Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shhh! Writer in hiding!


I'll have to admit that when I first started writing, a number of friends asked me if I was planning to use a Pen Name. My response at the time was WHY? I wasn't ashamed of what I wrote and I didn't really mind telling anyone that I wrote romance. So once I got that first contract, I stuck to my guns and wrote very hot romances under my real name. They did okay. Not AWESOME but okay as far as sales. But when I began writing erotic romance, I knew a change might be needed with the whole 'fake name' thing. For awhile I stubbornly clung to the idea of using my real name. I mean, I had a website, a blog, yada yada. If I took on a pen name would I have to do two of everything? The very idea made me shudder.

Anyway, I sat down with the family and we had a discussion about it. My kids were totally cool with whatever I decided but I could tell by the look on my husband's face that he was a little concerned. We don't much cotton to hypocrisy at our house. We tend to call things what they are and avoid pretentious, judgmental bullshit but in this matter, considering the material I'd be writing, he felt it best for me to write under a pen name for my steamy stuff. Since I live in a fairly narrow minded, ultra conservative town in Texas, I readily agreed.

So yes, I write under a pen name and I've adjusted just fine. Most of my readers know my real name and my close friends certainly do so it's not a HUGE secret but the local folks, for the most part, don't know what I write and that's probably a very good thing.

Just heard from a writer friend who'd decided from the very beginning to write under her own name and she is seriously 'creeped out' by an email she just got from a local guy who referred to her 'smut books' and how he'd love to discuss her 'fave titles' with her sometime. EWWWWW. Yeah, she's a little freaked out over it and I'm wondering if she regrets not taking a pen name.

Umm. Yeah, glad I got that pen name. I really AM!

Other News: Reviews are beginning to come in for Highland Beast. Just got this one and I'm psyched! It's scary beginning a new series and I was secretly a little worried about how the book would be received. Breathing a bit now!

This is from Amelia at Sensual Ecatromance and she gave it a 4.5 rating!

The first connected book about intriguing shifters by Regina Carlysle is captivatingly innovative in both characters and plot. This talented author sets the heat at fire level in an exceedingly passionate yet heartfelt story of unexpected love and intense longing.

With her powerful empathic abilities, Martha Bennett has found living in a remote part of Texas makes her life easier as she can avoid feeling the emotions of those around her. When she purchases a very old mirror, she is stunned to be awakened one night by potent sentiments when no one is nearby. Even more bizarre is how different the appearance of the glass in the mirror looks. As she closely investigates, Martha knows she must be dreaming when a black wolf is revealed and it suddenly turns into a most impressively built plus handsome man. When she puts her hand towards the mirror after he beckons to her, she finds herself going back through time to the castle of a Highland shifter.

Although Silas MacAdam was cursed by a witch for not loving her, his thoughts about the woman now with him after three hundred years of being alone are much different. The wholehearted desire between Silas and Martha is mutual, and their expression of these feelings is explosively impassioned. When an incident has them going back to Texas in the present, they find their bond is just as strong as it was in his time. Since he was once king of the lycans, Silas would very much like to be with his own kind again. However, he believes Martha is destined to be his true mate, and it is his goal to persuade her to stay with him regardless of what the future brings.

Regina Carlysle adds her own special brand of wit, passion and fascination to create a story where the sexy hero and spirited heroine will leave you wanting more of their exploits. The deep inner feelings of Silas and Martha are evident at any time, whether they are actually together or just thinking about each other. Their emotional and physical connection is powerful from the very first, and the strength of this bond is almost palpable as they continuously prove how much they care with spoken declarations and actions. With sex being an extremely important part of their relationship, there are plenty of red-hot moments overflowing with fiery sensuality. This couple communicates with words and deeds in a delightful manner, as there is some playful teasing intermixed with the overwhelming craving they feel for the other. The supernatural aspects of the story are cleverly depicted, where the incredible seems completely reasonable. From the mystical mirror to shape-shifting to psychic abilities, the reader will want to believe in the magical elements being portrayed. The power of love also comes into play, especially when an unforeseen twist arises and causes some soul-searching by Silas and Martha. Regina Carlysle draws you into her spellbinding world where the supernatural is the norm. HIGHLAND BEAST entertains, intrigues and titillates with its fascinating premise and memorable couple.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it makes sense to use a pen name when we all can be 'found' with relative ease on the internet. I'm still trying to get used to people calling me by my other name, though! Plus congrats on the review!
Tessie Bradford

Donica Covey said...

Love using pen names! I have two because under one name I market romantic suspense and paranromal romantic comedy plus initially there were some Inspirational romances I had out there. Then I one day wrote an erotica and knew I had to have a seperate name for that!

GREAT article!
Hugz

Amber Skyze said...

With all the crazy people out there, using a pen name is definitely a good idea. Also I still work full time and I'm sure they wouldn't understand why I write erotica.

Melisse Aires said...

I'm using a pen name for pretty much the same reasons. Lots of people know my real name, but I prefer knowing some wacko would have a hard time tracking me down to my front door.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I use a completely made up pen name for my erotic romance. for my other titles its not my full name but a partial version of it. LOL.

Congrats on the review

jessefox1968 said...

Jesse Fox is my pen name. I never doubted I would write under a pen name. Unfortunately in this day and age you can't be sure who will find out what you do. The last thing I needed was my boss to find out I was writing m/m erotic romance.

She's conservative, old fashion, and a practicing Catholic. I wasn't willing to take a chance of losing my day job, I bloody well need it. Despite what people might think things like that do happen.

My close friends and some of my family know I write and what I write. That's good enough for me. :-)

Jesse Fox

Mia Watts said...

Excellent points in favor of pen names.

Great review and very well deserved.

Regina Carlysle said...

I'll admit the whole notion of TWO websites, etc, just boggled my feeble mind. :-) I finally decided that the titles under my REAL name don't sell as well as the titles under my pen name so I won't be writing any more under my real name. Sticking with the erotica for now. I DID add my real name titles on my website and have included them on my blog. Don't know how much that helps with anonymity but...oh well.

Regina Carlysle said...

Another thing...it's really kind of 'freeing' to just go with your writing without having the worry that local folks (who won't understand) finding out.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Oh yeah, been up and down this road--not sure sticking with my real name was the best idea, but it's a little late now...

Anny Cook said...

Started with my pen name and I've never been sorry. Never want to be tracked down by the unhappy or weird.

Regina Carlysle said...

I'm happy I did the pen name thing when I did. If you have many many titles out there, it makes it harder to take one on.

Julia Barrett said...

An amazing review and well deserved. I prefer the anonymity of pen names.

Anne Rainey said...

Er, blogger ate my comment. Strange.

Anyway, congrats on the review, Regina!! That's certainly one to be proud of!

I use a pen name too. Makes me feel schitzo at times though. LOL

Josh Lockwood said...

Well, I'm a male romance writer and this is a subject very close to my heart. I know, in the UK, there are several male romance writers using feminine pen names so their work is more marketable, and friends have advised me to do the same thing.

I think, though, that if I ever got well-known enough to have a book signing, I wouldn't be able to sit there and sign my name as 'Rachel' or 'Mary' for the people buying my books. Just don't think I could do it.

So I write under my real name and if people can't handle it, that's their problem.

Regina Carlysle said...

A very tough decision to have to make, Josh. A very well-known romance writer, Leigh Greenwood, is also male...his real name is Howard and he's very public about the fact he is male writing in a predominately female profession. His many fans adore him and I believe he does do booksigning. Interesting dilemma though, isn't it? All the best to you, Josh. Many guys are having great success writing romance and why not? Good writing and a great story is the same, no matter the gender of the writer.

Fran Lee's Romance Blog said...

Pen names are a must in erotic writing. Too many6 people out there who equate one's lifestyle and personality to the stuff they write. Hoy cow, Batman! If I did half the stuff I write about, I'd be too tired to move! LOL!

Congrats on the great review!

Elle Parker said...

I always planned to use a pen name, just because the idea is so romantic (and my own name is pretty plain and common), but I'll admit I like the slight layer of anonymity it gives me.


Elle Parker
http://elleparkerbooks.blogspot.com/

Regina Carlysle said...

A friend actually ASKED if I did the stuff in my books. Just about died. Choked on my coffee! HA

Regina Carlysle said...

I know what you mean Elle. Friends have grinned really BIG when they whisper...do you have a, you know, a PEN NAME???? As if it's the coolest thing ever. HA.

KaiaLogan said...

Yep, I use a pen name. My real name is quite unusual, probably unique actually, and I value my privacy--especially from the weirdo stalkers! :-)

Jacquéline Roth said...

I started with my name but developed a pen name for two reasons. Amarinda Jones raised the idea for me of "brand identification". The work I was doing had significantly different levels of heat in the romance. The second reason I chose to use a pen name was because I can be expoed to public scrutiny in my job.

Kenzie Michaels said...

I use two pen names, because of the two different genres, and the fact I have teen readers.

It's taken me a while to get used to the new name, and actually had a dream I was on Letterman, who asked 'Which one of you is here?'

Maybe I'm secretly a split personality???

Great review Reg:)