’t imagine wide-open Texas plains full of grazing cattle and beautiful horses mixed up with werewolves howling at the full moon from bleak forests. Well I can, but it’s not a pretty sight…LOL
So, tell me: Do you have or plan to use a pen name, and if you do, what’s your reasoning behind it? And if you don’t, would you ever chose to use one in the future? That way, the next time the dear hubby decides to argue with me, I can come back at him with some really good ammunition.