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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IWSG: End of the Year


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. 

Thanks to this month's awesome hosts: J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey!


Congratulations to everyone who entered NaNoWriMo, whether or not you officially "won" (by writing 50k words). Congratulate yourself. You have more words written now than you did at the end of October. Consider yourself a winner. I do. 

I hope you’ve had a great month and a terrific year. We’ve all had our ups and downs. Winter in Michigan is so dreary. It really got to me in February. My daughter gave me a “happy” lamp to boost my intake of Vitamin D. Despite the emotional aspect, when I feel "down" I don’t want to move. I veg out in front of the TV. Not moving is bad for my back. Then, moving is painful because I’m stiff. A vicious cycle. So, I’m determined to move more and write more.

Despite the rough beginning, 2018 has been pretty good. I released one new book, Numbers Never Lie, a Romantic Suspense, re-released One Red Shoe (another romantic suspense) in ebook form (I need to get it out in print), and released two books that had been ebooks only as print ones: Romance Rekindled and Mission to New Earth. When I released the last two novellas, I hadn’t planned on putting them in print. But, as I did more book events (11 this year), I realized I should offer less expensive books as well as the longer novels.

What’s left for this month? Since 2013, I’ve been a regular contributor for The Roses of Prose blog. In December, each author posts a 3-day holiday short story. Mine will be up starting this Saturday, December 8th. I hope you’ll check it out.


Something I realized while doing the book events is that people are more willing to buy for their kids (and grandkids) than they are for themselves. I have a YA science fiction story in my computer that I’ve done nothing with. My plan for 2019 is to refresh and publish it. 

Here's my dilemma: my earlier books are spicy (R-rated) while my more recent books aren't but still are more for adults. For a YA, should I develop a new author persona (I have the domain name) along with a new website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? Rick Riordan and James Patterson write both adult and YA books under one name, so why am I concerned? Am I being overprotective of my (future) young readers? I'm really interested in your opinion.


I hope you’ll enjoy the holidays.



Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.



63 comments:

  1. You could use a totally different name or a variation on your current name for writing to the younger market. Living up North can be depressing! Too much snow and winter seems to never end. I hear ya. Be creative and keep moving, girl.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Yep, depressing winters here.

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  2. I'm looking forward to reading your short story this weekend - will make a note of it!
    I hope the winter will be kinder to you this year and the Happy Lamp will help. Take care!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I'm using the lamp and taking Vitamin D pills, so I hope the winter will be better.

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  3. I hear you about dreary Michigan winters. There are writers out there who write YA and adult under their same name. It's hard to establish a whole new name and website. Maybe search for writers who write for more than one age group and see how they do it. Kelly Armstrong is one author that comes to mind.

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    1. Thanks for the advice, Natalie. I will check out Kelly.

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  4. I still say that one name is a good way to go. As long as you make it clear that a book is geared toward whichever audience, that should be fine.


    Hope your short story goes over well and stay happy! :)

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    1. Thanks, Jean. You made me rethink what to do about the name.

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  5. Hi Diane, congratulations for all the books you have released this year. And its super that you have done 11 book events. Happy Holidays.

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  6. Good luck with your story! The decision to use a pen name is tough. I write various genres, and marketing that is difficult. I experimented this year and used a pen name for a new genre, and while it made marketing for that pen name easier, it added much more work to my daily routine to keep up another author brand. So you have to weigh which pros and cons you're willing to take on.

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  7. A very productive year! Major congrats on that front. It's a tricky balance weighing your name and a pen name, though I have not thought to use a pen name yet. Not sure I plan to.

    Enjoy the rest of this year. I want a happy lamp! :)

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    1. Thanks, David. The happy lamp is supposed to help. I haven't used it long enough to tell.

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  8. Congrats on all your releases, Diane!

    I once heard an incredibly successful author speak on the topic of different pseudonyms. She writes romance, erotica, westerns, and YA.

    She writes them all under one name. Otherwise, she would split her audience (not to mention the difficulty of promoting different names--most of us have a hard enough time promoting one). Her argument was that our readers are intelligent enough to decide for themselves. If your romance readers aren't interested in your YA, they won't buy it. But they might buy it for their kids.

    My vote would be to keep the one name. Your readers will figure it out.

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    1. Thanks so much. That's good advice. I appreciate your sharing it.

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    2. You're very welcome! Hope it helps.

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  9. That is a difficult question. I prefer writing until one pseudonym, but that because I believe that regardless of what it is that I write, I should be able to stand to it. I think it is really something that you have to be comfortable with. If you find yourself not comfortable, then choose a pseudonym for your YA books because that is big market.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I think you've hit on the crux of the thing--am I comfortable with the name I write under.

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  10. Tricky decision. Personally I think I'd avoid using another name if I could do that without risking causing upset/shock if readers ended up with something they weren't expecting.

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    1. Thanks, Patsy. If it was the reverse (writing YA first then switching) I'd have a bigger problem, I think.

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  11. Congrats on a productive year! As to the issue of writing YA under the same name, I'm with the majority here who say yes. Today's marketing makes it possible to clearly deliniate the audiences. And frankly, I read many an r-rated bodice ripper in junior high, because my mother had them laying all over the place. :-)

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    1. LOL, Lee. My mother never knew what I was reading as a young teen.

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  12. I think mostly under one name. It's not that confusing to others.

    Teresa

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. I'm surpringly pleased at the comments.

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  13. Wow you have been busy! So happy for you. I guess I have to say, since I write in different genres, to keep to one name. I know other's say differently, but name recognition is important, and, I think parents will know the difference, LOL. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

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    1. Thanks for your input, Lisa. I agree about name recognition. So important.

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  14. You did have a successful and productive year. Wow. I think the old thinking was that you should have two different names for different genres, but that is no longer true. We'll all too connected and everyone knows who is behind a pen name. Happy Holidays.

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  15. You've had a busy year!! Nicely done! :)
    I think you could go with one name - add 'ya author' or 'romance author' or something like that afterward when using social media. I can't imagine the nightmare of having to keep up 2 social media presences! Good luck with the decision :)

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    1. Thanks, Jemi. I agree about the nightmare. I barely have time to keep up with one name.

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  16. Even though I'm considering a second name, my advice to you is to go with one name only. It's way easier.

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  17. If you do two names, keep them under one banner like Elizabeth S. Craig (also Reily Adams I think) does.

    The events we do, the purchases are rather split between kids and adults.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I'll check out Elizabeth's banner.

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  18. These days, I think most readers are pretty savvy to the idea that a writer may produce work in different veins. Pen names are an easy way to brand those different types of work, but creating a media presence for more than one version of yourself can be very time consuming. You have to do what makes you comfortable, though. @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  19. When that nasty winter arrives, dress in your warmest clothes and go out for a walk! You'll feel the better for it and it will help in all other aspects of your life!

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  20. Yes on moving more and writing more in 2019! :)

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  21. From experience, I can share that having two pen names is tough. I write under an alias because of the content of my blog and books. I thought it would be a great idea to close one blog and start another, then I moved to Squarespace (which I love) but that move caused me to lose a lot followers. I wonder if you could keep your established name, maybe let your readers know this book has adult content and this book is YA? Good luck with your decision. I hope you find what works best for you!

    Elsie

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    1. Elsie, thanks for sharing your experience. It helps.

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  22. I find managing one not-so-very anonymous pen name a challenge, so having two would overwhelm me. I'd go along with Elsie. Be very clear which books are R and which are not.

    I love the sound of your suspenseful romance titles. Congratulations on your publications and your NANO. You have be darned busy.

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  23. Although the year didn't start off so well for you it sounds like things have improved as it progressed. I hope you enjoy revisiting and refreshing your YA novel next year. Best wishes for the upcoming holidays.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I guess everyone goes through ups and downs. This group helps so much when I'm down.

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  24. You were productive this year. I wouldn't worry about a pen name- I can't imagine how hard it would be to juggle two. As the others said, as long as it's clear what books are what, it shouldn't be a problem. Neil Gaiman stretches across ages too.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning Neil. I forgot about him. Your input is appreciated.

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  25. Diane, I think it might be a good idea to develop a second identity for your YA readers. The only reason for my advice is that your other books are 'spicy' in your own words. As many parents don't want that quality in their children's reading, it might be wise to create a distance between the author of your 'spicy' stories and the one who is more discreet.
    I don't think it is hard to juggle two pen names. I have a pen name for my fiction - Olga Godim - and another one, my legal name, which is the byline for my newspaper articles. They are entirely different personas.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Olga. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

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  26. Michigan in the winter can be dreary. January through March is pretty much dead to me, except for the middle of February. (My wife's birthday!) It should be a great time for me to get writing done, but the cold weather and early nightfall make me want to go to bed early instead of writing. At least we have April to look forward to. (Of course, if you live in northern Michigan, April isn't very good either. Have a great Christmas.

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    1. You said it all, Ken. Hubs' b'day is in Feb, too, so something to celebrate. I'm in west Michigan, but we have snow in April, too. Yuck! A great Christmas to you, too.

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  27. I've found that the only thing I can write for NaNoWriMo that doesn't turn out to be complete dreck which I never want to look at again is erotica. I can just get the words out there and give them a once-over later. With anything else, I find myself saying "what is this garbage" and never touching it again. Which, I feel, is a waste of writing.
    Thank you for visiting us at the Naughty Netherworld Press blog!

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    1. That's an interesting observation, Cara. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Sounds like a productive year! Many authors do use pseudonyms for different age groups/genres, although you certainly don't have to. I suppose the advantage is that the groups know what to expect from a particular name.

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  29. A happy lamp? I need to look for one of those!

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    1. I've been using it. Not sure how well it works yet.

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  30. 11 author events - I'm impressed!

    It was interesting to read everyone's thoughts on pen names. I can see the pros/cons of writing under one name or more than one. I'll be curious to see which direction you end up going in.

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. I asked my daughter who teaches 6-8th grade for her input, too. I'm leaning toward using my own name.

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